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Wendell 's Wheels

They Still Make Storybook Endings In Bowling Green, Kentucky

Andrew Bolig Oct 1, 2000

Step By Step

The old saying plays true time and time again: “Everyone has new shoes except for the shoe cobbler’s kids.” That seems to be the case in more areas than shoes. Take, for instance, the executive director of the National Corvette Museum, Wendell Strode. He oversees the daily workings of the Corvette Museum located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, just a stone’s throw away from where GM builds all those shiny new C5s. Since Wendell keeps busy tending to the place dedicated to the heritage of the Corvette, he’d not yet had the pleasure of having a Corvette to drive on a daily basis. Wendell had been content to care for and enjoy the many Corvettes in the Museum as if they were his own, but there probably were times that he might have sighed a little sigh and wished for the day when he could feel the thrill of driving a Corvette.

It’s one thing to feel the exhilaration of a dream realized; it’s something else altogether to have that realization blind-side you in front of about 900 people. That’s exactly what happened at the 3rd Annual C5 Birthday Bash’s Museum fundraiser dinner. The circumstances that led up to Wendell’s new wheels is a story in itself. That weekend, Wendell was asked to be a celebrity judge. His choice was a Magnetic Red convertible with an oak interior and top. He chose this configuration because, in his own words, “I picked what I would order for my first Corvette if I were ordering today.”

One man’s dream tugged on the strings of another man’s heart, and Bob McDorman of Bob McDorman Chevrolet in Columbus, Ohio, made it known that he had an announcement to make. In true storybook form, Mr. McDorman had driven from his dealership a Corvette with the very same color configuration that Wendell had just professed a love for. Bob said he believed “The Museum needs the car that represents what it stands for…”

It was at this point that he told those in attendance that he would be leaving the Magnetic Red Metallic 2000 convertible in the Museum’s care for the use of the executive director, Wendell Strode! The transaction was made official the following day in front of the Museum when Bob McDorman handed over the keys to an elated Wendell and his wife, Jan. It’s easy to agree with Bob that someone who’s entrusted with the responsibility of preserving so much Corvette history should also have the opportunity to make Corvette history in this present time. Enjoy your new wheels, Mr. Strode.

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