Tri-City Corvette Club (Texas)
The Best of Southeast Texas
2010 TCCC Caravan to the National Corvette Museum
April 6 - 11, 2010
The Tri-City Corvette Club serves Corvette enthusiast in Southeast Texas (Beaumont, Port Arthur, Orange and surrounding cities) and we understand, appreciate and support the Mission of the National Corvette Museum. The National Corvette Museum not only preserves the legacy of America’s Sports Car, but provides a place for Corvette enthusiast, and all others, to meet and share their common love of the Corvette.
When the Tri-City Corvette Club began planning, for the 2010 club year, it was decided that the club would caravan to the NCM for a Club Visit, because many in our club had never been to the Museum or the Corvette Assembly Plant. The NCM was, as it always is, thrilled to hear that we were planning a Club Visit and with the assistance of NCM’s Chris Sweeney, a terrific trip was planned. Thanks to Chris, and the NCM Staff, our Club Visit was a tremendous success.
Meeting early in the morning in Southeast Texas our Caravan set out, on April 6th, with 15 Corvettes and 27 enthusiastic TCCC Club Members headed to Bowling Green, Kentucky and the NCM. The first day we traveled from Southeast Texas to Bessemer, AL. What a great day seeing 15 Corvettes, in line, on the Interstates, with everyone looking and wondering where we were going. After spending the night, in Bessemer, the TCCC enjoyed a planned stop in beautiful Downtown Athens, AL. We were hosted by Mayor Dan Williams, and the City of Athens, which provided special parking, Corvette protection while we were in town and an Athens Police Department escort. We thank Mayor Williams and the City of Athens, AL for their generous hospitality. After enjoying Downtown Athens and the Town Square, with its’ wonderful shops and restaurants, it was on to the NCM where we received an unbelievable welcome by Chris Sweeney, the NCM Staff and a few individuals who were touring the Museum and seemed thrilled to be part of a Corvette Club Arrival.
2010 TCCC Caravan Arrival at the National Corvette Museum
We were joined by the sister of Bobbi Johnstone, Sherry and Randy Sprague from Indianapolis, IN, who are Lifetime Members of the Museum. Group pictures were taken (thanks Bob) and Chris passed out our Club Visit Badges. Afterword, it was off to explore our beautiful Museum and experience our first visit to the Corvette Store. We had to do a quick “drive by” of the GM Corvette Assembly Plant and then it was on to the hotel for an evening of dining and relaxing.
We were up bright and early Thursday morning and began our day with a group tour of the GM Corvette Assembly Plant. Our tour was coordinated by Ashley Gabbard, Bowling Green Assembly Plant Project Coordinator and what a great job she did making sure that we were treated as very special guest. After a personal welcome, from Ashley, we spent the next two hours staring in amazement as we watched the Assembly Plant crew assemble Americas Sports Car.
Our Club President and his wife, Rod & Bobbi Johnstone, decided they wanted to participate in the NCM Xperience. They dropped off their Corvette to Gary, Lori and David and the NCM PDI Department before we went to the Corvette Assembly Plant. We returned to the Museum and there was their beautiful Corvette sitting on Corvette Blvd. Rod and Bobbi were thrilled that members of the TCCC were there to share in their NCM Xperience. After the excitement, we had lunch in the Corvette Café and were then given the “behind the scenes” tour. We were given briefings on the Mission and history of the NCM, the exhibits, the Corvette Hall of Fame members and were taken into areas not normally open to the public. All areas, and their purpose, were explained in detail and we developed a much deeper appreciation of what it takes to operate our world class Museum. After the tour, we took a group picture with the Tri-City Corvette Club brick. Then it was back to enjoying the Museum and more shopping at the Corvette Store. What a great day!
Early Friday morning, we returned to the NCM where we staged for our Scenic Road Trip to the Makers Mark Distillery. We were met by our Scenic Road Trip Tour Guide, Thomas, who briefed us on what to expect. Thomas then proceeded to provide us with the most fantastic experience we could possibly have in our Corvettes. The Sun was shining and it was perfect Corvette weather. We had a beautiful drive through the Kentucky countryside, over and around the hills, then picked up the pace a little (and you all know what I mean) then turned into Makers Mark Distillery for a personal group tour of the Distillery, which was fascinating. We then went to the Toll Gate Café, hosted by Molly Cissell, Makers Mark Toll Gate Café Manager, for a fabulous lunch. (You must eat there and tell Molly that the TCCC highly recommends them). After lunch, Thomas provided even more excitement. We headed out of the Makers Mark Distillery, then “picked up the pace” for a while, and drove over and around the hills. THEN, Thomas took us on a “little road” with no traffic and 90 degree turns. OH WHAT A RIDE! Thomas provided us with a TRUE Corvette experience and confirmed why we all love and drive Corvettes. It was back to the National Corvette Museum for a last minute visit and to have that final moment of shopping in the Corvette Store. We all had plenty of Corvette Store merchandise and many TCCC members were already talking about shopping on line, once we returned home. We said our goodbyes, to Chris and the NCM Staff, and bid farewell to the National Corvette Museum. All Club members can hardly wait until our next trip to the Museum.
Saturday morning we bid farewell to Bowling Green, KY and traveled to Memphis, TN. We visited Graceland and then proceeded to Downtown Memphis for “Memphis Ribs” and the Blues Clubs. Beale Street proved to be everything it is said to be, lively and entertaining. We enjoyed the atmosphere and the fun until late in the evening.
Sunday morning the TCCC headed back to Southeast Texas completing a wonderful road trip with everyone already talking and planning our next trip back to the National Corvette Museum.
We thank everyone for making this a fantastic Tri-City Corvette Club 2010 Caravan.
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!