60th Corvette Anniversary Rocks the Petersen Automotive Museum

Petersen’s 60th Corvette Anniversary event featured the West Coast debut of the Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray at the Gala Friday evening. The C7 was unveiled to great applause by lead designer John Kirk Bennion.

Mike Yager with 1964 Chevrolet Corvette New York World’s Fair Show Car

For the Corvette diehards, several seminars were hosted on the top floor. First lively topic was on the value of Corvettes in today’s market and as an investment. The panel discussion moderated by Bill Stephens included speakers Rob Sass (Hagerty Insurance); John Kraman, (Mecum Auctions); Mike Yager (Mid America Motorworks); and (Corvette Mike) Vietro.

Bill Stephens Corvette Racers Panel Moderator

The racing panel discussed the Corvette’s illustrious motorsports history. Moderated by Bill Stephens the session featured several iconic figures from Corvette racing history including drivers Dick Guldstrand, Tony Delorenzo, Bill Krause, Paul Reinhart, Joe Freitas, Doug Fehan and Reeves Callaway.

Saturday saw over 350 Corvette owners covering several levels of parking garage at the Petersen Automotive Museum, where the public was allowed to roam and indulge in the passionate ‘vettemosphere. The big tent hosted Corvette collectibles, products, parts, books, posters and the like. The Museum itself was filled to the brim with Corvette enthusiasts of all ages.

A Corvette restoration seminar covered restoration tips and techniques from Jeff Reade (NCRS judge and Owner of American Motoring Memories) and Ken and Gary Nabers of (NCRS judges and restorers with Nabers Motors).

The 60th Corvette Anniversary exhibit is on display until the end of March, featuring the rarest examples of each generation including the very first Corvette “EX-122” which debuted at the GM Motorama in 1953, a 1963 Grand Sport and a 1968 “Sundowner” Bonneville Racer. Cars on hand were driven by famous racers including Dick Doane, John Mecom, Alan Sevadjian, Auggie Pabst, Jim Hall, A.J. Foyt and John Cannon.

Sponsors of the event included Mid America Motorworks, Hagerty Collector Car Insurance, Corvette Mike, Intercity Lines and Fender Guitar. Proceeds from the Corvette Anniversary activities go toward supporting the Petersen Automotive Museum’s educational programming.

Also now exhibiting at the Petersen until Feb 2014 – FINS: Form Without Function. These are cars from all eras bearing the mark of the designers’ peaked pens. www.petersen.org

by Randy Berg

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