Day at the Museum

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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As July approached, “I kept getting more anxious,” says Kieller. He made some calls to try and find out when his car would be ready, but the NCM stuck to its procedure, which is to call the dealer or the owner two weeks prior to the Target Production Week. At that point, an exact delivery date is established. Plant closures delayed the assembly of Kieller’s Corvette, but he eventually did get the call: August 5 would be the day.

Kieller’s plan was to come out to Bowling Green a week early and see his ZR1 actually being built—another facet of his going all out on this purchase. But plans quickly changed when his daughter’s pregnancy encountered some difficulty; he stayed put in New Jersey. When his daughter’s situation improved, Kieller flew to Nashville on August 4. As it turns out, his granddaughter was born that same day—safely, if a bit early.

The next morning, Kieller made his way to Bowling Green for another delivery. Fittingly enough, upon entering the museum at 9 a.m., he was greeted by a sign reading “Welcome to the Nursery.” And there, roped off from prying fingertips just like the other exhibits in the museum, was his ZR1—resplendent in Cyber Grey, its wheels shining brightly. After being given a few moment to ogle his car, Kieller was whisked away to the Corvette Assembly Plant, located just across the street from the museum. He was given his own VIP tour of the facility by the NCM Delivery Team, and came away deeply impressed by the sophistication of the plant’s machinery. “I’m amazed at how the car is put together,” he says.

Kieller enjoyed his private tour of the museum, as well, but this special day really kicked into gear when the actual delivery procedure began. Once a final quality check was completed, Kieller was given a thorough orientation of the vehicle’s systems. At this point, a unique gold decal was placed on the inside of the driver’s door jamb, something that only Museum Delivery cars receive. A plaque commemorating the occasion was sent to Kieller shortly after his visit, and photos were taken to add to his album.

It was early in the afternoon, and the time had finally come for Kieller to drive his ZR1 home. He wasted no time in putting it to the test: “I got it up to 100 mph on the service road outside of the museum!” A 12-hour, 800-mile drive back to New Jersey lay ahead, and this new owner was in heaven.