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Nonprofit Spotlight: National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green

An educational tribute to ‘America’s Sports Car’

By Matthew Moore

National Corvette Museum

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green regularly ranks as one of Kentucky’s top tourist attractions, with thousands of visitors streaming through its doors each year.

Bowling Green is also home to General Motors’ Bowling Green Assembly Plant, which has produced every single Corvette sold by the company since 1981, making the city the logical place to establish a museum dedicated to the iconic sports car.

The museum was created as an educational tribute to “America’s Sports Car” and to celebrate its rich history. The inception for the museum came about in 1984, when Terry McManmom, a member of the National Corvette Restorers Society, had an idea to create a nonprofit foundation to gather Corvette-related materials into a common library or archives.

“From there, the building of the National Corvette Museum was a long journey,” said Mariah Hughes, senior media and marketing specialist for the museum. “In 1988 there was finally a commitment to create a Corvette Museum. At the end of that same year, the articles of incorporation and bylaws were filed. The next four years were filled with technicalities and fundraising efforts. Ten years and two weeks after Terry McManmon shared his idea, the National Corvette Museum was opened on Labor Day weekend in 1994.”

The museum now employs over 100 people who educate visitors about the past, present and future of the Corvette, delving into the history of its design, development and construction. The 115,000-s.f. facility also houses printed technical materials and historical information about the Corvette, providing a location for individuals to research automotive sciences and automobile mechanics. After being inspired by the museum, guests can head across the street to the NCM Motorsports Park, where they can actually get behind the wheel of a Corvette and take it around the track themselves.

The museum also hosts special events on a regular basis and has received numerous awards from the National Association of Automobile Museums to recognize the excellence of its exhibitions, educational programming, events and online content. To benefit and sustain its growth, the museum encourages support through its membership program as well as exclusive opportunities such as buyer’s tours and high-performance driving events.

“Contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations are essential to support our core operations, maintain the museum’s outstanding collections and facilities, and further our expansion efforts,” said Hughes. “Naming opportunities are also available to honor your business, family member or friend.”

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