My 2003 50th Anniversary Edition Corvette Coupe/6 speed Manual Trans.
The 50th AE (Anniversary Edition) Corvette
In 1953 the first Corvette was produced and to commemorate 50 years asTHE American sports car, Chevrolet developed a limited production 50th Anniversary Edition Corvette. There were very few options to choose from as this special edition came loaded. All AE's are Anniversary Red with two tone shale interior, champagne colored wheels and 50th anniversary badging on the exterior fenders and interior embroidered head rests and floor mats. You had a choice of convertible or coupe and automatic or 6 speed manual transmission. Head up display, power seats, telescopic and tilt steering wheel, cruise control, driver and passenger climate control and too many other goodies to mention. New to this special Corvette is the magnetic select ride suspension. With the turn of a knob you can go from a soft gentle ride, in the touring mode, to a tight, locked down road hugging ride in sport mode. Truly all the comfort you would expect from a luxury car coupled with the power and performance of a great American made sports car.
1953 Chevrolet Corvette
The Dream ...
I ordered my 2003 50th Anniversary Edition Corvette on July 18th, 2002 from a local dealer. At the time, these cars were being sold on an allotment basis to dealers. Limited numbers of the Anniversary Edition were being built. I would not find out until mid December that my car had been accepted into production. In the meantime I had found out, through the 50th Anniversary Corvette Registry Forum, that you could make arrangements to go to Bowling Green and watch and partake in the manufacturing of your Corvette. I contacted Bob Breeding, Customer Contact Manager at the Corvette plant, now retired, and made arrangements to spend time on the assembly line with my new AE (Anniversary Edition).
On January 21, 2003 I first caught up with my AE as it came out of the trim line. At that point it is just the interior shell with no chassis or motor. The assembly line at the factory is a constantly moving line traveling at a speed of 1/2 mile an hour. The workers assemble their parts of the car as it moves along and continues to the next assembly bay. If the line has to be stopped it effects the entire assembly line. After leaving the trim area the cars go up into an overhead area. Later in the process the car, with most all of the body parts attached, will descend from the overhead area to marry up to the chassis and motor assembly that is traveling along on the lower track. Once this marriage has taken place, the exhaust system and other under carriage parts as well as the wheels are attached. This is where I caught up with my AE on January 22 with Bob Breeding. Bob knew exactly what time the car would reach "first start". This is where the key gets turned for the very first time and the engine comes to life. Bob wanted to be sure that I got to do "first start" on my own AE. We arrived in time for me to put in the 6.2 gallons of gasoline and all the other operating fluids. Then it was time to climb in behind the wheel and give the key a turn. Wow, what a feeling! The event is topped off with the presentation of a personalized birth certificate presented to you on the spot. We stayed with the car through the remaining process and to the point where the wheels touch ground for the first time. Prior to this point the car has been suspended off of the ground. Once it touches down it goes through the final quality control checks as it rides along on a conveyer belt. On January 22, 2003 at 8:39 a.m. My new AE was born! That is the moment when it comes off the line, goes through final testing and adjustments, goes to the test track and then heads off to sit and wait to be delivered either to a dealership, or as in my case, to the National Corvette Museum where I would be taking delivery in two weeks. The Museum is just across the street from the factory. What an experience to see and take part in my new AE coming to life. The workers at the factory enjoy their job and take pride in their workmanship.
They made my day a very special and memorable one. Now I would have to go back home and count the days until I could return to take delivery and drive my new AE back to Phoenix.
The following photos are a sequence of events that led up to the realization of a dream.
Corvette Factory - Bowling Green, Kentucky
January 22, 2003
Putting in the 6.2 gallons of gas and other fluids.
"First Engine Start"
End of line final quality control inspection.
Myself and Bob Breeding, Customer Contact Manager and the nicest guy you could ever want to meet.
A car is born. January 22, 2003 @ 8:39 a.m.
Delivery Day - National Corvette Museum - Bowling Green, Kentucky
February 7, 2003
Why Museum delivery? Many reasons not the least of which is that it is one of the most memorable experiences that you can have. Your new Corvette, be it a Anniversary Edition, Z06 or what ever model you purchase will be treated with care from the moment it arrives until the moment you drive it away. The staff at the Museum will treat you to a day of experiences that you will never forget. It starts off with a personal tour of the Corvette Factory.
This is how the Corvette factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky greets the new owners of the Chevrolet Corvette.
After you take delivery you can bring your new car to the factory to get photos with your name up in lights in the background.
After the factory tour, you return to the Museum for a museum tour and finally, an orientation of the features of your new Corvette.
My wife Jan, myself and expert Corvette Museum delivery guide Tony Petro go over every feature of the new AE.
Those that could not be there for the fun could view the delivery on real time web cam via the internet. My parents watched from home and my mother captured many photos of the delivery on her computer.
Getting the AE ready to leave the Museum. Bob Breeding, Myself and Tony Petro waving to my mother and father on the web cam as I talk to them on my cell phone and she records these photos. Isn't technology great!!!
Jan and I freezing our butts off while trying not to show it for this photo.
Packing up and driving off. Temperature was about 28 degrees and it was snowing. Not exactly ideal conditions for driving a new car home. The forecast for the rest of the trip did not look promising either!
This is the first night trying to get out of the snow. We dodged all the bad weather and had a great trip. You can see the head up display in the second photo. It displays speed, tachometer and gas gauge right on your windshield. Very cool gadget. You never have to look down to check your gas or your speed.
Back In Arizona. Warmth, sunshine!!
In the garage........then
More Photos
Shale colored interior with 50th embroidered emblems.
Click here to see Modifications I have made.
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"Installing Headlight Cover"
Snap-on 50th Anniversary Corvette Tool Box and Race Deck Flooring
Hydraulic 4 post car lift - in the garage.
Hydraulic 4 post car lift - outside the garage.
and now!