Saturday, June 7, 2008

Heavy Rains in Indiana and Pictures from the National Corvette Museum

We've been hit with some SERIOUS rainfall in East Central Indiana this week. The fact is, I've seen rivers higher and water standing in areas I've never seen in the 20+ years I've lived in the Hoosier state.

On Tuesday morning, traffic was stopped on a state highway that I take to work. I had already crossed a couple of places that water was standing across the road, so when I saw flashing emergency vehicle lights, I assumed someone was either stalled in flood water, or someone hydroplaned and had an accident.

When they finally let the traffic through, I discovered it wasn't an auto accident, but they were actually rescuing folks from their flooded homes! According to the news that evening, they rescued a total 0f 8 homeowners.

Well the flood waters receded throughout the week, but nevertheless, it has rained heavily all day today (Saturday). This really spoiled any ideas of mine for attending the GoodGuy Nationals and Nostalgic drag races at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis today. Instead, I stayed inside most of the day and stayed dry!

Being cooped up inside all day gave me a chance to go through some old files in my desk. While doing so, I ran across a few "vintage" (how long does it take for something to be considered old enough to be called "vintage?) photographs I took with a 110mm camera during my first visit to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
After finishing my "cleaning" project for the morning, I thought it would be cool to scan these photographs, along with some other "vintage" photos I found which include some photos from the James Dean Festival in the mid-90's, photos from an indoor show from the same time period, and even some photos I took on a trip to Alabama in which I visited the General Patton Museum along one leg of the journey.
Since I took these pictures, I've visited the National Corvette Museum again with my father. That is a whole other interesting story! It involved a one day trip to Nashville, Tenn. and back to pick up a set of seats I bought on eBay. One the way home, we JUST HAD to stop at the Corvette Museum!

The museum has a wonderful collection of vintage Corvettes, as well as "significant" historical corvettes.

There is also an area that new corvette buyers can have their corvettes displayed! It's a really cool program. The GM plant that builds corvettes is across the highway from the museum. If a new buyer wishes, GM will bring the finished auto to the museum, display it, and have a ceremony when the new owner arrives. He/She can then drive their new corvette right off of the museum floor!

The white corvette pictured below is the ONLY existing 1983 corvette on the planet! '83 was a model change over year. If I remember the story correctly, they continued to sell to old models built in '82 through 1983. Only a few new models were built in 1983. These cars were used for testing purposes (i.e. safety crash testing, etc.) and this car is the ONLY remaining corvette built in 1983.

One of the really cool parts of the museum is the collection of concept cars and drawings. Pictured below are three examples of this, including a rear engine concept car.
The National Corvette Museum is CERTAINLY worth a visit if you are ever near Bowling Green, KY. If you are there at the right time, you can even get a guided tour of the corvette plant itself! (My two visits have been disappointing in that respect. The first time was during a model change over and no one was allowed in the plant. The second visit, we arrived 10 at the plant 10 minutes after the LAST tour for the day!) My parents however, have had the privilege of touring the plant. In fact, at the end of the tour, my mother was chosen from the tour group to DRIVE A FINISHED CORVETTE OFF THE END OF THE ASSEMBLY LINE! (editors note: I stand corrected....one of the most faithful readers of Suede and Chrome: My father, informed me that mom didn't get to drive the corvette off the assembly line, she only got to start it and honk the horn. My mistake. Not as cool....but still pretty cool.) How cool is that?
For more information about the National Corvette Museum, check out their official site at: