National Corvette Museum
National Corvette Museum

The Messner Collection

Corvette enthusiasts are known world-wide for their passion towards America’s sports car and the lifestyle it inspires, but some people take their love for this car beyond the extra mile. Such a person was businessman and Montoursville, PA resident, Donald L. Messner, who made arrangements for his Corvette collection to be gifted to the National Corvette Museum upon his passing.

In business Don was known for his focus, determination and ability to make things happen. In his personal life, he was equally determined to make the most of it, enjoying a wide variety of activities including scuba diving, horses, racing, power boating, radio control airplanes, fishing, hunting and Corvettes.

Don’s love for Corvettes led him on a search to acquire low mileage, rare cars that were in excellent condition. Over the years, as his collection grew, he had a special climate-controlled garage built for them that he called The Toy Box.

In January of 2012 Don was diagnosed with melanoma. Knowing itwas incurable; he continued to enjoy life as much as he was able. He joined the Museum for the exclusive unveiling of the 2014 Corvette Stingray at the Chevrolet Media Event in Detroit, and traveled to the National Corvette Museum to take delivery of his 2013 Corvette, as well as a visit to the Corvette Assembly Plant. While at the Museum, he decided that it was the best place to permanently display his Corvette collection.

For his wife Marlene, she is gratified to see Don’s collection going to the Museum to be enjoyed by the thousands of visitors who visit annually.

“He said he wanted to plant a seed. He wanted others in similar situations with rare Corvettes to see the Museum as a place for them. Most of all, he wanted to inspire future generations to work hard to buy their own Corvettes some day so that they, too, could enjoy the lifestyle that goes with owning them.”

Don passed on May 22, 2013, but he has left behind a stunning collection of cars that will demonstrate his love of Corvette to others for years to come. “When people see these cars,” Marlene says, “I want them to remember Don Messner and his legacy. He was an amazing and very generous man.”


1965 Custom Built Race Corvette

This car features a complete wide body kit, roll cage, period correct exhaust, custom built big block by Lingenfelter, custom chassis, custom sheet metal intake, Recaro race seats with harnesses, aluminum radiator and 5-speed transmission.


1967 427 Convertible Corvette

This car was produced in St. Louis, MO on June 1, 1967 and was sold by Penske-McKean Chevrolet of Philadelphia, PA for a retail price of $4,995.95. Don purchased the car April 20, 2012 and joined the National Corvette Restorers Society, replacing a few parts on the car that had deteriorated while keeping the car period correct.

This car is optioned with a 390hp V8 turbojet engine, positraction rear axle, whitewall tires, side dual exhaust, AM/FM radio, softray tinted glass, white convertible top, 4-speed close ratio manual transmission and white and bright blue vinyl interior.

1967 427 Convertible

1969 Convertible / Hard Top Corvette

Don purchased this car at Mecum Auctions of Dallas, TX on September 5, 2012. This car earned a Gold Spinner Certificate at the Chevy VetteFest on June 5, 1994.

1989 Coupe Corvette

This car is optioned with six-way passenger and driver power saddle leather bucket seats, an automatic transmission with overdrive and Delco-Bose stereo system and had an MSRP in 1989 of $33,243.

1990 ZR-1 Corvette

This car is Dark Red Metallic with black leather adjustable sport bucket seats and a six-speed manual transmission. It features dual removable roof panels and electronic air conditioning. The ZR-1 Performance Package was a $27,056 option and only 3,032 of the 23,646 Corvettes made for 1990 included the option. The ZR-1 was only available as a coupe.

1994 Coupe

This car features a Competition Yellow exterior and only 834 of the 23,330 1994 Corvettes made were this color. This car rolled off the GM Bowling Green KY assembly line on October 4, 1993. It features a 6-speed manual transmission, 350 hp engine, power bucket seats, dual removable roof panels, stereo system with cd player and Delco-Bose speakers, adjustable suspension package, selective ride and handling, and electronic air conditioning. Other than the custom Fikse wheels, the car is in stock condition.


1996 Collector's Edition Corvette

This car was manufactured December 6, 1995 at the GM Bowling Green Assembly Plant. It features a LT4 engine with 330 hp and 350 ci, a 6-speed manual transmission, dual removable roof panels, power driver and passenger sport seats, performance axle ratio, AM/FM radio with CD player and Bose speakers.

1996 Grand Sport Corvette

The original owners of this car took delivery of it at the National Corvette Museum through the R8C Delivery Program. Only 1,000 1996 Grand Sports were made.

2000 Convertible Corvette

This car only has 85 miles on it, and still bears the plastic on the interior that it was shipped in from the GM plant. The car has many options including: 4-speed automatic transmission, six-way adjustable sport bucket seats with memory package, color-keyed front floor mats with carpeted inserts, dual zone electronic air conditioning, performance axle, active handling system, power telescoping and manual tilt, twilight sentinel, fog lamps, AM/FM stereo with CD changer and remote, heads up display and the performance handling package.

2008 Z06 Corvette

This car has the 2LZ Preferred Equipment Group which includes seat-mounted side impact air bags, power-telescopic steering, heated seats, cargo net, luggage shade, memory package, steering-wheel audio controls, Bose 7-speaker system and universal home remote transmitter. It was also optioned with ebony with titanium accented interior, navigation and chrome aluminum wheels.

2013 60th Anniversary Corvette with R8C Museum Delivery

The 2013 model marked Corvette's 60th year, and the last for the sixth-generation (C6). In tribute, Chevrolet offered a 60th Anniversary Design Package across all models. The package included an Arctic White exterior, Blue Diamond leather-wrapped interior with blue stitching, and Silver Blue Pearl stripe.


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