Bowling Green, Kentucky, is home to the National Corvette Museum, the world’s only facility dedicated to a single car model. Since its opening in 1994, the Museum has survived more than one collision with Mother Nature.
In February, 2014, the Museum made history–not in a good way– when a huge sinkhole opened up right under the facility’s Skydome and swallowed eight pristine Corvettes, a debacle caught on surveillance camera. The staff’s reaction can only be imagined. However, once they recovered their wits, they stoically set about the mammoth task of extricating the cars from the thirty-foot-deep pit. All eight Corvettes are back on display, three of them restored to their former glory, the other five standing as stark reminders of what happens when you fall in a sinkhole.
Today, one of the most popular exhibits at the Museum is “Corvette Cave-In: The Skydome Sinkhole Experience,” a 3-D interactive tour of the sinkhole which includes information on the recovery process and on the gargantuan task of filling the enormous hole. A 48″ manhole allows a look into one side of the sinkhole.
A jollier experience awaits visitors this summer with the opening of the special exhibit “Hot Wheels: Race to Win.” From May 27 through September 25, the most famous toy vehicle on the planet will star in an interactive exhibit which gives visitors the opportunity to become part of a race team working together to build and test cars.
The Museum contains a number of rarities, the most extreme of which may be the world’s only 1983 Corvette. Officially, there was no 1983 Corvette; the model’s debut got pushed back to 1984, leaving this lone pilot assembly car.
Elsewhere in the Museum, the Nostalgia Area offers a look at Corvette’s early history through a recreation of a mid-century main street, and the Corvette Simulator allows visitors to experience the vicarious thrill of driving a Corvette. In case “vicarious” just isn’t good enough, check out the NCM Motorsports Park, one mile from the Museum, where you can arrange to drive an actual Corvette.
Like the Museum, the Motorsports Park has encountered the occasional speed bump.
In Round Two of Nature vs. Corvette, the Park was hit by a tornado in December, 2021, but bounced back and resumed normal operations in early Spring.
The National Corvette Museum is located at 350 Corvette Drive in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
To purchase tickets and learn more, corvettemuseum.org.
photos courtesy National Corvette Museum