Technically speaking, production of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette didn’t shut down when GM closed its facilities earlier this year over Coronavirus concerns. Activity slowed to a crawl, but the Corvette’s big museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky did close up shop. It stayed that way for nearly 12 weeks, but now the museum is slated to reopen with fresh renovations, improvements, and new exhibits.
With a mid-engine Corvette now in production, creating a space for mid-engine history was a no-brainer. Utilizing space in the Design and Engineering Gallery, a new area called The Vision Realized: 60 Years of Mid-Engine Corvette Design showcases the mid-engine dream of Zora Arkus-Duntov through the decades. It includes several actual mid-engine test vehicles including the little-known XP-987 GT that featured a rotary engine. The 1980’s Corvette Indy is there, and naturally, a new 2020 C8 is on display.
An all-new display showcases the curious story of a 1954 Corvette that was literally entombed in the basement of a grocery store for 27 years. The current owners of the car donated it to the museum for display, which mimics the brick walls in which it sat.
Gallery: National Corvette Museum New Exhibits
The museum’s racing gallery is also updated, known now as the E. Pierce Marshall Memorial Performance Gallery, featuring interactive displays and 180-degree video footage along with a cool collection of cars. The infamous sinkhole exhibit simulates the cave collapse from so many years ago in a virtual reality setting, and now it features all eight Corvettes originally affected as part of the experience.
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Production is beginning to ramp back up, not just for the Corvette but at many North American GM facilities. As for the National Corvette Museum, its door will open to the public on June 8 with operating hours from 8:00 am through 5:00 pm CDT.