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National Corvette Museum

12th Anniversary Celebration & Hall of Fame
Bowling Green, KY
Aug. 31 - Sept. 1-3, 2006

This event is not a big fundraiser for us like the April C5/C6 Bash is. Our primary mission here is to pay tribute to the Hall of Fame Inductees, and I don't feel that it would be appropriate to do a 50/50 raffle at the induction dinner, so I have never asked. We were, however, able to collect $286 in cash and a check for $100 at our display in the Museum.

We sent the $386.00 to the American Cancer Society's Bowling Green office.


Tuesday, August 29

After a great Monday afternoon visit with my folks in the home where I grew up
in Philadelphia (and an all-too-brief night), I hit the road at 4:31am
for Bowling Green... via Asheville, NC.

   

Not exactly a direct route you say? No, more like a big check-mark! The method behind this madness was the legendary piece of road renowned among bikers and sports car nuts as The Tail Of The Dragon! I  had been hearing stories about this for years, and after checking the website I promised myself that I had to include it in my travels some day. Now that I have experienced it, this 11 mile segment of US 129 (with 318 curves!!) in Deals Gap NC, about 35 miles south of Knoxville on the NC/TN border, will be on my travel route whenever remotely possible!

Guess why these are called the Smoky Mountains!
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Too busy (for once) with the INTENSE driving to take pics,
these are the only ones I got while driving the Dragon.

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Nearly 2 years later, I discovered these photos on
http://www.killboy.com! Check it out, it's a great service!

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The TOD website has links to some great amateur videos that really give
you an idea how wild a ride this is. Here is one of the best: TOD Video 

Back to reality... or are we? Kudzu vines create surreal images
on trees along I-40 between Knoxville and Nashville.

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Arriving at the Microtel in Bowling Green at 8:10pm Eastern time after 1024 miles,
I was still so pumped from the Dragon experience, I felt like I could go
another couple hundred miles, easily!

 


Wednesday, August 30

After a leisurely start and washing the Vette (for some reason there was
a lot more brake dust on the wheels than usual... {;-),
I set up our display in the Atrium area of the Museum.

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Then I went across the street to the Corvette Plant to see if anybody was free to talk, and
met briefly with Lynn Herron, Plant Manager Wil Cooksey's Administrative Assistant.
Middle photo shows my car on the security cam in the lobby.

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Sick joke? The Exxon sign remains with the gas prices from a couple years ago
when the station was torn down! Ah, the good old days...

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Thursday, August 31

On the job in the Museum, I could admire the silver Z06 across from me awaiting
its lucky new owners to take Museum Delivery. It was stunning with the optional
dark tinted wheels. The sign by the front wheel was for the folks at home to see
via the web cam that is focused on each car.

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I had the pleasure of meeting Corvetter Sondra Wright from the
American Cancer Society's headquarters in Atlanta, Dept. of Research
and Cancer Control Science, Office of the Chief Medical Officer.

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One of my missions while at this event was to determine the history of the pair of ZR-1 cam covers that were given to me at the Maine 2006 event. As luck would have it, Graham Behan happened to be at the Museum for the Hall of Fame induction of John Lingenfelter. Graham was instrumental in the Lotus team in England that developed the ZR-1 engine. After the development was completed and the car was in production, he went to work for Lingenfelter in the US. He immediately recognized that these covers were from the very first design that was produced in the US. All the UK versions were sand-cast; these were die-cast. These lack the internal breather passages that were found to be necessary and were incorporated in the production version. He autographed each cover (photo below) with the note "Early Phase III cam cover". They are also signed by C4 guru Gordon Killebrew and retired Chief Engineers, Dave McLellan and Dave Hill.

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My plan for these covers is to donate them to the NCM to be auctioned
at next May's C4/ZR-1 Gathering, with the stipulation that the proceeds
be split between the American Cancer Society and the NCM.


Friday Evening
Corvette Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies

Hall-of-Famer John Cafaro introduced retired Chief Engineer Dave Hill.
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Graham Behan was featured in the video of the late John Lingenfelter's
accomplishments. Hall-of-Famer Randy Whitine introduced
John's daughters, who spoke fondly and tearfully of their Dad.

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Then it was National Corvette Restorers Society co-founder Gary Mortimer's turn.
He was introduced on video by our friend Bill Nichols
and on stage by Hall-of-Famer Ray Battaglini.

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After the induction ceremony, I paid a quick visit to Jake Delaney's "Lot Lizards".
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Then I joined the Mortimer family and friends for the traditional ice cream.
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Saturday, September 2

All three living Corvette Chief Engineers stopped by our table after a formal
portrait shoot. Dave McLellan added his autograph to the ZR-1 cam covers
while current CE Tom Wallace (white shirt) and Dave Hill (red shirt)
discussed the shoot with NCM staff. And there they go...

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My usual parking space for the event.
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Saturday Evening

Lifetime Members' Dinner at Director Wendell Strode's home.
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Sunday, September 3

That had been my space for the last 4 days, clear once again.
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Last but not least, a big crowd gathered in the Rotunda as the winning ticket
for the 2007 Corvette was drawn. You didn't win it? No, I didn't either.

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On the road again...
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This must be Lexington!
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The Hagerstown MD Microtel has been a dependable overnight stop for this trip.


Monday, September 4

Home at last!
   

That's actually 3232.9 miles for the trip, which includes Carlisle. I discovered that the C6 trip odometer resets to zero after only 2000 miles (the C5 reset at 10k). Also, 28.6 mpg for all those miles is cool, especially when you consider the aggressive encounter with the Dragon and 8 days puttering around Carlisle and Bowling Green! This C6 seems to be getting a solid 2-3 more mpg than the ol' C5 did. And with 50 more horses and bigger tires. What's not to love!

 

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