‘Vettes on View at the Gilmore Car Museum, July 22nd

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan has announced a new event for its 2018 car show season that is sure to get engines revving into Michigan from across the Midwest. The museum will open their 90-acre historic campus for their very first All-Years Corvette Show and Swap Meet on Sunday, July 22, 2018.

Show your Corvette – any year – for $20 (includes driver and passenger admission). Admission will be $14 per person for the public, children 11 and under and Gilmore Car Museum members as spectators are free of charge. All admission includes access to the museum’s 90-acre historic campus and over 24 different buildings and galleries of automobile displays.

“We are the nation’s largest car museum and on July 22nd we’ll be featuring one of the nation’s favorite sportscar,” said Chris Shires, Executive Director of the Gilmore Car Museum.

The Gilmore Car Museum currently features over 18 unique car shows and club meets, plus a weekly Wednesday night Cruise-Ins throughout the summer. The Corvette Show, the first show of its kind for the museum, has show organizers anticipating a large turnout both on the show field and in numbers of spectators.

“We are very excited to be adding this new event to our schedule,” continued Shires. “The Corvette is an American classic and has a following all its own that spans generations.”

Throughout its 65-year run, the Corvette has largely stuck to its original objective of providing homegrown performance wrapped in a stylish, two-seater package. While the car was conceived with rigorous attention to the bottom line and production feasibility in mind, it was still only intended to be part of GM’s Motorama display at the 1953 New York Auto Show.

Photo from the GM Archives

That was until Ed Cole, Chevy’s recently appointed chief engineer, saw it. Cole, then immersed in development of the world-changing “small-block” V8, is said to have literally jumped up and down with enthusiasm for the Motorama car. So, before it even got to New York, and after some corporate machinations, the engineering plans to put it into production began.

But first, it needed a name. Cole called Myron Scott, founder of the All-American Soap Box Derby and an assistant advertising manager for Chevrolet, into a special meeting of executives researching the name. Scott suggested “Corvette” after a type of small, maneuverable warship and the rest is history.

The public at the New York show loved the 1953 Motorama Corvette. Thousands of potential buyers wanted to know when they could buy one of their own and just six months later, they could. The 1953 Corvette, virtually identical to the Motorama prototype, entered production on June 30, 1953, in Flint, Michigan.

1953 Chevrolet Corvette, #26 produced. On loan to the Gilmore Car Museum from Nanette Eggebrecht.

The first year’s production was capped at 300 units, all in the now iconic Polo White and Sportsman Red color scheme and powered by the 150-hp, three-carb “Blue Flame” inline-six and a two-speed Powerglide transmission. On loan to the Gilmore Car Museum is #26 of that run, complete with its original iconic color scheme.

While always an automobile known for speed and performance throughout its history, the Corvette has evolved throughout the generations. From the debut at Motorama to the Stingray and from the C4 years and beyond, the windswept Corvette has been an American favorite. Today, over 1.6 million Corvettes have been produced, making it the world’s most popular sports car.

The Gilmore Car Museum expects some of the best ‘Vettes to be on view for what they hope will be an annual event.

“There’s no limit on this show,” reminds Shires. “Corvettes of any year are welcome, and we hope to see everything from daily drivers to show cars here at the Gilmore on the 22nd.”

A collection of Corvettes is on display at the Gilmore Car Museum

The museum itself features a display of Corvettes, including a prototype 1963 Split Window Coupe, a 1976 Corvette custom built by GM Chief Stylist Bill Mitchell, and a recent addition to the museum’s collection, a limited-production replica of the 1978 Corvette Pace Car.

The Gilmore Car Museum’s All-Years Corvette Show will take place on Sunday, July 22nd from 9am-3pm. Corvette registration is $20 per vehicle and includes admission to the show and museum for the day for both the driver and passenger. The show is open to viewing by the public for $14 per person, children 11 and under and Gilmore Car Museum members are free of charge.

Admission includes all museum exhibits – open until 6pm on Sunday – at no extra charge. Parking is free. The Gilmore Car Museum is located just 20 minutes northeast of Kalamazoo on M-43 and Hickory Road.

For more information please contact the Gilmore Car Museum:
269-671-5089 / info@gilmorecarmuseum.org
6865 W Hickory Rd, Hickory Corners, MI 49060

The Gilmore Car Museum is a public, 501(c)3 non-profit educational institution, dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of the American automobile.