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Corvette 60th Anniversary to be celebrated at the Petersen

Mon, 04 Feb 2013

On June 30th, 1953, the first Corvette rolled off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan. Sixty years later and half a country away, the Petersen will honor America's fiberglass wonder within its halls on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, with a weekend of activities.

On Friday, March 1st, Corvette fans will get to pose for photos next to Kirk Bennion, the designer of the latest C7 Corvette, as part of a gala dinner with a live auction, speakers like tuner legend Reeves Callaway, and Corvette-themed cocktails. Bennion will talk about how he ditched the round taillights of the Corvette in order to annoy diehard fans (ok, not really) while the members of the panel discussion will answer the evening's theme "What does the Corvette mean to you?"

The next day will be the Corvette Car Day Show, which promises to feature over 500 Corvettes from every generation. Registration is still open! Those who choose to show off their Vettes will, for $60, receive a spot at the show, two free museum passes, and a medallion to commemorate teh occasion. Whether it'll go for big bucks on eBay like the Corvette press kit remains to be seen.

And finally, the Petersen will clear out its halls for some rare Corvettes: EX-122, the first Corvette shown to the public; the 1959 Corvette Italia, a Corvette rendered by lascivious Europeans; the legendary 1963 Grand Sport; and the 1960 CERV I, the first mid-engined Corvette concept and the car that launched a thousand speculative magazine covers. Which still won't happen -- no matter who says so.

Tickets for both days can be bought at the Petersen Auto Museum website or by calling (323) 964-6325. As always, tickets will sell out fast. Turns out, lots of people like Corvettes -- including your humble scribe, who was 10 when the C5 Corvette came out, right around when he was developing an even greater automotive consciousness. If anybody has a C5 Z06 that they need to dispose of for possibly suspicious reasons, you know how to reach me.

And, lastly: don't think that the 60th anniversary is falling to just us Californians, either. Back in Corvette country in Bowling Green, Kentucky, the National Corvette Museum is planning its own affair, far closer to June 30th: its affair will also include car shows, distinguished Corvette alumni and its vast, encompassing exhibits, but will also mark the groundbreaking of its Motorsports Park. Tickets and registration can be fulfilled here. Way to one-up us, guys.

By Blake Z. Rong