They say that necessity is the mother of invention.
Corvette Central founder and CEO Jerry Kohn would probably agree with that.
Back in the 1970s, Kohn was a tool & die specialist and a Corvette enthusiast from Michigan who was looking for much-needed parts for a 1958 Corvette. It didn’t take long for him to discover that the parts he needed were either not available, poorly made, or overpriced.
He decided to make his own reproduction parts: grille teeth for 1953-60 Corvettes. He carried them to a Corvette show in Illinois in October 1974 and soon found many of his fellow enthusiasts were eager to buy them, too.
From that humble beginning has grown Corvette Central, which today has 80 employees and manufactures more than 3,000 parts at its facility in Sawyer, Michigan. The company now offers more than 50,000 parts and accessories that are displayed in six generation-specific parts catalogs as well as an accessory catalog that features gifts and accessories for every year Corvette, with more than 1,000 full-color pages in all the books combined.
For his help in nurturing the Corvette hobby into what it is today, Kohn will be inducted into Bloomington Gold’s Great Hall this weekend.
According to Bloomington Gold’s announcement: “The 50 people and 50 cars that played the most significant roles in the Corvette phenomenon are being selected for introduction into the Great Hall between 2010-2014. Each year 10 people and 10 Corvettes are featured at the annual Bloomington Gold event in June. ”
The Great Hall’s intent is to salute the pioneers of our hobby – the people, organizations, and the cars that helped create the phenomenon we know and love today. It’s their passion and drive that helped grow the hobby for all of us.
Besides Kohn, the 2012 Great Hall honorees are John Amgwert, writer, historian, NCRS founding member; Jerry Burton, writer/historian; Richard Buxbaum, dealer/enthusiast; John Fitch, racing, 1960 Lemans winner; Kevin Mackay, restorer; Dave McLellan, retired Corvette chief engineer; Jerome Shinkay, collector/enthusiast; Corvette Expo, organization/show; and National Council of Corvette Clubs, organization.
Bloomington Gold will be held Thursday, June 21 through Sunday, June 24.
For more information on Corvette Central, please visit www.corvettecentral.com