In its early days, the National Corvette Museum (NCM) in Detroit was a mere two-person operation with a tiny budget and limited resources.
But thanks to the efforts of its founders, now an estimated 50,000 corvettes are on display in a museum complex on the site of the former Chrysler Building, which was demolished to make way for the Pontiac Motor Company in 1985.
“We had a big plan, but it was only just coming together,” NCM director Michael Hickey told the Detroit News.
“It’s been a long journey and we’ve come a long way.”
The NCM is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, meaning it can accept donations from individuals and corporations.
Hickey is the son of an auto executive who made the jump from a high-paying corporate job to running a museum.
He says that’s the best way to build an institution, especially one that serves the nation’s veterans.
“The public’s interest and the interest of the military is paramount,” he told the newspaper.
“You don’t need to be a billionaire to fund this.”
The museum is currently in its eighth year of operation and hosts a variety of activities, including a “Star Wars” themed event, a “Toy Story”-themed exhibit, a science museum, a vintage cars museum, and a museum of history.
There’s even a museum dedicated to the “Cars” franchise, which has been a huge hit for Disney.
“There’s a huge number of great cars, cars that are classic, classic cars, and you can go and see a few of them and enjoy them,” Hickey said.
“And then you can buy a Corvette, which is a great deal, but that’s just not the whole package.”