Corvettes Unlimited Corvette Club, Vineland, NJ
VISIT TO THE NATIONAL CORVETTE MUSEUM
18 THROUGH 22 APRIL 2007
CORVETTES UNLIMITED CORVETTE CLUB, INC.
GOES TO BOWLING GREEN, KENTUCKY FOR AN OFFICIAL NATIONAL CORVETTE MUSEUM “CLUB VISIT”
Twenty-three club members went on a Corvette Caravan for a “Club Visit” to the National Corvette Museum located in Bowling Green, KY from April 18 to April 22 in 2007. We had 12 Corvettes in our caravan. The “Club Visit” included: a tour of the GM Corvette and Cadillac XLR Assembly Plant, a personal tour of the National Corvette Museum, a BBQ, a Road Tour including a lunch stop at the Barron River Lake Lodge, and the unveiling of two of our club members’ Personalized Bricks on the Walk of Fame in front of the NCM. All members received personalized NCM tour badges as a keepsake. This also allowed us into the National Corvette Museum for the entire weekend.
WHO’S ‘VETTE WAS THAT?
WEDNESDAY - 9:00 AM – THE TRIP BEGINS!
THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 9:00 AM – DEPART FROM SLEEP INN
THURSDAY – Mid afternoonArriving at the Holiday Plaza Hotel and Hotel Convention Center for our second and third night stay. RESERVED PARKING – Roped off & cones exclusively for Corvettes Unlimited Corvette Club, Inc. members only. The hotel also provided us with water and hoses to clean our ‘vettes.
We departed from our hotel and arrived at the National Corvette Museum.
NCM WELCOMES CORVETTES UNLIMITED
A large flat screen in the lobby of NCM had our logo on it welcoming Corvettes Unlimited to the National Corvette Museum. We were also on their web cam.
PERSONAL “CLUB VISIT” PASSES”
The National Corvette Museum made special passes with a museum picture along with our own club logo. The back had listed our schedule of events along with our own name. This made a great memento. Each of our members received a Pass.
Leon & Bonnie Schischkin and Tom & Cathy Conroy had their Personalized Bricks unveiled in the Walk of Fame in front of the National Corvette Museum. The bricks were placed separately from our Club’s Big Block (Section 41) and other CU club member bricks because of unavailable spots. However, we did find that there was room in our area. When we got home, Dave Kinsey called to see if the two new bricks could be move there. He found out that that particular section was an area where it was required that your Personalized Brick needed a logo on it. Adler’s and Conte’s are the only two with logos in that section just below our Club Brick.
After the unveiling, we went back into the Corvette Store to get ready for our BBQ Run. While waiting, our members continued to shop in the Corvette Store. It seemed as though they were buying out the entire store. This was a very popular place for our members. There were plenty of Corvette items to look at and purchase.
Sharon Kinser was our NCM Tour Guide Representative for our group. She made us feel very welcomed and led the pack well. She took us on a short caravan to the 55 acre 1869 Homestead Bed & Breakfast owned by Wendell Strode (Executive Director of the NCM) and wife Jan, where we had a pre-planned BBQ. Partial proceeds of the cost went to the NCM. The homestead is listed on The National Register of Historic Places. Wendell’s wife told us the history of the homestead while we were there.
|Right: A view or our ‘vettes parked in the driveway of the historic Homestead.|
BACK TO THE HOTEL
After our BBQ we went back to the hotel where you could see our CU Banner hanging proudly from the third floor.
R & R FOR THE NIGHT
Our night stays in the Holiday University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center allowed us to get together in the evening at the cocktail lounge and discuss the day’s activities. What a great time to relax and be with your friends!
|ABOVE: THE WATERFALL IN THE ATRIUM|
We had a surprise visit on our second night stay at the hotel. Bob and Pat Wismer (former Corvettes Unlimited members) visited us for cocktails. They had recently moved to Bowling Green, KY from NJ and had a beautiful house built on 2.2 acres of land. They joined Corvettes Limited, a Corvette Club in Bowling Green, KY. Their meetings are held in the National Corvette Museum.
FRIDAY, April 20, 9:00 AMASSEMBLY PLANT TOUR, 9:00 AM We drove our Corvettes across the street from the NCM where our group toured the GM Plant and saw the Corvette Assembly Line as well as the Cadillac XLR Assembly Line. No cameras were allowed. You will have to see it to believe it.
CU MEMBER GIVES BIRTH TO A CORVETTE!
Near the end of the tour, a person was chosen out of our group to start a Corvette on the Assembly Line for the first time. Ken Tomasello was the proud mother of a C6 Corvette. It’s 175” long and weighed 3,130 lbs.
GROUP PHOTO SHOT
As we were leaving the GM Plant, we stopped by the main entrance to the GM Plant Offices and took a group shot of us.
We also pointed out to our members the two Corvettes Unlimited’s logos in one of the three Showcases that displayed hundreds of other Corvette Club logos from all over the world. The logos are displayed inside the front of the Tour Plant Entrance.
Sharon Kinser led us on a 1 hour Lake Road Tour, taking us throughout the beautiful countryside of Bowling Green. We ended up at the Barron River Lake Lodge where we had a pre-planned luncheon. What a gorgeous day it was – in the 80’s, and most of us had our tops down… on the vettes that is. After the lunch, Sharon took us back to the Museum via a different route that showed more of the countryside of Bowling Green.
SATURDAY, April 21, 9:00 AM - GROUP BREAKFAST
SATURDAY, April 21, 11:00 AM
|TOUR OF THE NATIONAL CORVETTE MUSEUM
Anita, another tour representative from the NCM took our group on a Special Club Visit Tour of the NCM using whisper phones. She provided us with a lot of history of the museum, the Corvette, and answered a lot of our questions. The tour included a behind the scenes look… in an area where tours usually do not go, to show us how the ‘vettes get “prepped” and stored for future displays as well as getting them ready for the Corvette Experience for those who purchase a new Corvette and is presented to them through the Museum Delivery Program.
PRESENTATION OF CU’S DASH PLAQUE and CORVETTES UNLIMITED’S 30TH ANNIVERSARY PINS:
Sharon Kinser, Anita, Wendell Strode, including the NCM itself were presented with a CU “Club Visit” Dash Plaque for our trip and a Corvettes Unlimited Corvette Club 30th Anniversary Pin as a “Thank You” for providing us with their Club Visit Program.
SATURDAY AFTERNOON, April 21, 11:00 AM & SUNDAY, April 22GOING HOME
Many of us in our caravan extended our trip for another day or two. Three ‘vettes went to Nashville with one continuing into Tennessee. 4 started on their way home, 3 started later, but only to catch up to the first four. Another visited their friends in Kentucky, while the Tests visited Sharon’s friend in Kentucky whom she has not seen for 40 years. Can you guess the very first words they said when they saw each other? I think it was something like… “You haven’t changed a bit!”THE UNEXPECTED
Engine Light On…Engine Light Off – Dave & Joanne’s C5 started the trip with their engine light on. Had it checked before departing. Found no problem. Engine light went off on the way back from Bowling Green. Must be the gas cap.
The wheels on a ‘Vette go round and round….NOT! Ask Tom & Cathy Conroy. It was more like…”Rubber Ball I’ll Come Bouncin’ Back To You”. Their front left tire bounced & vibrated on the way to Bowling Green. The sensor in tire was broken in a million little pieces. Repaired and the trip continued.
We had to jump-start our Road Tour Captain’s ‘vette after our lunch at the Barron River Lodge. Our wagon master, Dave Kinsey had cables. He’s the “Cable Guy”.
Kinsey’s… Ahhh, the sound of metal squealing when braking, even after letting up on the brake pedal. Started in Kentucky. Bad caliper? Made it home after conferring to two Corvette members and talking to a mechanic. It was the brake pad. All is well that ends well!
Sometimes, we encounter the unexpected. But it is not a problem when CU members ride together. We come together as a team. We support each other. And we help each other out. It’s all part of what Corvette people are all about. It’s that word again…camaraderie. In fact, all of us completed our trip safely. We had a lot of excitement, fun, joy, and the adrenalin was still running by the time we all returned home. There will be a lot of memories to share on this caravan. We are ready for another one. Won’t you come with us next time? Get ready for Labor Day 2009!
We would like to thank the folks at the National Corvette Museum for allowing us to experience the NCM Club Visit. Special thanks go to: Lavonne Hellman –Tours and Admissions Supervisor, Sharon Kinser – Tours Representative, Anita – Tour Representative, Stephanie Morrill – Membership Services Manager, Roc Linkov – Events Manager, and the Executive Director of the NCM, Wendell K. Strode.
Ahhh, don’t you just love it when a plan works together!
I thought it would also be fitting to end this Special Edition with this President’s Corner article for the month of May ‘07; it ties into our visit very well.
The weather is finally starting to break. If you are a Corvette lover as I am, I can’t wait to get that ‘vette out on the road on a beautiful sunny day. It’s clean and it’s sparkling and that’s what I call “the icing on the cake”. I’m proud to drive my car. Why? Because it’s a Corvette! I’m proud that I own one and I’m proud to show it off. Did you ever think how many people actually get the opportunity of owning a Corvette? Right now, you ARE one of those who actually own one.
There are also those who only get a chance to look at a Corvette as it passes through town or through the countryside. What do you think those people are thinking? Could it be, “Wow, look at that car!” or could it be, “I wish I had one!” or “Look how beautiful that car is”, or “Someday, I’m going to own one.” I was one of those people when I was a child. I thought Corvettes were neat but never ever dreamed of or even thought about owning one because I never thought I would ever get there or become one of those special people who have one. Well today, I’m on my fifth one. Who would ever think that a person would ever go through so many? And maybe the sixth will soon be on its way.
Well, YOUR day has come. You have A CORVETTE also. Just think about it. Do you realize how lucky you are? Go outside and walk around your Corvette and look at it, its color, shape and every line and curve it has. Look as the sun shines on it. This is your car and it was meant to be. Get into your car and look inside. Think of what it offers you. It offers you power, comfort control and ownership.
Now… It’s time to use it! Don’t keep putting it off. Start that engine and take it for a run and feel the ride. You are riding in a Corvette and it is your Corvette! Enjoy it, respect it, and love it, and don’t look back!
Dave Kinsey, proud President of Corvettes Unlimited Corvette Club, Inc.
and Editor of Corvettes Unlimited Corvette Club, Inc., Fiberglass Flyer
Below is a sample list of clubs who have visited the Museum with images and information on what they did during their visit to give you ideas when planning yours!