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  1. #1
    Gone but not forgotten Ken's Avatar
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    Default New Corvettes Will Be Unveiled at Museum’s Annual Birthday Bash


    By Scott Sisco, ssisco@bgdailynews.com -- 270-783-3256

    Thursday, April 22, 2004

    As the tourist season begins to roll, Corvettes will begin making their treks to Bowling Green for the first event of the season at the National Corvette Museum this weekend.

    The C5/C6 Birthday Bash, co-hosted by the Official C5 Registry, honors the latest model of the Corvette and will kick off Friday morning with the unveiling of the sixth generation, which will be available this year.

    “It’s very popular with the new generation of Corvette owners or wannabe owners,” said Wendell Strode, executive director of the museum.

    Corvette designers and executives from Detroit will be in town to offer seminars about the new generation of Corvette, which has only been seen at a few car shows. Friday’s unveiling around 9 a.m. will allow the public its first close-up look at the car.

    Pre-registration alone for this year’s event has exceeded attendance for all the other C5 bashes, which began in 1998, said Roc Linkov, events manager for the museum. Most of the road tours and bus trips have already sold out.

    “There’s a lot of excitement for the C6,” he said.

    Corvette enthusiasts will even have a chance to take a ride in C6s. The riders will be drawn at random from the pre-registered participants – 1,160 in all. The next largest bash was around 1,000 people, and that included on-site registration.

    Chevrolet is also kicking off its line of after-market products for the cars. Several companies already make accessories that can be added after the car is purchased, including shift knobs and center taillight covers that match the car’s color.

    “There will be some interesting new pieces that you can buy after market from Chevy,” Linkov said.

    One new seminar will feature women on the Corvette team.

    “People don’t understand that it’s not just a man’s job of designing the Corvette,” Linkov said.

    Now that the C6 is coming out, it could get its own event. Strode said the museum may keep the two groups together for a few years and see how it works out.

    “We’ll see where we want to go with it – if we want to separate them as we look to the future,” he said.

    Linkov is trying to make each event new and exciting. This is his first full season as events director.

    Registration for other events at the museum is also up this year, Linkov said. Several events for Labor Day already have sold out. But they’re not just for hardcore Corvette enthusiasts.

    “We want people to come to the events and not feel that they have to belong to a certain group,” Linkov said. “All you have to do is like Corvettes.”

    — For more information about the event or the museum, visit www.corvettemuseum.com.

    Daily News · 813 College St. · PO Box 90012 · Bowling Green, KY · 42102 · 270-781-1700

  2. #2
    Gone but not forgotten Ken's Avatar
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    C6 Corvette debuts at museum

    By Scott Sisco, ssisco@bgdailynews.com -- 270-783-3256

    Friday, April 23, 2004
    Joe Imel/Daily News
    Dave Hill, Corvette chief engineer, drives a new Corvette C6 with Wil Cooksey, general manager of the General Motors Corvette Assembly Plant, in the passenger seat past hundreds of Corvette owners and enthusiasts today, when the new generation of the sports car was unveiled.

    For the third straight year, the clouds parted just in time for the newest Corvette model to debut at the C5/C6 Birthday Bash at the National Corvette Museum.

    “The clouds parted, proving once again, God loves a Corvette,” Corvette Chief Engineer Dave Hill said.

    The newest model is the first of the new generation, the C6, to be shown to the general public. It has been seen at several automotive shows over the past few months. A blue coupe and a blue convertible drove in front of a crowd of hundreds this morning. Corvette Assembly Plant General Manager Wil Cooksey was mobbed when he drove up in a new red Corvette.

    The C6 is based on three things – power, passion and precision, Hill said.
    “We got lots of all three of them,” he said.

    The new Corvette comes standard with 400 horsepower, the most ever in a standard Corvette. The 186 mph top speed is faster than the Z06 and Z-R1 specialty Corvettes, which are close to race car setups.

    The design is more expressive than in earlier generations, Hill said.
    “It brings up the spirit of the Stingray era cars,” he said.

    The car is shorter than the C5, but the wheels and wheelbase are both bigger. The tires have been pushed to the corners of the car.

    Just looking at the C6, it looks much like the C5, but when the cars are side by side, the differences are more obvious – the fixed headlights.

    “I think it will be a design that lasts forever,” Hill said.

    The designers and engineers have strived to make the C6 as perfect as possible. They want to make it the top car in the class that includes Porshe and BMW, Hill said.

    “Everybody has worked tirelessly to get the jump to the next level of perfection,” he said.

    When a design change from generation to generation happens, there is usually a feeling-out period to make the car perfect. Hill and his team have tried to avoid that with the C6.

    The C6 coupe will be available in late summer and the convertible will be available in the fall. A Z06 model will be available next year, Hill said.

    “We’ve got a lot coming for the Corvette community,” he said.

    The Corvette team gets a lot of feedback from car owners through museum events and tours at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant. Those touring are very vocal about what they do and don’t like, Hill said.

    “Our people don’t hold back,” he said.

    Paul Buckroyd of Des Moines, Iowa, has owned 24 Corvettes..

    “I like the stationary headlights,” he said. “I’m surprised it didn’t happen a long time ago.”

    Buckroyd said he isn’t a small man and he has been assured that it is the same size inside, even though it is shorter.

    “I think probably everyone will have nice things to say about it,” he said.

    The C5/C6 Birthday Bash continues all weekend at the museum.

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