For many years European automakers – Audi, BMW, Porsche, and more – have offered “European delivery” programs where you can buy a new car, pick it up at the factory in Europe, drive around exploring for a week or two, then drop the car off at a port to be shipped back to the United States, where you pick it up a couple of weeks later.
A similar experience is available right here in the United States – if you’re interested in buying a Corvette, that is. Since 1981, every Corvette has been made at the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky. And right across the street from the plant, you’ll find the National Corvette Museum, home to hundreds of historic Vettes, dozens of interactive displays, and coming soon, a 184-acre motorsports park. These two venues host a number of special experiences for Corvette buyers, owners, and enthusiasts.
Considering that the starting price for a 2014 Corvette Stingray is more than $50,000, “America’s Sports Car” isn’t for everyone. But if you’re one of the many people who’ve dreamed for years about owning one of these iconic cars, you might want to look into the following options. After all, if you’re gonna do it, might as well do it right!
Buyers who choose the Museum Delivery option start off with a tour of the assembly plant and a VIP tour of the Corvette museum. You’ll finish at a very special, very personal exhibit – your new Corvette on display inside the museum. A product expert will guide you through a demo of the car’s features, and then the museum staff gives you and your car a grand sendoff, applauding as the car is driven out of the building. If your family and friends can’t make the trip, they can watch the delivery on the Museum’s webcams. Museum Delivery adds about $1000 to the price of the car and includes a personalized plaque for the dashboard, a one-year Corvette Museum membership, and a special commemorative door jamb decal. A portion of the fee is given to the museum as a donation.
Corvette Buyer’s Tour
Here’s something you don’t even get with European delivery – the chance to watch your actual car being built! You’ll tour the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant with your own personal tour guide and see many processes that aren’t part of the regular factory tour, like painting, engine installation, and more. The Buyer’s Tour is $800 and can be combined with the photo album option (see below) for a total of $1300.
A side note – while the plant makes every effort to make sure you can see your Corvette being built, it’s not guaranteed due to the nature of the production line. At the very least, you’re guaranteed a rare insider’s look at the plant and the Corvette production process.
New Corvette Owners Photo Album
Even if you can’t take part in the Buyer’s Tour or Museum Delivery, you can still see your car’s journey along the assembly line. With this option, plant and museum employees document your Corvette’s production process with 20 pages of photos and text in a leather-bound photo album. The photo album option adds $700 to the price of your Vette.
Already a Corvette owner?
The National Corvette Museum has some special options for Corvette owners and collectors:
If you missed out on Museum Delivery when you bought your Vette, you might be interested in the NCM Xperience. Your Corvette will get an exterior cleaning by the museum’s experts, and then will be put on display in the Museum Delivery Area. You’ll receive a VIP plant and museum tour and a one-year museum membership, plus a commemorative plaque, decal, and photograph. The NCM Xperience is $500.
Displaying your car at the National Corvette Museum
If you can stand to be apart from your car for 9-12 months, you can share it with other enthusiasts by loaning it to the National Corvette Museum. If your car is chosen for display, you’ll receive a certificate of appreciation, a lapel pin, and a special decal – not to mention the satisfaction of knowing that your car is being enjoyed (and envied) by thousands of museum visitors!
Visiting the National Corvette Museum
Anyone who loves America’s Sports Car is welcome to visit the Museum. It’s located right off Interstate 65 in Bowling Green, Kentucky and open seven days a week from 8 am – 5 pm.
Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant facts1
- The plant builds anywhere from 80 to 148 Corvettes per day.
- About 350 workers perform 163 different jobs on the plant’s assembly line.
- 48 robots assist the human workers on the line.
- The production line is made up of 7 miles of carriers located in one million square feet of space (22 acres).