The Truth About Cars » bowling green http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 16 Apr 2014 05:18:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » bowling green http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Disaster at National Corvette Museum: Can History Be Saved? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/disaster-at-national-corvette-museum-can-history-be-saved/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/disaster-at-national-corvette-museum-can-history-be-saved/#comments Thu, 13 Feb 2014 17:12:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=740705 corvettemuseum1

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky suffered major sinkhole damage yesterday. Now the fate of several important Corvettes, and perhaps the museum itself, hangs in the balance.

No one was hurt in the cave-in, which occurred overnight in the “Skydome” section of the museum. Eight Corvettes were sucked into the hole, including two on loan from GM: a ’93 ZR-1 convertible and an ’09 ZR1 hardtop. The remaining six are owned by the museum: a black ’62, the ’84 PPG Pace Car, the 1 Millionth Corvette (a white ’92 convertible), a ruby red ’93 40th Anniversary Edition, an ’01 Mallet Z06, and the 1.5 Millionth Corvette (a white ’09 convertible). Video from the site is pretty grim. The video below, taken from an aerial drone with a camera attached, is a fairly complete survey of the devastation:

Click here to view the embedded video.

The black ’62 and the ’09 ZR1 landed near the top of the pile, bruised but hopefully still intact. The ’93 40th Anniversary looks pretty trashed though, as does the 1 Millionth Corvette. Both have tumbled end over end at least once, with the 1 Millionth landing behind the slab on which the ’62 precariously lies. What looks like the ’84 Pace Car is almost completely buried, and the 1.5 Millionth Corvette appears to have been squished underneath the slab on which the ’09 ZR1 sits. The Mallet Z06 is nowhere to be seen.

From a historical perspective, the loss of the 1 Millionth and 1.5 Millionth Corvettes is the worst part of the accident. Both represent irreplaceable milestones in Corvette history, as does the ’84 Pace Car to a lesser extent. Time will tell if they can be resurrected, but for now the museum faces bigger worries. The Bowling Green Fire Department estimates the hole to be about forty feet across and up to thirty feet deep, based on the drone video. The Museum has stated that the Skydome is a separate unit from the other facilities, and that hopefully the structural damage can be contained. However, the nature of the disaster raises troubling questions about the viability of the rest of the Museum.

Bowling Green is only about ten miles away from Mammoth Cave National Park. Much of Kentucky lies in what is known as a karst region: an area where easily eroded limestone forms the bedrock. Acidic water and other weathering create natural caverns below the soil, which range widely in size. Some of them have formed tourist attractions like Mammoth Cave, but many others are undiscovered booby traps for human development. Once they collapse in, they are difficult to work around. The Museum’s sinkhole formed from the collapse of one of these caverns. Depending on the engineering report, the integrity of the entire site may be called into question. In any case, there will be tough times ahead for one of America’s best known auto museums.

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2014 Corvette Starts Shipping From Bowling Green http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/2014-corvette-starts-shipping-from-bowling-green/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/2014-corvette-starts-shipping-from-bowling-green/#comments Thu, 19 Sep 2013 16:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=523505 03-corvette-c7-bowling-green-deliveries-1

General Motors announced that production of the 2014 Corvette Stingray Coupe has begun and that it has started shipping the all-new 7th generation Corvette to dealers from the Bowling Green, Kentucky facility where the sports cars are assembled.

 

About 1,000 C7 Corvettes have been made so far at the Bowling Green plant, which has assembled Corvettes since 1981. That factory was the recipient of a $131 million dollar investment to produce the new Vette, including $52 million spent to upgrade the factory’s body shop so it can manufacture the Coupe’s all aluminum frame in house for the first time.

The all aluminum frame is also a first for the base Corvette. Though Z06 and ZR1 models of the previous generation Vette had light alloy frame components, the base C6  Corvette coupe came with a hydroformed steel frame. In addition to the upgrades to Bowling Green’s body shop, GM is also moving their Performance Build Center, where the higher performance versions of GM’s LS family of engines are hand-built, from Wixom, Michigan to the Kentucky facility.

GM’s “build your own engine” program, which allowed purchasers of cars with those performance engines (or buyers of similar crate motors) to put their engines together under the supervision of the highly skilled PBC employees, will be reestablished after the move and GM is saying that the experience will be upgraded. With the engine build facility adjacent to the final assembly plant, buyers will likely get to see the engine they build installed in the car they are buying.

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Amendment to Kentucky Jobs Retention Act to Encourage Investment, Job Creation in Commonwealth’s Auto Industry http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/amendment-to-kentucky-jobs-retention-act-to-encourage-investment-job-creation-in-commonwealths-auto-industry/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/amendment-to-kentucky-jobs-retention-act-to-encourage-investment-job-creation-in-commonwealths-auto-industry/#comments Thu, 05 Jul 2012 05:32:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=451344

The Fourth of July is upon those of us who wave Old Glory while eating some grilled chicken marinated in Ale-8-One, drinking some fine Kentucky bourbon (straight or as a mint julep), doing a burnout in our Corvettes, and setting off a bunch of firecrackers, sparklers and cherry bombs for our amusement.

Oh, and celebrating freedom from the British, too.

Speaking of Kentucky’s numerous industries, Governor Steve Beshear (D-KY) announced in a press release today his signing of a bill that would encourage job creation and heavy investments in the commonwealth’s automotive and parts industries. The bill, filed by Representative Larry Clark (D-Louisville), is an amendment to the 2007 Kentucky Jobs Retention Act. As a result of the amendment, auto manufacturers and those who make the parts for all of those Camrys, Corvettes and Escapes will have greater freedom in seeking incentives regardless of location in Kentucky, home of 440 automotive-related industries and 68,100 people, the third highest in the nation in terms of automotive-related employment as a percentage of overall employment.

“Given the success Kentucky has seen from the incentive package the General Assembly offered to Ford in 2007, it was only natural to extend this deal to the state’s other assembly plants and large auto parts suppliers,” said Rep. Clark. “My hope is that they will all take advantage of it the way Ford has, because it has the potential to generate thousands of new jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of investment. Such a move would further solidify Kentucky’s already strong standing nationally and internationally in the automotive industry.”

The amendment will go into effect July 12th, and will not impact the state budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

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