The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, holds the Bash event every year at the end of April – it is when the factory gets to show off their latest developments to their fiercest critics and most adoring fans – Corvette owners like you and me. Corvette has a unique relationship with its customers like no other brand; they actually listen to what the owners like / dislike about the car and then come back the following year having made the cars better for everyone as a result.
The new kid on the block this year is the ZR1 and many were in evidence throughout the parking lots surrounding the museum. Most were test mules wearing Michigan tags, chassis #002 was there as an Admiral Blue low-winged coupe. Nearly all color/body style/wing/wheel and badge combinations were on display in and around the museum and also at the NCM Motorsports Park on the other side of I65 from the Museum. For many ordinary Corvette owners it was their first opportunity to see the ZR1 in the flesh and the car met with almost universal approval, the only gripe being the big increase in price over the Z06.
Two existing colors will be stopping production and two new colors will replace them as part of the announcements during the ZR1 walk around presentation featuring Tadge Juechter and Harlan Charles. The paint shop provided a pair of rear fenders featuring Elkhart Lake Blue (GS7) and Shadow Gray (GJI) which will be replacing Admiral Blue (GTR) and Watkins Glen Gray (G7Q). The last day to order Watkins Glen Gray will be May 17th and last day of production will be June 18th, Shadow Gray can be ordered from 28th June and first day of production is 6th of August. The last day to order Admiral Blue is 28th June, last production 13th August, Elkhart Lake first order date is 30th August and production starts 1st of October.
Doug Fehan the Program Manager for the Corvette Racing Team was guest speaker for the Corvette Racing dinner on the Thursday night at the museum and over 200 people attended. The two crew chiefs, Dan Binks and Brian Hoye were supposed to be attending, but with the Mid-Ohio round of the IMSA Weathertech Series the following weekend and both men working flat out on “another project” (I read this to be the new C8R that is due to debut at the Roar Before the 24 at Daytona in January 2019), neither attended.
Doug Fehan and Jim Campbell were both in attendance on the Friday for a seminar about Corvette Racing, Jim is head of all things racing, so is responsible for NASCAR, IMSA, Indycar, PWC and anything else that Chevrolet officially races in.
The Bash wasn’t just about the new, it celebrates all things Corvette including seminars on various topics, plus there are road trips out to local attractions. Owners can also take their cars on-track at the Motorsports Park or take part in the Celebrity Choice car shows on both Friday and Saturday. Vendors packed Corvette Boulevard within the museum and for many owners it was great to meet up with old friends and the opportunity to make new ones.
On both the Friday and Saturday, there was a raffle drawing to win a Corvette. Friday it was a $200 per ticket, 1,000 ticket draw for a Grand Sport coupe and on Saturday it was a $10 per ticket, unlimited tickets draw for a Stingray.