With summer and the excitement of classic car show season approaching, the Gilmore Car Museum has unveiled an all-new exhibit in its Main Gallery, called the The Greatest Generation – a dramatic presentation of Chevrolet Corvettes from each generation of GM’s legendary American sports car. Through the years, Corvettes have developed from early fiberglass-bodied roadsters with 150-horsepower inline six-cylinder engines and two-speed transmissions, to today’s fire-breathing, mid-engined C8 Corvettes with more than 600 horsepower and 200+ mile per hour top speeds. The eight generations of Chevrolet Corvettes featured throughout the exhibit are:
- C1: 1953-1962
- C2: 1963-67
- C3: 1968-82
- C4: 1984-96
- C5: 1997-2004
- C6: 2005-13
- C7: 2014-19
- C8: 2020-?
The Corvette was born as a prototype “dream car,” named for a class of fast naval warship, and unveiled at General Motors’ Motorama auto show at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City in January 1953. Due to a very enthusiastic public response, GM fast tracked the car into production in a record 6 months, and the first production Corvette rolled off the assembly line at a Flint, Michigan plant, before the end of June 1953. Notably, the #26 Corvette ever produced, on that same Flint assembly line in 1953, is on display inside the new Gilmore exhibit.
The Greatest Generation exhibit was curated with help from Corvette expert Werner Meier, owner of Masterworks Automotive Services (Madison Heights, MI), and widely regarded as one of the best restorers in the world. Several of Meier’s own award-winning Corvettes are on display in the exhibit, along with nearly two dozen of the rarest and most significant Corvettes in existence from all over the United States. Some exceptional cars in the exhibit include:
- GM MOTORAMA presentation of two 1954 Corvette concept cars: Nomad Station Wagon and Corvair “dream cars”
- Incredibly rare 1969 Corvette L-88 Stingray Coupe with high-performance 427ci V8
- An “airborne” Joie Chitwood Auto Thrill Show 1958 Corvette
- Top secret Alpha Build C5 Corvette test car, in unrestored “as-tested” condition
- Six concept, styling, and development cars never previously displayed together
“The Corvette has an amazing legacy, and an incredibly passionate group of owners and admirers,” said Josh Russell, Executive Director of the Gilmore Car Museum. “Guests can experience the new Corvette exhibit, see the famous 1958 Chevy Impala from the movie American Graffiti, explore Kalamazoo-built cars and trucks inside our Carriage House Barn, and enjoy the outdoor beauty and architecture of our entire 90-acre historic campus.”
The Gilmore Car Museum is open weekdays from 9am – 5 pm (EST), and weekends from 9am – 6pm (EST). Admission includes access to shows and meets, and all museum buildings and exhibits. Parking is FREE.
$16.00 Adults / Seniors
$11.00 Youth (ages 11-17)
FREE Children (ages 10 and under)
FREE Active Military (must present ID)
By order of Michigan’s governor, all museum visitors age 5 and over are required to wear a face mask in all indoor spaces, and in outside venues at any posted “mask required” areas or any time social distancing of 6’ cannot be maintained at any area of the museum.
About Gilmore Car Museum
The world-renowned Gilmore Car Museum – North America’s largest auto museum with more than 400 vehicles on display — is located midway between Chicago and Detroit, just 20 minutes north of Kalamazoo, or 45 minutes south of Grand Rapids. The museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, whose mission is to tell the history of America through the automobile. Learn more at GilmoreCarMuseum.org.