Editor’s note: If you are ordering a C5 and are considering taking Museum Delivery
(RPO: R8C), you will enjoy the following article from Pat McInerney (C5R# W0178).
If you have not considered picking up your
C5 there, it is a definite must read!

A Magical Memory for my Wife and Myself

I ordered my C5 sight unseen on February 14, 1997, for delivery at the National Corvette Museum. After GM and the NCM finally agreed to a delivery contract and questions about my top and memory package were resolved, I was given a ‘probable’ delivery date of June. Most of July passed before my dealer finally admitted that my ’97 would be a ’98 with an unknown future delivery. I could see the good driving weather from Bowling Green dwindling rapidly…..

I wrote to John G. Middlebrook, GM General Manager, Chevrolet Division, with copies to the assembly plant and my dealer. I was disappointed at not receiving a letter from Middlebrook, but after two weeks did receive a call from the Atlanta office advising me that my order was now about to be processed. (I am convinced that writing that letter rescued my C5 from GM limbo-land.)

Then I received a letter from Sherry Myers of the NCM staff advising me that my C5 would be at the Museum on October 3, 1997. I called to confirm and chose a 9:00 AM appointment to receive my C5. Shortly thereafter I received an information packet on Bowling Green, the assembly plant, hotels, restaurants etc.

National Car Rental has an agreement with the Museum for individuals taking C5 delivery to leave their rental car there – so that’s what my wife Doris Mae and I did. We stayed at the Country Hearth Inn, which is a stone’s throw from the Museum, and just around the corner from the Assembly Plant.

October third’s weather was as warm as our greeting from the Museum’s staff! Ryan Alexander was our personal tour guide at this wonderful tribute to ‘America’s Sports Car’. Rounding the final corner on the tour, I noticed a beautiful Silver C5 Coupe on display. I remarked to Doris Mae that here is a coupe "like the one we are getting". Only then did I notice the sign at the rear of the car – "Congratulations!! Patrick and Doris Mae McInerneyOwners of a New 1998 Silver Corvette Coupe – Corvette Museum Delivery Participants"

What a wonderful feeling! There were many museum visitors in the area so there were smiles and well wishes all around. Now it was my turn. They retracted the cordon allowing me to sit in my C5 for the first time! All eyes were on me as I maneuvered my Corvette out of its place of honor. I certainly didn’t want to hit anything! Ryan assisted me in setting the seat and mirror memory and gave us the Owner’s Package. With that the overhead door opened and we were on our way to the real world!

Following lunch we went to the assembly plant. Having just received my C5 made the plant tour all the more exciting. The mechanical precision of this all but fully automated assembly line was awe-inspiring. My biggest kick came at the test stand. Each C5 is driven onto the Dyno where sensors monitor all aspects (rapid acceleration, instant braking, steering response and much more) of its performance - rating it ‘Pass or Fail’. I was grateful not to have witnessed my Vette’s test – much too brutal!

We enjoyed the museum in detail throughout the afternoon. Following a trip to the well-appointed gift shop, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner with a fine bottle of wine to celebrate!

Saturday we found nearly every secondary road between Bowling Green and Sarasota, Florida. We had beautiful weather for all 850 miles. Traffic was light – the perfect way to break-in car and driver and to experience all the driving thrills brought about by the eight years of improvements from that of my old ’90 Red Coupe.