Day at the Museum

When Hank Kieller ordered his ’09 ZR1, he put a check mark next to option R8C, which meant he would take delivery at the National Corvette Museum and visit the assembly plant in which it was made.

March 16, 2010

Also from Issue 57

  • Mallett twin-turbo C6 Z06
  • The Best Corvette Values
  • 1977 coupe
  • Emissions control primer
  • NCRS judging: 1967 big-block coupe
  • NCM Motorsports Park
  • Corvette SS debut at 1957 Sebring
  • 1961 Pro Stock drag car
  • The Vivas collection
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Over the last 20 years, New Jersey resident Hank Kieller has owned a lot of special Corvettes, including a ’61 Fuelie, a ’65 convertible and an ’03 Z06. Two of his Corvettes—a ’59 roadster and a ’70 LT1—have earned the National Corvette Restorers Society’s coveted Duntov Mark of Excellence award; he’s held onto those. Still, when he retired recently, Kieller decided to treat himself to something really special: a new ZR1.

Viewing this purchase as a, in his words, “last hurrah”of sorts, Kieller decided to “do everything.” He added to the ZR1’s $103,970 MSRP by ordering the $10,000 3ZR Premium Equipment Group option, which includes navigation and a full-leather interior, and a set of polished wheels for an extra $2,000. He also added Corvette Museum Delivery to the tally. Though it costs a mere $490, option R8C was a weighty one in Kieller’s mind. He’d never visited the National Corvette Museum (NCM) nor the Corvette Assembly Plant, so the idea of finally seeing both in conjunction with picking up his brand-new 638-horsepower Corvette was mighty appealing.

Beyond Museum delivery, Kieller also ordered a Corvette Photo Album from the NCM. Costing $500, this album chronicles the assembly of a customer’s Corvette, and includes a letter of authenticity, as well as a letter from the Bowling Green Plant Manager and the NCM’s Executive Director.

Kieller was going whole hog on this one.

When Kieller placed his order in March of ’09, he was given a May delivery date. This rapid turnaround was the result of there being a Jetstream Blue ZR1 with his desired options already in the works. But then Kieller changed his mind on the paint scheme. “I’ve always gone for odd colors,” he says. “The saying ‘all Corvettes are red” is not for me.” In this case, blue was a little too “red” for his taste—he thought it would be the popular choice—and he decided that Cyber Grey better suited his offbeat tastes. This decision pushed back the estimated delivery time to July.