Corvette museum prepares for 25th anniversary invasion

Corvette museum prepares for 25th anniversary invasion

More than 10,000 Corvette owners heading to western Kentucky, where some will join Elf’s Silver Pearl Sisterhood

More than 10,000 owners of Chevrolet sports cars are expected to convene August 29-31 in Bowling Green, Kentucky, for the 25th anniversary celebration of the National Corvette Museum. Many of them will be arriving in their Corvettes as part of the National Corvette Caravan.

The Caravan is staged every five years with departure points across the United States and four locations in Canada, all heading to western Kentucky where the Silver Anniversary festivities include the 2019 Hall of Fame induction of Dollie Cole, Briggs Cunningham and Tom Peters, an in-depth dive into the mid-engine 2020 C8 Corvette, seminars, a variety of road tours, a concert featuring Jefferson Starship, a “Dinner & Dancing Downtown,” a USO-style show at the Historic Railpark and Train Museum, and more, including activities at the NCM Motorsports Park.

This architectural model on display was not selected for museum construction

As part of the anniversary celebration, the museum features a special display of cars and museum artifacts, including an architectural model for one proposal for the building (a proposal that did not include the museum’s landmark Skydome) and the neon sign that promoted the future museum.

“Many of the artifacts we have on display have never before been shown to the public, or it’s been a very long time since it has been display,” said museum curator Derek Moore. “For many of our Founding members, this exhibit will make them proud to see how far we have come.”

Elfi’s Silver Pearl Sisterhood

With the unveiling of the 2020 mid-engine Corvette, much has been made of the Corvettes first chief engineer, Zora Arkus-Duntov. But a group of women involved with the National Corvette Museum and the sports car also remember Duntov’s wife, Elfi Wolfe Duntov, and have launched Elfi’s Silver Pearl Sisterhood.

Elfi Wolfe Duntov

“Everyone who met Elfi was immediately impressed with her grace, enthusiasm and knowledge of America’s Sports Car,” the group said in its organizational announcement. “She attended the Grand Opening of the National Corvette Museum in 1994 and plays a pivotal role in the story of the Corvette. 

“It is an honor to attach her name to this new society – to continue her legacy of philanthropy among like-minded women in the Corvette family.”

In addition to Elfi Duntov, the group takes its name from the Silver Pearl color introduced on the Corvette in 1965. 

“Pearls symbolize wisdom acquired through experience as well as generosity, integrity and loyalty,” the announcement noted, adding, “While pearls make the perfect complement to flashier gemstones, they also possess an elegance that can shine alone.”

Members commit to an annual gift of $1,000 a year to a special fund and will meet at the annual NCM anniversary gathering, among other things to decide how to distribute those funds through a project or program at the museum.

More information is available through Amy Hardin of the museum staff at amyh@corvettemuseum.org.

Indy museum seeks funding for Gurney Lotus restoration

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum has turned to Spotfund as it seeks to complete the restoration of the 1963 Lotus 29/1 driven by Dan Gurney. The museum seeks around $15,000 in contributions so it can complete the project.

Work continues on restoration of Gurney-driven Lotus | IMS Museum photo

For the 1963 Indianapolis 500, Colin Chapman took three rear-engine cars to Indy for Gurney and Jim Clark. Gurney crashed 29/1 during practice and drove what supposed to have been the test mule in the race, finishing seventh. Clark finished second and earned rookie of the year honors.

Car 29/1 had been repainted in Clark’s green-and-yellow colors but the Indy museum is returning it to its original blue-and-white configuration as Gurney drove it. 

Spotfund is a website created to raise money for charitable causes.

Special events this weekend

August 9-11 is VW T Chill Weekend at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, England, where VW Transporter owners will be camping out in their vehicles. The weekend includes a cruise to Buckler’s Head and other family-oriented activities.

The Owls Head Transportation Museum in Maine stages its Barnstormers Bash on August 10 at 6 p.m. The event kicks off the New England Auto Auction week.

David Hobbs and Will Buxton will take part in the Demo Day scheduled for August 10 at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia. Hobbs will sign his book, Hobbo: Motor Racer, Motor Mouth and Buxton will autograph his My Greatest Defeat, a collection of insights from 20 racing drivers.

Demo Day at Simeone will have a theme of “Nurburgring — German Performance” with a 1955 and a 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL, a 1937 and a 1938 BMW 328 and a 1927 Mercedes-Benz S-Type Sportwagen being exercised in the parking lot at 12:30 p.m.

It’s “Hoods Up Weekend” at the Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island, where more than 75 cars in 6 galleries will have their engines exposed for viewing. Also, on August 10, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., a “Corral and Coffee” cruise-in will feature the New England Thunderbird and Cape Cod Corvette clubs.

LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, hosts a Super Street Show of modified Japanese and European cars from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on August 11 and, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. that day and on August 12, museum visitors can watch Akira Nakai, artist and founder of Rauh-Welt Begriff RWB, complete his RWB Seattle No. 5 car project in the museum’s Showcase Gallery.

Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California, hosts author B.S. Levy and The Last Open Road audio-book version (re-imagined as a 1950s radio play) from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on August 10.

As part of its Rally Car exhibit, the North East Motor Sports Museum in Loudon, New Hampshire, will host Tim O’Neil, rally champion and founder of the Team O’Neil Rally School, who will discuss the history of rallying, talk about how to become involved and will do a walk-around featuring a rally car from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on August 11.  

Mark your calendar

The California Automobile Museum in Sacramento stages its annual Monterey Car Week Cruise-in to visit the Classic Motorsports car show in Pacific Grove on August 13.

August 14 is the deadline to submit a pledge toward the effort by the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana, to bid on the 1931 Hunt-Jenkins Special Indy racer that will be offered for sale at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach auction. Pledges can be submitted by email to PSiebonick@studebakermusegum.org.

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, stages its Cars 4 Critters show on August 17 from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. featuring sports and exotic cars and raising money for Speranza Animal Rescue.

1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 offered for $24,900 in museum moving sale | Murphy museum photo

The Murphy Auto Museum is moving to a new location 2 miles from its current facility in Oxnard, California, and will stage a garage sale August 17 and 18 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. “We are moving and can’t take it all with us,” the museum said in announcing that it will be selling cars, vintage trailers and automobilia as part of its move.

LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, offers a drive-in movie night August 10 featuring How to Train Your Dragon 3.

At 11:30 a.m. on August 13, Scot Keller, curator at LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, presents “If Cars Could Talk — Iconic Automotive Advertising Campaigns.” 

The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, England, hosts its inaugural “Simply Mercedes” on August 18.

The British Motor Museum stages its sixth “Buses Festival” on August 18, with visitors exploring around 100 restored, vintage and modern buses, even riding on routes around the Gaydon area.

The National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, celebrates its fifth anniversary August 19-20 with special high-performance driver education programs.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum organizes a road trip on August 20 when the museum’s Shop Tour Series visits Don Schumacher Racing, the winningest team in National Hot Rod Association drag racing history, in Brownsburg, Indiana. 

LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, will host a Military Appreciation Cruise-In from 4 to 7 p.m. on August 22.

The California Automobile Museum in Sacramento stages a launch part for its “British Invasion” exhibition from 6 to 9 p.m. on August 22.

The Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan, is the site of a cars and coffee gathering on August 24.

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, inducts racer Briggs Cunningham, Corvette designer Tom Peters, and Dollie Cole, Corvette enthusiast and widow of former GM president Ed Cole, into its hall of fame on August 30.

LeMay Collections at Marymount in Tacoma, Washington, hosts its 42nd annual car show on August 31.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum hosts the second act of its “From Dirt Tracks to the Brickyard” interactive panel discussion on September 3. From 4 to 6 p.m., Mel and Don Kenyon, Chad Boat, Michael Pickens, Chris Windom and historian Pat Sullivan will discuss U.S. Auto Club racing history and current storylines.

“Golden Oldies” will be featured September 7-8 at the International Autojumble at the National Motor Museum of England at Beaulieu. The category is open to pre-1970 classic and vintage vehicles. This is the first time such cars will be featured at the jumble. 

The British Motor Museum at Gaydon hosts the ninth annual Retro Truck Show on September 7-8 and expects around 400 classic and modern trucks produced between 1970 and 2000 to be displayed.

The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum hosts a special Crawford, Coffee & Cars event from 8 until 11 a.m. on September 11 at the Western Reserve Historical Society Preservation & Restoration Facility in Macedonia, Ohio.

The Mustang Owner’s Museum in Concord, North Carolina, hosts a 1969 Mustang Reunion on September 20-21 featuring a special display of ’69 Mustangs, a cruise to Petty’s Garage, a ’69 Mustang car show and a presentation by Don Eichstaedt, who worked at Kar Kraft as an engineer developing the Boss 302, Boss 429 and Trans Am race cars.

Italy’s Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile in Torino opens its new permanent exhibition area on September 24.

The Murphy Auto Museum in Oxnard, California, resumes its “Muscles & Mojo” morning car shows on October 6. 

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, will present its Automotive Heritage Award to Carlisle Events founders Bill Miller Jr. and the late Elliot “Chip” Miller at the Night at the Museum gala October 9.

“Legends of Speed,” a showcase of nearly two dozen historic racing cars, opens November 2 at the Phoenix Art Museum.

Does your local car museum have special events or exhibitions planned? Let us know. Email larrye@classiccars.com.

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