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New Corvette debuts in SoCal at Petersen Museum

Friday, March 01, 2013

The Corvette has captured the hearts of sports car enthusiasts since it first rolled off the assembly line six decades ago. The newest 'Vette is turning heads in Southern California this weekend.

It was the big star of the Detroit Auto Show in January, attracting worldwide attention. Then, it got mobbed in Chicago a few weeks later.

Now, it's Southern California's turn to see the next-generation Corvette up close.

"This explains the word 'fan' from 'fantastic,'" said Terry Karges, Petersen Automotive Museum executive director. "This is one of the most exciting things to happen to us in our 20-year history."

The Petersen Museum had planned out a special Corvette weekend months ago to celebrate the 60th anniversary of what's known as "America's sports car."

GM stepped up at the last minute and promised a prototype of the 2014 car, a Corvette that promises to keep the flame burning.

"Clearly, we wanted this car to be perceived as a next-generation car, and there was a lot of effort to do that," said Kirk Bennion, Corvette Design team member.

This is the first time new Vette, subtitled "Stingray" once again, has been seen on the West Coast. The only other examples are in Geneva, Switzerland right now for the big show there.

Right when and even right before the Corvette was unveiled in Detroit, pictures of it were all over the Internet. But ask any enthusiast: It's one thing to see it in photos; it's quite another to be able to see it in person.

The car isn't supposed to be officially uncovered until Friday night, but a few early birds got lucky.

It's definitely a limited engagement for the car that's fast becoming a star in the auto world. After the festivities end on Saturday, GM will whisk it away. And then it won't be back until summer, when it'll be in showrooms for close to $60,000.

Visitors to the museum this weekend will be getting their $12 worth for sure, for a chance to be among the first to see an automotive icon.

"We'll be opening about 5 a.m. in anticipation of the rush," said Karges. "It's an exciting day all over."

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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