Corvette lovers congregate for 2019 C4 Gathering

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Bowling Green is known nation-wide as the home to the Corvette and the National Corvette Museum.

The museum sees thousands of guests walk through its doors every summer, but this weekend, they’ve had 150 extra visitors in town all for a special event.

They’ve come from all across the country, too.

“Hermiston, Oregon,” said Charles Miller.

“Ann Arbor, Michigan,” said Greg Dootz.

Some traveled further than others.

“Four hundred and seventy-nine miles one way,” added Dootz.

Regardless of where they came from or how long it took them to get to Bowling Green, they’re all here for the same reason – to celebrate the 35th year of the C4 Corvette as part of the 2019 C4 Gathering at the National Corvette Museum.

“We’re trying to keep the legend alive,” said Bob Lambe, an organizer of the event.

The three-day event is trying to do just that, preserve the legacy of a car that many car lovers hold near and dear to their own heart.

“C4 is a pretty unique car,” added Lambe. “It was the first of the generations that really introduced the new technology in the Corvettes. That’s when they really became good track cars.”

For some visitors, this was their first time at the gathering.

For others, they’re no strangers to Bowling Green.

“Ten years ago he was 10 years old, and we decided we wanted to come back and he’s now got his own Corvette,” said Dootz about his son, Steve. “It’s a big reunion for us.”

A reunion of people who all share the same passion for the C4 Corvette.

“I like mixing and mingling with the owners of those cars,” said Miller, who was attending the C4 gathering for a second consecutive year. “It’s an interesting group of folks.”

“It’s the time we all get together and have a common bond and knowledge with everyone that’s here,” added Dootz.

There’s plenty of activities to keep everyone in attendance busy from Thursday through Saturday.

The C4 gathering offers speaker seminars, facility tours and even go-karting at the NCM Motorsports Park.

“That’s one of the things that makes the gathering kind of unique,” Lambe said.

There’s no question, though, which item on the agenda was the most popular among attendees.

“Being able to put the car on the [NCM Motorsports Park] track for a bit and get the feel of the track situation,” said Miller.

Some of the visitors have been Corvette owners for years.

“I’ve always loved it,” said Steve Dootz. “My brother’s buddy actually had one and that’s why I actually wanted one. I was like, ‘I’m gonna get that coming out of high school,’ and I actually bought it during high school.”

Whether they actually own a C4 or just love the model, people intend on coming back to this event year after year.

“We’re gonna keep it going,” added Lambe. “The enthusiasm is growing every year.”