The Corvette – history, plant and the museum of a legend


Produced since 1953, a piece of American history, more than 1.5 million built, often named as the one and only american sportscar. For more than 60 years now, the Corvette raises the heartbeat of car-enthusiasts around the globe. Now, it`s time for me to write a story about that legend and because of that, I travelled to the epicentrum of the car, in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Everybody who was raised in the 80`s like me, got very early addicted to the Corvette. The C1 from „Riptide“, the C2 Stingray from the TV show with the same name, the C4 from „Scarecrow and Mrs. King“ which also was the ride of choice from „Face“ of the A-Team. Even back than, the Corvette was already the cool car from the USA. We didn`t even realize that Prince`s song „Little red Corvette“ was about a a girl.

Now, for everybody who does not really know much about the Corvette, here is a little crash course just for you: The first generation of the Corvette hit the market in 1953 and back at that year only 300 cars were built. Everyone of those cars was white with red interior. The only options offered were a radio and a heater and with a base price of almost 3500 Dollar you could get your piece of history. Imagine the price of those 300 cars today! Well, just one year after this, the Corvette was already becoming a hit. The replacement came not earlier than 1963. It was called the C2 Sting Ray and it was based on Bill Mitchell`s Sting Ray racecar. 1963 was also the year of my favorite Corvette ever. The 1963 splitwindow! The C2 had already up to 425 hp, and that was in the 60`s! But times were changing and another replacement came just a few years later. The C3 – for me the best example of coke-bottle-design looked again completly different and featured for the first time the T-Tops. Beeing sold until 1982 we shouldn`t wonder that the C3 got some significant changes thorughout the years. I would basically say, the early models with the chrome bumpers are still much more popular and most times way more expensive than the „plastic“ models from the later years. But at least, that makes those late C3`s probably to the most affordable classic Vettes! It was followed by C4, C5 and C6 but just for me, no one of those ever had the class and the looks of the first 3 models. But than in 2014 the C7 showed up and changed everything – again. One of the hottest looking Corvettes ever with the best performance and definitly one of the best sportscars in it`s price range. The C7 is in my personal Top 3 wish list of cars for sure and I am really a fan of that car. The base Stingray comes with 466 hp at a base price of 79.500 Euro. Pay some more and you get the Grand Sport or just buy perfection with the Z06 with 659 hp. But don`t reduce the car to the hp output. There is so much more like handling, breaks and all the other up-to-date features.

So, if you are a fan, come to Bowling Green, Kentucky and you will find – besides of Whiskey and running-horses – the home of the Corvette. So did I and I visited the Corvette Museum today. You can enter for only 10 Dollar and experience some hours of car history. They got movies, games and a lot of nice Vettes. The higlight may be the skydome. In 2014 the Floor of it broke away because there are caves all under it and almost two handfull of Corvettes were destroyed. Only a few could be restored, like the 1-millionth Corvette. If you wanna get the creeps you can go to a recreated cave with some special effects to see what happened.

Other than that, there is a lot of Corvette-only parking and of course a big shop and a restaurant. Not to forget: just in case you ordered your new Corvette, you can pick it up right here and spend a great day in Corvette wonder-world. Seeing the face of a 70 year old who starts it`s engine the first time – priceless.

But when you are there, don`t miss the plant tour. It`s also just 10 Dollar and remember you can not bring anything, especially not your camera, your smartphone and pretty much everything where those things can be hidden. But you will get the chance for a 75 minute tour where you can learn many inside informations of the Corvette like this little example: Just in case you order your brand new Z06. Every Z06 engine is bulid by one guy and this guy signs the engine after he has completed it. But for 5000 Dollar extra you can go there and build the engine together with him and sign it yourself. I bet, you will have some stories to tell at the next car-show if you do so.

Not enough? Maybe you check out the racetrack nearby. You can find all further Information at and you may probably find me at my local Corvette dealer in 3-4 years when I can affort a used C7.

Text: Andreas Leffler
Pictures: Andreas Leffler

No comments