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BOWLING GREEN — All roads lead to Bowling Green.

That’s the motto thousands of Corvette enthusiasts followed to unite at the home of the iconic American sports car in Bowling Green, Kentucky, for the 6th National Corvette Caravan.

Glenn Beyerl of Raleigh, North Carolina, drove 575 miles in his red 2011 Corvette to attend the event with friends.

“We drove straight through,” said Beyerl. “This is my first time here, but it won’t be my last.”

The weekend festivities marked the 25th anniversary of the National Corvette Museum, which is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to a single model car.

Beyerl told the story of how he fell in love with the Corvette at a young age.

“I was 9 or 10 years old and my uncle had a red 1964 Corvette,” Beyerl said. “He would take me for a ride and I’ve been crazy about them ever since.”

Like Beyerl, many Corvette fans can recall the moment they remember seeing their first Corvette or what attracted them to the car.

“We like to call that imprinting,” said Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter. “Those first memories of the car can last a lifetime.”

Juechter is just the fifth chief engineer in the cars history. He joined team Corvette in 1993.

Charles Megowan is captain of the Southwest Section of the caravan. He spent seven days on the road, driving 2,500 miles from Pasadena, California to Bowling Green in his 2016 Long Beach Red Corvette coupe.

“I’ve always wanted a Corvette since I was a kid,” said Megowan. “I loved the look; it has always been a distinct car to me. The power, it is just the perfect car and it’s fantastic to own one.”

Chevrolet debuted the Corvette in 1953. It has since become America’s longest-running, continuously produced passenger car. Since 1981, the Corvette has been built exclusively at the GM Bowling Green Assembly Plant, which is located across the street from the National Corvette Museum.

The all-new 2020 Corvette Stingray marks the eighth generation of ‘America’s Sports Car.’ It will be the first Corvette to feature a mid-engine layout, which places the motor behind the passenger compartment.

Chevrolet announced the 2020 Corvette will do 0-60 in under three seconds and has a starting price below $60,000.

“This is a once in a lifetime dream,” said Juechter when asked about the C8 Corvette. “To keep all the things Corvette is known for while also having the new mid-engine platform.”

Megowan said he had the opportunity to check out the all-new Corvette at the event.

“I really like the C8,” said Megowan. “I think they did a really good job with it.”

Corvette Product Marketing Manager Harlan Charles said one goal Corvette has always strived for is to make a dream car attainable.

“This is one of the most exciting times in the history of Corvette,” said Charles when asked about the C8 Corvette. “I’m looking forward to customers getting their cars.”

The National Corvette Caravan occurs every five years. Regional caravans form and join other caravans as they travel across the United States.

A large contingent stopped at the Cape Girardeau riverfront on Tuesday night.

“It was absolutely unbelievable in Cape,” said Megowan. “It was a great atmosphere and I can’t compliment them enough.”

Special seminars and touring sessions took place throughout the weekend. In addition, participants could find plenty of vendors on hand with product demonstrations.

One of the most popular attractions was the C8 Corvette. Chevrolet had a mobile showroom on hand to show off the options and colors that will be available for 2020. Those on hand could even sit in the all-new Corvette.

“We want the Corvette to be here for generations to come,” said Juechter.

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Copy editor

Shawn Anglin is a sports clerk for The Southern Illinoisan. He also blogs about cars at thesouthern.com/blogs/idlethoughts.

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