It may be just another year for some, but to Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Chevrolet, 2023 is gearing up to be a great one. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Corvette, which also makes 2023 a monumental milestone for gearheads, auto enthusiasts and the people of Bowling Green.
This achievement isn’t to be taken lightly. The Corvette is the longest-running nameplate amid the current auto industry. Given the changes in technology and demands over the past 70 years, this is quite the feat. Somehow, decades later, this car has evolved to keep up with the times and it continues to be one of the country’s most iconic rides. With that evolution has come a sort of exclusivity: There is no other car like the Corvette.
And there is no other place a Corvette is made other than Bowling Green. With the only Corvette manufacturing plant in the entire world, the third-largest city in Kentucky offers Corvette experiences that can’t be found anywhere else. Thankfully, this destination is an easy drive (in your Corvette or otherwise) from several major U.S. cities, including Nashville, Louisville and Indianapolis. So get on the road and let’s take Bowling Green for a quick test drive …
To get a closer look at the latest generation of the Corvette (and maybe even some behind-the-scenes glimpses of Chevy’s special 70th anniversary Corvette), head to the one-of-a-kind GM Corvette Assembly Plant. Though it wasn’t around in 1953, when the C1 Corvette first drove onto the scene (back when gas was 28 cents a gallon, if you really want to feel old), this plant has churned out more than 1 million Corvettes since its opening in 1981. Public tours of the plant just resumed at the end of 2022, following a five-year hiatus. Guests embark on a one-mile walking tour through the facility, watching as America’s favorite sports car is built from the ground up.
Seeing as it’s home to the Corvette, it only makes sense that Bowling Green is where the National Corvette Museum is parked. Comprised of the Corvette Hall of Fame, a Nostalgia Gallery and several other permanent and rotating exhibits, the museum brings brand new experiences with both unique and classic Corvettes. Of course, you can see one of the first-generation Corvettes year-round in the museum, but in honor of National Corvette Day on June 30, the museum will unveil its “Corvette’s 70th Anniversary” exhibit, showcasing all eight generations of this popular sports car in one place.
After learning about Corvettes and being in places where you can just look but not touch, it’s understandable if you’re revving to get into a Corvette yourself. NCM Motorsports Park can make that dream come true! Here, eager participants can partake in one of the many Corvette experiences, whether that means doing touring laps in a C7 or C8, or taking part in a driving school where an instructor provides all you need to know before letting you loose on the track.
All this adrenaline certainly exhausts you and drives up your appetite, so you’ll want to stop at the museum’s Stingray Grill to fuel up on burgers, salads and sandwiches … with cake for dessert, of course!
If you’re pedal-to-the-metal and want to race to all the other car-centric activities in Bowling Green, be sure to check out the historic 1921 Standard Oil Station, Beech Bend Raceway and – for the kids and kids-at-heart – bumper cars at the seasonal Beech Bend Amusement Park.
If you’re all about the year of the Corvette and want to plan a visit that’s geared for fun or learn more about what makes Bowling Green a wheel-y good trip for every kind of car enthusiast, visit https://www.visitbgky.com/.