This year has been an interesting one so far, and many of us are looking forward to when we can get back out and enjoy our cars with like-minded enthusiasts. We’re happy to report that the National Corvette Museum, as of today, is open for guests!
The NCM team has been hard at work, updating and creating new exhibits so that when they were able to open their doors once again to the public, they would have an all-new experience once inside. Truth be told, the Museum begun working on various exhibits long before social distancing was even a thing. But, the NCM staff members are geniuses at making lemonade, and the down-time afforded them the opportunity to make each display as amazing as the next. Two completely remodeled galleries are now open, as well as one new exhibit and one refreshed exhibit.
“We kicked off renovations last November, and have been hard at work on the new E. Pierce Marshall Memorial Performance Gallery ever since,” shared Museum Director of Collections / Curator Derek E. Moore. “For those who have visited us in the past, we think they’ll be impressed with the upgrades. And for those who have yet to visit, they’ll be equally impressed by technology as advanced as the car it celebrates.”
Another exhibit that was recently remodeled is the Design and Engineering Gallery. It currently features ‘The Vision Realized: 60 Years of Mid-Engine Corvette Design.’ The display focuses on the history of Corvette engineers’ desire to produce a mid-engine Corvette.
“General Motors approached us about an exhibit they were developing, which focuses on the key vehicles that built the foundation for the 2020 Corvette Stingray,” shared Derek. “It features original renderings from our Museum alongside photographs, artifacts, and ephemera from both the GM Design Archive & Special Collections, and GM Heritage Center. We are excited to be the first location to display the exhibit.”
Cars currently on display in the gallery include the Corvette Indy, a C8, and the experimental two-rotor Corvette known as XP-987 GT. The cars will be joined this summer by CERV-1, CERV-II, and XP-819 a rear-engine Corvette known as the ‘ugly duckling’.
We are excited to be the first location to display the exhibit. – Derek Moore, NCM Curator
Enthusiasts will remember the story behind the “Entombed Corvette”, the iconic 1954 Corvette that had been ‘cemented in history’ for 27 years when its owner built a sarcophagus around the car. It is now on display in the newly-renovated Nostalgia Gallery of the Museum, a recreation of the brick ‘tomb’ where the car was once housed, including a small viewing window, two light bulbs, and a single access hatch, much like how the car was stored for almost three decades.
“The previous owners, who wish to remain anonymous, donated the car so that we could continue in the preservation of both the car and its amazing story,” said Derek.
Those who remember the NCM’s sinkhole experience know what an integral part it plays in the NCM’s history. The simulation of the cave collapse was upgraded and now features all eight Corvettes as part of the virtual experience. According to Moore, “Technology advances over the past five years have allowed us to work with exhibit designers to really step up our game and provide an improved virtual reality of the actual collapse.”
Lastly, the NCM has included a special display titled, “’Cartoon Creatures, Kustom Kars and Corvettes: The Art and Influence of Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth,” which highlights the influences of the famed car designer on enthusiasts who would become integral to today’s Corvette design.
Like many businesses beginning to open back up to the public, the Museum has implemented recommended procedures to keep guests and staff safe during their visit. Check out the NCM’s website for more information and to see all that they have to offer.