Bob McDorman has been in love with cars since he was just a kid.
Now he’s sharing that enthusiasm with the public in a big way.
McDorman, a familiar face in the Corvette world thanks to his nearly half a century as a Chevrolet dealer, opened the Bob McDorman Automotive Museum in Canal Winchester, Ohio on the Fourth of July.
On display is McDorman’s huge collection of Corvettes, other rare cars, and automotive memorabilia.
McDorman celebrated with a ribbon-cutting last week, and the new museum opened to the public on Friday the 4th. Regular hours will be 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and veterans, and free for children 12 and under.
“This is something I’ve dreamed of building all my life,” McDorman said. “In 2015, I’ll have my 50 years in as a Chevy dealer and retire from that officially, but I’ll keep my dealer license and we’ll have four or five classic cars here on consignment, along with the 38 permanent cars in there.”
You may remember that McDorman sold some of his auto collection a few years ago to help keep his car dealership going, including several “celebrity Corvettes” owned by John Mellencamp, George Strait, Dolly Parton, and Dina Shore, for example. Now, he’s in the process of searching for some more Corvettes to join the museum collection.
Among the special Corvettes already there are a 1978 Indy 500 Pace Car with the serial number 003; a 1978 25th anniversary edition; a 1988 35th anniversary edition; and a 1963 split-window Stingray.
An antique service station previously displayed at his dealership has been relocated to the museum, which also will be the new home of McDorman’s large collection of model cars, neon signs, vintage gas station items, dealership items and vintage bicycles, along with awards and press recognition he has received over the years.
Local officials are excited about the museum and what it will mean to the community.
“I think this is one of the top three most-anticipated construction, ribbon-cutting, grand opening, projects in Canal Winchester since Diley Ridge Medical Center and the first phase of the high school was constructed with a new gymnasium back in the mid-1970s,” Mayor Michael Ebert said.
“Bob’s museum has created quite a bit of conversation within the city and it should bring a new, interested group of visitors to our downtown, which will be good for any business that wants to join in and enjoy the exciting times in Canal Winchester.”
McDorman, who was inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame in 2012, is just glad to share his good fortune with others.
“I’ve been car-crazy since I was a kid, playing with my toy cars and trucks on our gravel driveway,” McDorman said. “Sometimes those cars would get run over, and to this day, I still remember how I felt — that crushing those cars was like crushing my heart.”
The original article says that the first 1978 Indy 500 Pace Car VIN 001 is in Bob McDorman’s collection. McDorman actually says in the video that he has the first retail version of the car, VIN 003. The VIN 001 pace car is in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s museum.
Photo Credit: JOSHUA A. BICKEL/THISWEEKNEWS
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