What Would Abe Think?

The National Corvette Museum and the plant where the Corvette is built are in Bowling Green right off Interstate 65 in south-central Kentucky. Much or all of that section of the interstate is known as the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Expressway. I couldn’t help wondering what Lincoln would think of modern America, of car culture and Corvette Caravans, and of modern inventions. By the way, Lincoln was born in Kentucky and lived there until his family moved to Indiana when the future President was seven.

I also couldn’t help wondering what Lincoln would think of today’s political landscape. In my opinion, and I am not an expert historian, the US is more divided politically (and socially) than at any other time since before the Civil War. I do not think that massive armies will engage in battle to determine the future of the nation. I do think, however, that it is likely that at some point the people of say, North Dakota, will decide they no longer want to be in the same country as say, California, or vice versa.

Countries, like everything else, are subject to entropy. Does Czechoslovakia still exist? What about the Roman Empire? Nothing guarantees that the United States will remain in its current configuration forever. While I won’t live to see it, I think the US will not exist in its current form 50 or 100 years from now.

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A picture I took while my wonderful wife was driving through West Virginia on the way back from Bowling Green. Both of us were taken by the physical beauty of the state. It is sad to me that West Virginia has had so many economic struggles. In both chained and current dollars the state ranks 48th in the nation in per capita GDP.

I can’t help think that tourism could be a way to boost the West Virginia economy. We stayed at a beautiful resort in Roanoke, West Virginia on the way to Bowling Green for three days, a property complete with restaurants, magnificent views and a top-notch golf course, apparently. (I am not a golfer.)

Oh, I want the anti-performance car crowd to choke on this: on the 300+ mile drive from Bowling Green to Charleston, West Virginia, my wonderful wife’s 2018 Corvette made 29 MPG at an average speed of 66 MPH. (Most of the interstates in this area have a 70 MPH speed limit.) So, a car that will accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in less than four seconds, that can reach a top speed of 190 MPH and that can pull more than 1G on a skidpad made almost 30 MPG on the highway.

Someone with a “lighter” foot may have made 30+ MPG. In fact, one of the many items that the Corvette’s driver display can show is a summary of gas mileage for the last 50 miles. During one of those stretches the best mileage recorded was almost 34 MPG although I admit I do not know over how long a stretch because the display also showed an average mileage in the 20s in the same 50 miles.

 

 

A picture of the aforementioned 2018 Corvette convertible.

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OK, so how were the Corvette Museum and the Corvette Caravan? First, I want to thank the members of the local Caravan who were so welcoming to us. We are not members of the local Corvette Club, but we were treated very warmly.

The biggest thing that stuck with me is that if the throngs surrounding the new C8 Corvettes are any indication, the car will sell like crazy. Here is one picture I managed to take without crowds:

 

 

In person I think the C8 is stunning. Chevrolet is going to have two shifts producing the car, a sign the company expects it to sell well, but C8 production will not start before December.

One of the top Chevrolet salesmen in the US spoke to our caravan at a dinner. He said he believes the car will sell very well based on the number of deposits he has already received. He also said that Chevrolet is gearing up for a minimum 2020 run of 40,000 cars. The last Corvette year with sales that high was 2016; that was also based on a normal length model year production run beginning in August/September of 2015. The 2020 model year may be short for the Corvette even if it starts in December and not in January.

After the dinner I approached this salesman (thank you, Mike) and asked if the new Global B electrical architecture was a 48-volt system. He confirmed that it was. The Corvette will be the first General Motors car to have the new system, but all GM cars will have it by model year 2023.

OK, I’ve run on quite long. If anyone has any specific questions about Bowling Green or anything else, please feel free to ask. I am probably not finished with the Caravan and Museum as a topic for blog posts.

 

#AbrahamLincoln

#WestVirginia

#2018ChevroletCorvetteConvertible

#C8Corvette

#2019CorvetteCaravan

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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4 thoughts on “What Would Abe Think?

  1. I hate that in that part of the world, the same name will be used for cities in different states just miles from each other. I covered Virginia and kept getting screamed at for not seeing a doc in this town. I kept saying that this guy wasn’t in my territory, and it wasn’t until we looked up his license that we realized that he lived and worked in the SAME TOWN, but in two different states!!!
    The good people of West Virginia will need to decide if they want to hang onto coal or develop other sources for economic sustenance.

    Like

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