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Top 3 Speculations: What “Manufacturing Advancements” Are Causing Plant Tours To Halt?

CorvSport canvassed the community: The glass-half-full crowd is citing ZR1 tooling, while the pessimists are saying E-Ray issues

Plant tours are halted/Photo Credit: Keith Cornett

After breaking news sent shockwaves of speculation throughout our community, CorvSport scoured the social media pages and found the top 3 speculations. The official statement released by the NCM on 11/29/23, as reported by our own Scott Kolecki, is as follows:

Due to manufacturing advancements, tours offered by the National Corvette Museum of GM’s Bowling Green Assembly Plant will be suspended beginning Monday, February 5, 2024. At this time, there is no confirmed date for plant tour resumption. The National Corvette Museum will remain open to the public and continue regular operations. To reserve your spot through Friday, February 2, 2024, visit us online at As more information is made available, it will be shared by the National Corvette Museum.”

Speculations aside, this future closure is affecting some enthusiasts’ vacation plans, as I’m noticing many around the country scurrying to get their plant tour in before they are halted. This also affects those who had been planning on doing the Museum delivery (R8C), because many opt to do the plant tour while taking delivery at the museum.

Now, without further ado…

The Top 3 Speculations For Plant Tours Halting


(With 13% of the Vote)

♦ Preproduction retooling/test fits for 2025 MY mid-cycle refreshes (interior, etc)

The C8’s “Great Wall of Buttons” is rumored to be canned for 2025/Photo Credit: GMAuthority


(With 26% of the Vote)

♦ E-Ray production ramp-up/issues

As CorvSport reported here, E-Ray production has been delayed several times, and the speculations circling this are as fervent as the ones for the plant tour closure. How soon will it be until VIN 001 is delivered?

The very first 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray (VIN 001) sold for $1.1 million USD at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Palm Beach, Florida in April 2023.
The very first 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray (VIN 001) sold for $1.1 million USD at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Palm Beach, Florida in April 2023.

This perspective from a MidEngineCorvetteForum member certainly shakes up the E-Ray theory.


(With 45% of the Vote)

♦ ZR1 preproduction for mules/prototypes and tooling

One of the hottest debates I’ve witnessed around the community is whether the ZR1 will be a 2025 or 2026 model. This, of course, is aside from THE hottest ZR1 debate, which I’ve dubbed as “The Great Engine Debate.” If the ZR1 is in fact a 2025 model, this number one speculation would be completely logical.

The 2025 ZR1 on the Nurburgring/Photo Credit:

What one Corvette Forum member (who did a tour recently) says:

When the “Convert” was asked what CTF meant, he replied, “Production quality test fleet car. These cars can be sold since they are production versions and not test mules.” Another member stepped in with, “Captured Test Fleet“.

Honorable Mentions (remaining 16%)

#3: Tooling for new LT3 engine

#2: Working on tooling for Hybrid/EV Robotics

#1: Chevy is trying to cover up all its mistakes and poor quality

So, what is your speculation? Do you agree with one of the above, or have completely different thoughts? We have the fastest-growing Corvette community on our Facebook page, with over 163,000 followers (44,000 since January!). Come join other hardcore enthusiasts and say hello, Douglas B.