Ken and Susan Parr and their family have created lots of memories with their 2003 Corvette over the past 18 years.
Now visitors to the National Corvette Museum will be able to create some memories of their own with the black C5 convertible, thanks to the Parrs’ generosity.
After an injury made it tough for Ken to get in and out of the car, he decided donating it to the NCM was the right thing to do.
“When I stop and think about it, I’ve not been in the car since 2015. It’s not that I’ll never be able to get in it. Maybe I could flop in, but I’d never be able to get out,” he says. “We’ve had a lot of fun in that car, but as we get older and I can’t get in it, it doesn’t need to just sit around.”
After his daughter graduated from college in May of 2002, Ken ordered the Corvette in July that summer, it was built at Bowling Green ironically enough on the couple’s anniversary (Aug. 14), and they picked it up at the NCM on Sept. 2.
They quickly began making memories in their Corvette, including a NASCAR-themed trip with the Museum, the 50th Anniversary of Corvette event, multiple trips to the Museum, traversing Lake Erie and a trek down Route 66. Despite the limited trunk space of the C5 convertible, they still were able to buy things along the way and just shipped them back home – twice!
“We have seven grandkids that have enjoyed it, too,” Ken says of the Corvette.”We’ve taken them all for rides here and there, and I think one or two of them rode in a parade with me. My son has driven it a few times, and a friend took their granddaughter in it for a parade last September.”
Since Ken served in the 101st Airborne in Vietnam, the last three numbers of the VIN of his Corvette are appropriately enough 101. He’s also got a 101st Screaming Eagles decal on the windshield and one on his Bronze Star recipient license plate.
A July 2019 visit to the Museum inspired Ken’s donation.
“I was on my way to a military reunion in Nashville and stopped by the Museum for lunch and shopping,” Ken recalls. “That got the wheels rolling and I thought what a nice gift my car could be. I called my wife and told her ‘by the way, I bought two Corvettes’ and she said, ‘it better darn well fit in my purse!’ It was two Lego Corvette models for our grandsons.”
The Corvette arrived at the Museum on May 29, and officials there expressed appreciation to the Parrs for their generous donation – and to Ken for his service in the military.
“We’ve been to the Museum quite a few times,” Ken says. “I just thought it would be something that I would like. My family can go down and enjoy it, the grandkids too. Also, the Vets ‘n Vettes event, maybe there could be a use for it during that.”
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