No doubt about it.

We. Enjoy. Talking. About. Corvettes. (A Lot.)

So when Summit Racing‘s senior videographer had a chance to visit the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, you can be darn sure he brought his camera along.

Bowling Green was selected as the location for the museum thanks to its proximity to GM’s Bowling Green Assembly Plant, which has built the Corvette since 1981.

From the original C1 and its Blue Flame Six to experimental concept vehicles, racers, and customs, the National Corvette Museum has a bit of everything for the Cross-Flag faithful—this photo gallery is just a small sample from its sports car smorgasbord.

That said, if you’re a Corvette fan and are heading near the south central Kentucky region anytime soon, you should definitely check out the National Corvette Museum. See what we mean in the pics below.


And if you’re into Corvettes, you may enjoy our ever-expanding series on Corvette history too.

Corvette Production Models & Displays

You’re looking at Corvette chassis number 003 built on or near July 1, 1953. While a nut-and-bolt restoration was impractical, it was transformed into this cutaway display model in 2012. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
Chevy only made 300 Corvettes in 1953, and all came exclusively in polo white with red interiors. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
Ever heard the legend of a shopkeeper bricking up the walls around his 1954 Corvette?
Well…it’s totally true. After being released from its sealed room behind the store in the early 1980s, the car eventually found its way to a permanent display inside the National Corvette Museum. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
Starting in 1955, the Corvette could be ordered with Chevy’s then-new small block V8—the two would quickly become good friends. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
Speaking of small block V8s, here’s an early one topped with Rochester mechanical fuel injection, cutaway manifolds, and slick transparent valve covers. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
With a mid-cycle refresh in 1956, the Corvette adopted its signature side scoops that became a hallmark of C1 generation styling. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
This 1961 Vette is going in for “service” in a period-correct gas station mockup display. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
Fun fact, in addition to being the final year of the Corvette’s first generation (C1), 1962 also marked the last time you could get a Corvette with a formal trunk until the C5 showed up in the late 1990s. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
A design that looks futuristic, still today. Behold the 1963 “Split Window” Corvette Sting Ray. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
In addition to side pipes, this particular 1967 Corvette features the coveted L89 heads atop its 427ci big block. All told, it makes close to 490 horsepower. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
1969 marked the Swan Song for the 427 big block, as the 454 was ready to debut in 1970. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
The National Corvette Museum has several clever displays; this factory mockup of a C3 Stingray body getting dropped on the chassis is one of our favorites. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
For its 25th birthday in 1978, the Corvette offered a special Silver Anniversary Collector’s edition. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)

Corvette Race Cars, Rarities & Concepts

This is the legendary Chevrolet Corvette SS XP-64. Built in to compete in the 1957 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race, the SS XP-64 featured a tubular frame, magnesium body, and a 283ci small block Chevy V8. While it didn’t finish the race, the SS XP-64 heralded the Corvette’s presence to the international racing community. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
Short for Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle, the CERV-1 here was used to develop and refine Chevy’s engineering efforts beginning in 1959. Together with Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov (memorialized in the cam-clutching statue), the CERV-1 played a massive role in the evolution of Corvette performance. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)

Arguably one of the most important and valuable Corvette race cars in the museum’s collection, this 1962 Gulf Oil racer was piloted by the legendary “Flying Dentist” Dick Thompson to a 1962 SCCA A/Production championship. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
Ever wonder where the code Z06 came from? It first appeared in 1963 as a race-oriented options package on the then-new Sting Ray. And of course, the museum has one on display. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
There was a large exhibit of custom cars from legendary racer, engineer, and customizer Carl Casper. This is the Turbo Shark—which, believe it or not, began life as a 1964 Sting Ray coupe. Under that signature snout resides a 327 small block with an experimental turbonique monopropellant turbine which boosted output north of 700 horsepower. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
If something looks odd about this 1965 XP-819 Corvette concept, it’s because the engine is in the back! Yup, behind the rear axle rests a 327ci small block connected to a two-speed automatic. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
1968 Astro-Vette concept
If the long nose, tail, smoothie wheels, and fender skirts didn’t give it away, the 1968 Astro-Vette was a rolling aerodynamic design experiment. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
corvette manta ray, styling concept, front quarter
The 1969 Corvette Manta Ray evolved from the earlier 1965 Mako Shark II concept vehicle that inspired C3 Corvette styling. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
Campaigned by Doug Bethke, this 1972 Corvette GT racer won back-to-back 1981 and 1982 GT1 SCCA National Championships. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
On of the more unique cars at the museum is the 1973 XP-897 GT—a mid-engine Corvette concept equipped with a Wankel rotary powerplant. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
Billed as “The World’s Fastest Corvette,” this highly modified 1984 C4 has run over 270 mph on the Bonneville salt. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
At the opposite end of the famed museum rotunda sits a late model Corvette C8 Z06. (Image/OnAllCylinders – Patrick Miller)
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Author: Paul Sakalas

Paul is the editor of OnAllCylinders. When he's not writing, you'll probably find him fixing oil leaks in a Jeep CJ-5 or roof leaks in an old Corvette ragtop. Thanks to a penchant for vintage Honda motorcycles, he spends the rest of his time fiddling with carburetors and cleaning chain lube off his left pant leg.