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Thanks to Road and Track, we have an article on 14 things they learned on their recent Bowling Green trip, tour through the plant, Museum Delivery PDI, NCM info and more. Note after this article was written, a few days ago the National Corvette Museum announced that all sinkhole cars will be staying at the Museum for viewing right through the National Corvette Caravan/20th Anniversary NCM Celebration, not leaving to go to the GM Restoration Division until early September.

Bet you know some or most of the following fourteen Corvette info items!


Road&Track said:
1. The museum’s Corvette Boulevard is also referred to as “the nursery.” Eight cameras, each trained on an individual parking spot, stream to the web so that family and friends can keep an eye on you and your baby.

2. Before the plant tour, we were offered “mutilation protection”—little pieces of crudely-sewn neoprene. It’s not for you, though—it’s to protect the cars on the line from being scratched by rings, watches, and belt buckles.

3. The Vette line moves at a slow saunter, with a target of 17.2 cars rolling off per hour. There’s only one shift, and the jobs are prized positions within GM’s manufacturing division.

4. You’ll never see two convertibles in a row on the factory line. A coupe is always slotted in between because the convertible top takes a little longer to install. Two droptops back-to-back would slow the line down.

5. Just one of the 42 1983 Corvettes built still exists, and it lives at the museum. The on-site archives house copies of the build sheets for the never-sold ‘83s (and all other cars produced) in a fire-safe room.

6. There’s exactly one Ford engine in the Corvette museum. Even if it is half-hidden in a 1950s service garage display—it’s a nod to Zora Arkus-Duntov, the father of the Corvette, who came to GM after working on Ford V8s.


7. Every museum-delivered Corvette is signed by three guys. They do the same prep that a dealer would, but also some detailing and wet sanding where needed. Their names can be found underneath, on the cladding by the driver’s-side rocker.

8. For one summer, Corvettes were built in two places at once. During the plant changeover in 1981, cars were still coming out of the St. Louis factory while Bowling Green was getting up and running.

9. The original Corvette crossed-flags logo had an American flag on the left. It was swapped last-minute before the car was unveiled because, according to the National Flag Code, the stars and stripes can’t be used for advertising purposes. The original badge is in the museum (but presumably not in its ads). The flag that replaced the American one features a fleur-de-lis, because Louis Chevrolet was French. So much for patriotism.

10. You might hear an 8-bit version of the Star Wars theme in the plant, or "Popeye the Sailor Man." Like many modern auto-manufacturing facilities, Bowling Green uses a version of the “andon” system developed by Toyota. If there’s a problem on the line, like a parts shortage or quality defect, employees can pull a cord that starts a song. The appropriate people are alerted by the coded tones, and the problem is fixed in real-time.

11. The original National Corvette Museum is now a Mexican restaurant. We ate at a barbecue joint down the road, instead.

12. The Corvette was named for a class of sailing warships. Myron Scott, the GM employee who suggested the name, was also the father of the soapbox derby. America owes him a great debt.

13. If someone tries to sell you a used Corvette claiming it’s never seen rain, they’re lying. Kind of. All cars are water-tested before rolling out the door to check things like roof and windshield seals.

14. Yes, they let you see the sinkhole. The doorway to the Skydome, the room where the Earth opened up, is now a viewing partition where you can watch men with heavy machinery search for the last of the eight cars that the sinkhole swallowed. Those that have been extracted are on display—in all their clay-covered, damaged glory—right before you exit through the gift shop. The plan is for GM to take the cars back in August for full restoration, so go now if you want to see their "before" appearance.
For lots of pictures and more:

14 Things We Learned in Corvette Land - Web Originals - Road & Track
 

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Very interesting thanks John
 

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Elegant..... I was dying to get a picture of LRG with Kalahari in production! That's what my C7 will look like this week! Now back to the thread.

MKZDRM
 

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Nice! Have you seen one with a black top?
Mike
That is a sweet color combo! I'll be looking for it next week, too bad I can't take pictures inside the plant.


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nice! Have you seen one with a black top?
Chip, will happily also do my best to try and get you a picture of that combination when in BG 2 1/2 weeks.
 

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Mike
That is a sweet color combo! I'll be looking for it next week, too bad I can't take pictures inside the plant.


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Thanks Ken. I think the pics on this thread are just right! Great article.

MKZDRM
 

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Great article. Lots of interesting tidbits.


MrG 69
Enjoying every mile in my CGM/Kalahari 7sp Z51 2LT Coupe w NPP, Nav, CF Mirrors/Spoiler and BC Roof
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Great info! Loved it


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