VIN 003 Chassis 1953 Cutaway Corvette Donated

Car Revealed as part of National Corvette Museum’s Gateway Remodel

Members of the Museum’s Board of Directors, Facilities, Exhibits and Displays Team cut the ribbon for the new Gateway Exhibit as participants of the Michelin NCM Bash cheer.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held during the National Corvette Museum’s annual Michelin NCM Bash, introducing the more than 1,500 Corvette enthusiasts in attendance to the newest exhibit area of the Museum. Thanks to the generosity of donors to the 2018 giving campaign, visitors to the Museum will now be greeted by a welcoming admissions area leading to the completely revamped Gateway exhibit.

A surprise announcement was made as part of the ribbon cutting ceremony. Ed and Teresa Foss of Roanoke, Ind., owners of the 1953 Corvette Chassis #003 (the earliest existing Corvette chassis) donated their educational cutaway utilizing the chassis to the Museum. The fully functional vehicle was built explicitly for educational and display purposes and shows the inner workings of a 1953.  The project was more than two years in the making by noted Corvette restorer Kevin Mackay and his staff at Corvette Repair in Valley Stream, N.Y.

The chassis was discovered in the mid-70s under the body of a 1955 Corvette that was being restored. The first three Corvettes were built on June 30, 1953, likely rolling off the assembly line in Flint, MI on July 1, 1953. Traveling to the GM Tech Center in Warren, MI where it was used for durability testing, the #003 car’s chassis reappeared in 1983, and later wound up on eBay in 2012, which is when Ed Foss acquired it.

“We wanted to make sure Ed’s legacy and contributions in the Corvette community would be remembered here at the Museum,” said Teresa Foss.

The new Gateway exhibit focuses on the back-story of Corvette – it’s influences, why fiberglass was used, how the iconic car got its name and more. Featured in the exhibit is a 1946 Stout Y46 Concept Car, the first fiberglass automobile and the only of that model ever produced; a 1947 MG TC Roadster, a British sports car introduced at the end of WWII, which began the sports car craze in America; and a 1951 Crosley, considered by many to be the first American sports car produced after WWII by an established automobile manufacturer.

Returning to display post-remodel is the original 1953 Corvette emblem, which was switched out hours before the Corvette was slated to debut in New York, and a model of the HMCS Snowberry K166 – a typical Corvette class warship which is the namesake of the automobile. New artifacts being showcased include a clay model buck and modeling tools, and Firebird I concept car model built for Harley Earl.

The Gateway remodel began in January 2019 and was completed just in time for the Michelin NCM Bash festivities, an event held annually the last weekend of April. The Museum is open daily, 8am – 5pm CT with the last admissions being sold by 4:30pm. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors age 62+, $7 for youth age 5-12 and free for children age 4 and under. Located in Bowling Green, Kentucky on the same street as the world’s only GM Corvette Assembly Plant at I-65, Exit 28 – the Museum is a membership-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation. Learn more at corvettemuseum.org or call 800-53 VETTE (83883).