8 miles of muscle: Gulf States Region ‘Corvette Caravan’ makes pit stop in Athens

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ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) - Here a Vette, there a Vette, everywhere a Corvette. More horsepower than you can shake a Limestone County stick at -- 8 miles of pure, unadulterated American muscle.

The Gulf States Region Caravan of nearly 300 rolled through Athens Wednesday on a pilgrimage to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

It's part of a 29 region journey by thousands of Corvette enthusiasts.

"Not only is the car incredible itself and the value you get for the automobile, most of these people have loved Corvettes forever -- they're Corvette lovers," explains 2014 Gulf States Caravan Captain Glen Johnson.

The Caravan is no stranger to Athens but the last time they rolled up Interstate 65 was 2009 with only 75 cars line up.

This time is a little different though. Caravan organizer, Glen Johnson, made a dry run up Interstate 65 looking for a place to accommodate the over 200 Corvettes for a lunch break in their tight itinerary. Athens’ exit 351 won the considerations after he discovered the Athens-Limestone Boulevard area with Ruby Tuesday’s, Logan’s Roadhouse, Applebee’s, IHOP and many other eateries.

"You know, we talk about all the time the quality of life -- it doesn't get much better than this," smile Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks. "We've got almost 300 Corvettes sitting here today, spending money in Athens on their way to Bowling Green, Kentucky for the 20th anniversary."

Even Athens residents held up by the spectacle couldn't complain.

"I've got a ring-side seat. Yeah, I've enjoyed it -- I'm glad they stopped me," said Tink Haney who was the first car paused at the stoplight as the caravan made their grand, roaring entrance."

You won't find many who will debate the Corvette's appeal, but if you ask which model year is best, prepare for some strong opinions.

"Whenever the '53 came out those were the best then the '54 came out and those were the best, and so now the 2015's are the best," Johnson jokes.

He says more than 7,000 vehicles will meet at the National Corvette Museum Wednesday afternoon around 4:00.


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