There’s a museum for almost everything it seems, so it’s of little surprise that automobile aficionados can get their hearts racing at a Kentucky venue dedicated to North America’s first sports car, the Corvette.
Located in Bowling Green, the state’s third largest city, the museum traces the post World War II development of the American sports car, culminating in the introduction of the Corvette in 1953.
The attraction is situated roadside off the I-65 making for an easy stop for visitors heading to or through Nashville, about an hour south, and complements the vehicle’s assembly plant. (It is the only place in the world Corvettes are made).
Indeed, a key feature of the museum is its “nursery,” where new owners can come to pick up their vehicle, to applause from watching visitors. Available at a price, the service includes day-long instruction on optimum use for vehicles that range in cost from US$60,000 for a base model to $100,000 for Z06 that can do zero to 60 mph in 26 seconds. A video feed allows friends and family to watch the ceremony.
For others, there are still plenty of cool cars to see, with approximately 70 sparkling vehicles showcased in appropriate period settings.
Among them are classic and rare cars in mint condition, including the millionth Corvette ever made and the only 1983 model in existence (the other 42 were purposely destroyed – the story why is told by guides).
An exhibit also details the shocking 2014 sinkhole that suddenly appeared during the night in the central section of the museum and costing eight classic cars their lives.
A guided tour (11 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily) is the best way to experience the museum and learn some of the intriguing stories behind the vehicles, but self-guided visits are also possible. Several interactive exhibits exist, including a drive simulator and a simulation of the sinkhole cave-in.
Patrons can also drive a Z06 Corvette on an adjacent racetrack (appointments are necessary, previous experience is not) at a cost of $299 for about 30 minutes. Or drivers can take their own vehicle on the track for $125. And there’s also a Go Kart track with both adults and kids karts.
Of course, there’s also an expansive Corvette store, where a giclée print of a Corvette will set you back 100 bucks. Then again, that and the museum may be as close as most people get to the real thing.
First published at Travel Industry Today