If you love Chevrolet’s Corvette, you might want to plan a trip to Bowling Green, Kentucky soon. That’s because the National Corvette Museum has announced that tours of the GM Bowling Green Assembly Plant, where Corvettes are manufactured, will be suspended beginning Monday, February 5, 2024. The reason for this closure is not clear, but it could be related to some major changes in the production of the iconic sports car. Translation, there is some new tech brewing at the plant that Mother GM wants to keep under wraps.
Your humble scribe has toured the Corvette factory, and I assure you it’s a life-changing experience. Situated in the rolling hills of Bowling Green, Kentucky, you would never know that the world’s best sports car is quietly being manufactured here. Corvette moved to the Bowling Green site, formerly a Chrysler air conditioning facility, in 1981.
Chevy made two years of C3s there, and then the plant was retooled for the earth-shaking C4 debut in late 1983. Since then, hundreds of thousands of Corvettes have rolled off the assembly line, and it’s fascinating to see how it all goes down. The best way to describe the Corvette’s manufacturing process is a meticulously choreographed, multi-level, symphony of parts, labor, and automation. At the end of the line, we saw three, star-spangled sports cars come together and drive away, absolutely amazing.
What to Expect from a Corvette Plant Tour
A Corvette plant tour is a unique opportunity to see how the legendary American car is made. You can witness the intricate assembly process, the advanced technology, and the skilled craftsmanship that goes into creating each Corvette. You also learn about the history and evolution of the Corvette, from its debut in 1953 to the latest C8 generation. A Corvette plant tour is a must for any car enthusiast.
Why the Corvette Plant Tours Are Ending
The National Corvette Museum has not given a specific reason for the suspension of the plant tours, but it has stated that it is due to “manufacturing advancements”. This could mean that the plant is undergoing a major retooling or renovation, possibly to prepare for a new Corvette model or variant. Others suggest that it could be the new ZR1, which is expected to feature a twin-turbo 6.2-liter DOHC V-8 engine. Whatever the case may be, it seems that the Corvette plant is gearing up for something big, and that means that the public will have to wait and wonder.
How to Book a Corvette Plant Tour
If you want to catch a glimpse of the Corvette plant before it closes its doors to the public, you should act fast. The plant tours will be available until Friday, February 2, 2024, and you can book your tickets online through the National Corvette Museum website.
The tickets cost $50.00 and includes a combo ticket to the museum as well. The tours are offered Monday through Friday, at 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 2:00 p.m. The tours last about an hour and a half, and they are limited to 20 people per group. You must be at least 13 years old to participate, and you must wear closed-toe, closed-heel shoes. No cameras, phones, bags, or other electronic devices are allowed inside the plant.
Don’t Miss This Chance
Last but not least, even if the factory is closed the National Corvette Museum is as fantastic as the factory tour, and the NCM Motorsports Park is across the highway. as well. The first time I toured the museum I was a bit verklempt. Most of the ‘Vette concept cars were on display with reams of memorabilia, engine prototypes, and experimental mule test cars. I had pictures of most of these cars thumbtacked to my bedroom walls when I was a kid. Seeing them in the flesh was exhilarating and reminded me how wonderous it was to see the headline, “Secret New Corvette” on the cover of a magazine.
The museum is expertly curated and has many multimedia exhibits, a great merch store, and a restaurant. If you’re in the market for a new Corvette, you can order museum delivery and combine taking delivery of your car with a trip to Bowling Green and Nashville, which is an hour south.