conesare2seconds Dork
5/19/19 5:53 p.m.

Hi everyone.  Thought I'd post pics and info about this year's C4 Gathering at the NCM this past Thursday-Sunday.   My buddy in Tallahassee was able to come along again this year.  I picked him up at the airport here in St. Louis on Wednesday morning and we headed for Bowling Green. 

First thing Thursday morning was an intro/refresher on high performance driving, then we headed for the NCM Motorsports Park for an afternoon of touring laps.  Got to see some cool cars lining up for their turn.



Gratuitous shot of my car cooling off.    V



Hmm.  What's this?  Better look closer.



Great googly moogly.  Now I want a white engine, too. 



Option B for those wanting an alternative to driving the track was a guided scenic road tour on nearby back roads.  Tired and a little over-sunned, we adjourned to the Oasis restaurant for a group dinner. 



conesare2seconds Dork
5/19/19 6:10 p.m.

Friday's activities were A: guided tour of Beech Bend raceway; B: a daylong karting enduro at the NCM kart course; or C: a road trip to 3 distilleries: Maker's Mark, Four Roses and Buffalo Trace.  We chose the bourbon tour.  We were gone all day and did a few hundred miles round trip. 


Lining up for departure. 



Stop 1: Maker's Mark.  Someone wasn't paying enough attention to what their auto focus lens was doing.. 



Fermentation room.


This is where the signature blend barrels are finished.


Four Roses was up next.


All smiles for bourbon.


Last, to Buffalo Trace. 



I see you, whiskey barrels. 




conesare2seconds Dork
5/19/19 6:24 p.m.

There was plenty of time to check out the latest exhibits at the museum. 

This is 1953-003, the oldest surviving chassis and a cutaway show car.  It's part of a new gateway exhibit.


If you've never been, many of the displays are dioramas.  There is a main street, a vintage Chevolet dealership showroom, a Mobil gas station, the old St. Louis plant and more.  First time I have seen the yellow w/ green color combination.  There is a car for every buyer, I guess. 



One of Roy Orbison's Corvettes.



Vintage racers.



Detail of Greenwood Le Mans car.


Patrick MegaDork
5/19/19 6:32 p.m.

I miss my corvette sometimes, had fun at several bowling green events back in the day.  I think i did 2 corvette forum memorial day deals and 2 labor days.  

conesare2seconds Dork
5/19/19 6:36 p.m.

More racers.  These are Z06es.



A Duntov turbo.  Check out the awesome period BBS wheels with cooling fan hats. 




The Astro Vette concept car is in the house. 



As is the Wankel Corvette (fun fact - it's based on a Porsche 914 chassis).  It was tucked away in England for decades and didn't return to the US until this year.



Corvette Indy concept. 




There are many "small artifacts" displayed, such as these wind-tunnel models.



The C6 interior buck.



Crash-test C5.






conesare2seconds Dork
5/19/19 6:53 p.m.

Over in the sky dome we find the last C4.



The 89 Geneva Auto Show ZR-1 reveal car.



The only surviving 1983.



Reggie Jackson's 1978 pace car.



A Guldstrand GS90, this time from the front (was only able to photo the back in 2017).




This was a Hennesey car that was lost to the cave-in.  Notice how both seats are mashed together.


Not even a rear cage structure could save it.



Another victim.



The astronaut Corvettes are reunited.  The weedy looking white coupe was tracked down to a Texas field a couple of years ago and is in as-found condition.



NASA sent over a few artifacts.  Here's a sample for flavor.



Space Shuttle tire.  About 3.5 feet tall.


conesare2seconds Dork
5/19/19 7:02 p.m.

Over in the restoration garage we spotted the Falconer ZR-12.  This car was built with a V12 engine as a rebuttal to the V10 Viper.  It was never intended for production.  The chassis was stretched 10 inches between the wheel arches and windshield to make room for the Falconer engine. 

This car ran last week for the first time in 10 years.  GM is starting to let NCM bring some of the Heritage Collection cars back to life.  Many have only been pushed around for ages as GM was previously  a firm no on anything other than display.  We heard that back in the day, Ryan Falconer ran the ZR-12 down the strip at Milford Proving Grounds against the Sledgehammer driven by John Heinricy - and won. 



conesare2seconds Dork
5/19/19 7:21 p.m.

Saturday saw 5 guest speakers and an attendee display of high-mile ZR-1s in the Museum midway. 


Jim Voter (in yellow shirt) told us about visiting 49 states in a ZR-1.  Jim and Lyndie bought the yellow 94 with 90k on the clock and have taken it to 150k as of now.  Jim is a meticulous planner, a resourceful mechanic and an innovative packer of travel bags and gear. 



Marc Haibeck spoke about the present and future for the C4 ZR-1.  Apologies to Marc for not having a good photo; lighting in the Chevrolet Theater was very low and the shots didn't turn out.

We also heard from Eric Millette, an Industrial Engineer at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant.  Here's Eric.



We were honored to have Graham Behan tell the story of the 4 Lingenfelter twin turbo ZR-1s.  Graham was an engineer at Lotus during the development of the LT5 engine and subsequently had a second career at Lingenfelter Performance Engineering.  These cars were making 850-1050 hp circa 2001.  Car #1 is currently being updated to provide at least 1400 whp.  Graham recently assembled the only Gen III LT5 from prototype parts designed for a planned upgrade to 475 hp before the program was ended.



The weekend concluded with a talk from NCM Curator Derek Moore, who you may recognize from the NCM behind-the-scenes videos on social media.  Derek filled us in on the NCM's mission to conserve and grow the collection.  From an enthusiast's perspective, he has raised NCM's game from being basically a display gallery to using state of the art conservation and restoration techniques. The revised philosophy is that mechanical things should work as they were built to in addition to being beautiful to look at.  Many thanks to Derek for his time and informative, engaging talk.





conesare2seconds Dork
5/19/19 7:31 p.m.

Miscellany from the high-mile car midway and more.

Old Red, my road warrior 94 ZR-1, turned in an 1100-mile weekend to wrap up 1700 miles in 2 weeks.  It also saw the 180,000 mile mark reached before heading home to St. Louis.  The old guy took the motorsports park in stride and blasted cold AC the whole trip with no mechanical drama.  Many thanks to Marc Haibeck and friends on the ZR-1 net registry for keeping the car up to form and on the road.  


More Saturday pics just because.



conesare2seconds Dork
5/19/19 8:06 p.m.

There was a pro photographer at the track to capture the images you only wish you could take of you wheeling around the course.  If you buy the pics, they are licensed for noncommerical use, so no copyright worries with posting here.


Particularly like the one with the museum spire in the background.



I felt a little bad for Mark Horner, behind me in a C7 Z06 on the first group of 4 laps.  He races in SVRA vintage events and I, well, don't.



Looking for the apex.  Annnnnnnd ...  got it!




Didn't notice my buddy had his arm out.  Bad passenger!  Bad!  In his defense, he said he was holding on for dear life.  We didn't get black-flagged, but I made him wipe the arm prints off my shiny car, haha. 


Spoolpigeon PowerDork
5/19/19 8:18 p.m.

Looks like a good time!


BTW, proper T1A apex at NCM is driving over that curbing ;)


Patrick MegaDork
5/19/19 8:25 p.m.

Was the guy with the trashed black zr1 there?  Broken body panels, smelly interior, never washed.  We used to call him The Vagrant.  He smelled like the car looked, and i have run into him at NCM and Carlisle events.  Last time i saw him he was wasted on wild turkey and was going to sleep in the car in front of the hotel across the street from the museum.  But hey, he had a zr1 and I didn’t.  

Your post is making me want another c4.

conesare2seconds Dork
5/19/19 8:39 p.m.
Spoolpigeon said:

BTW, proper T1A apex at NCM is driving over that curbing ;)



Heh, I could see that, in a timed event. 



conesare2seconds Dork
5/19/19 8:41 p.m.

In reply to Patrick :

No, there are a few interesting characters who make the scene regularly, but I haven't seen that fellow.  Wow.  

Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
5/19/19 9:01 p.m.

I still think it would be cool to have a Corvette delivered to the museum - $1000 option?   

Daylan C
Daylan C UltraDork
5/19/19 9:11 p.m.

Dang. I was there for the unrelated car show at the Museum yesterday. Lots of really nice C4s around. I don't think I've ever seen so many LT5s in one place. Local friend had his purple T56 swapped LT1 C4 at the track thursday I believe.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
5/19/19 9:33 p.m.

I've been to the track four times now and STILL haven't gone to the museum. I need to. 

And yes about the curbs, that's how it's done. laugh

Daylan C
Daylan C UltraDork
5/19/19 9:37 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

If you ever make it over and have time. Let me know. I could be a fairly mediocre tour guide. 

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