Ivan and Mary Schrodt of Sherwood, Wisconsin made headlines in the Corvette world recently when they donated five Corvettes to the National Corvette Museum (NCM) The five included one Corvette from each of generations C2 through C6 and initially were to be included in the Schrodts very generous gift to the NCM as part of their estate. However, after their first trip to the NCM Motorsports Park during the 2014 Labor Day Celebration, they had a change of heart.
Lifetime Car Lovers
Ivan and Mary Schrodt were car people from the get-go sharing their mutual love of fun cars. Sports cars of all kinds found places in their garage and in their hearts. Camaros, Datsuns, MR2s and the like came and went over the years, but for some reason, they never owned a Corvette. That situation soon changed and when it did it altered the direction of their lives.
After donating their MR2 to charity, they were looking around for their next car. Ivan recalls, “We were without a fun car and looking for something new. We were thinking that maybe a convertible would be good this time as it had been awhile since we had one of those.” Mary took the initiative and made an offer on a 1996 Polo Green Corvette convertible. “That was our first Corvette. Mary loved that car and it is one of the ones we donated to the Museum.” Ivan remembers.
The Schrodts Embrace the Corvette Lifestyle
“We almost immediately joined Valley Vettes Corvette Club out of Appleton, Wisconsin—a great group of folks that we are still a part of today. Shortly after that we attended a C5 Bash and became members of the National Corvette Museum.” As the Schrodts came to know the museum staff and interact with the museum family and other enthusiasts, their commitment to the NCM grew. Ivan served on the Board of Directors and they became lifetime members as well as Duntov Society Members, making the NCM part of their estate planning.
As their love of Corvettes grew, so did their collection. When they decided to donate their cars to the NCM, the collection included:
- 1966 Rally Red convertible
- 1980 Dark Blue coupe
- 1996 Polo Green convertible
- 2002 Millennium Yellow Z06 coupe
- 2007 Black Z06 coupe
National Corvette Museum Donations
When the Schrodts got on the NCM Motorsports Park track for the first time during the 2014 Labor Day Celebration, they decided to change their donation plans. “I got to thinking that instead of waiting years before making the donation, we’ve got two cars that could be put to good use now by the National Corvette Museum on this track. The cars would be where they belong. While a lot of people donate their cars to be preserved and rightfully so for their history, those two cars were donated to be used up.” He says with a grin, “We hope they get a lot of track miles and give a lot of track smiles.”
We think that it’s a fair statement to say that most Corvette donors to the NCM do so with the thought that their pride and joy will live its life indoors out of the elements and be pampered by the museum staff, while being enjoyed by the thousands of museum visitors. That will certainly be true of the Schrodts 1966 and 1996 convertibles, and their 1980 coupe. But, not only will the 2002 and 2007 Z06s be delivering smiles to their drivers at the track, we think that deep down inside, the cars will be also be smiling because they will be doing what they were designed to do—going fast.