6.2liter 700HP V8 engine…and hot pink shoes

It’s a common occurrence– two people witness an accident and give wildly different reports to the police.

Apparently the same phenomenon occurs when two people visit a city, a landmark, a museum or a park.  Mark and I look at the same thing have ridiculously different opinions on what was most fascinating.

Case in point, our visit to the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky.


The Corvette assembly line was precision work at its best. Amazingly, in this day of liability issues, Corvette allowed us on the plant floor with no barriers between us and the robots and humans working on the line.

The new aluminum frame is being used is 96 lbs lighter and stronger than any other frame used to date. Many cars were custom order, and got specific attention every station on the assembly line. If it was a performance Corvette or if it was a convertible, it was spelled out for each assembly line point by a document attached to the front of the car.

I was fascinated by the rapid coordination of putting  parts together, especially when the body was lowered to the chassis.  I noticed what look like an over-sized computer fan on the rear driver’s side. I found out that this is a cooling fan for the transmission. Another interesting add-on for the performance cars was what looked like a huge hard drive attached to the front driver’s side. Turns out this part controls the suspension.
 The job i want is the person who gets to start the car for the first time as it comes off the line, then drives it to the testing area…brand new tires squeaking all the way. The Corvette is tested for leaks in a rain room inside the factory and sent onto a track for road tests outside.
 We were not allowed to take cameras (or cell phones) into the plant, so the only photo I have is standing out front with two display cars.
Why oh why in the name of all that’s holy would anyone put a peach-colored roof on a cherry red convertible?  As I stood on the factory floor, wincing from the clashing colors, the woman next to me said, “Boy, they found a way to make it ugly, didn’t they?”
Personally, I am partial to the 1950s original – a shiny white Corvette with a red interior.
I was fascinated by the various jobs on the line, and the fact that at least half the jobs were done by women. My favorite was the gal in hot pink tennis shoes whose job was to close the car door then use  a strait edge to make sure the door was perfectly flush with the body.
The factory missed an opportunity with their gift shop. Lame. But I assume there are more things for Corvette fans to buy at the  National Corvette Museum, located about a mile away. In February, a sinkhole opened up in the middle of that museum and eight vintage Corvettes fell in and were damaged beyond repair.  See video.

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