Internal Shop Will Maintain Museum’s Growing Corvette Collection
2013 and 2014 were record years for car donations at the National Corvette Museum, with 13 being received last year, and 12 in 2013 bringing the grand total of Museum-owned Corvettes to 62. For several years the goal has been to launch a department focused solely on maintenance and upkeep of these prized Corvettes. That goal is now a reality.
Phillip Wheeler and Daniel Decker have joined the Museum’s new Vehicle Maintenance and Preservation Department, dedicated to maintaining cars for both the Museum and Motorsports Park.
Phil, the department manager, is excited about the opportunity. “When I was invited to join the team, it became clear very quickly that I was a part of a family. I have a lifelong love for cars and a passion for preservation and restoration that makes this a dream job. I am happy to be here.”
With over 100 cars of his own (40 that are housed in his personal showroom) Phil knows how to maintain a collection of cars and looks forward to taking care of the Museum’s treasured Corvettes. “We will be going over every car that has been donated to the Museum, and begin a new maintenance record for each one, making sure they are fully serviced and drivable – checking for any leaks or other issues that need to be addressed. In addition to that, we’ll be making sure that the fleet of cars at the track are safe, serviced and always ready to go.”
Daniel has been restoring and working on cars for the last 27 years of his life. He has ASE certification in steering, suspension and brakes, he’s been to paint school in Chicago, and for several years he ran the Midas shop in Bowling Green. The portfolio of cars he has restored in his own shop is a reflection of his passion for cars. “I’m excited to be here. This is a new program so we have a lot of work ahead of us. Once it is up and running, I feel like it is going to be great.”
The Museum’s maintenance department will initially be located just past the Engineering and Design display area, in what was once the PDI Department. Visitors to the Museum may periodically see Phil and Daniel working in the garage bay, adding another exciting element to the Museum tour experience. They are also looking forward to meeting Museum members and guests. “To anyone thinking of donating their cars to the Museum,” Phil says, “I want them to know that their cars will be in good hands.”
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