The Friday Five: Mariah Hughes
Tell us about the mission of the National Corvette Museum.
The mission of the museum is to celebrate the Corvette’s invention and preserve the automobile’s past, present, and future. The museum is a 501(c) not-for-profit organization.
How does the upcoming exhibit, Hot Wheels: Race to Win, complement that mandate?
The Hot Wheels exhibit is a travelling exhibition from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. It focusses on STEM and STEAM subjects, which is important to the museum as well as to General Motors as a whole. Even though the museum is not owned by General Motors, we work very closely with them on our projects. Hot Wheels: Race to Win is the perfect summer exhibit for us because it incorporates everything that we are trying to achieve.
Walk us through the exhibit – what will visitors see and experience?
There are 4 different zones within the exhibit: design, power, speed, and safety. These zones break down each component of designing and building a vehicle and then incorporate those elements into a racing environment.
Families enter the exhibit as a team and go through each of the interactive displays. This includes a garage crew challenge, an exhibit area that showcases what’s happening under the hood of a vehicle with animation, video, and a crankable show engine. We have a downhill racing track table, a pitstop challenge, and a tire-change interactive component. We also have fire suits on display and some Hot Wheels crash tracks, among other features.
Why is society perpetually fascinated by high-performance vehicles?
I do think society is obsessed — and I use the word obsessed purposely — with high-performance vehicles because of the overall work that goes into them.
It’s not just about what’s under the hood. It’s also about the art in the design elements of the vehicles. With the Corvette being America’s sports car and having been unveiled in 1953, it has a long-standing nostalgia with the oldest of Corvette fans to the youngest of Corvette fans. With the addition of the mid-engine Corvette in 2020, there’s really something for everyone at an affordable price range with the Corvette.
What do you hope people take away from their experience at the Hot Wheels exhibit and from the museum as a whole?
I hope there’s a newfound appreciation for automobiles. Not everyone who walks through the doors of the National Corvette Museum is a gearhead or a car/Corvette enthusiast. I’m hoping that we will take a few of the people who may accompany those enthusiasts into the museum and turn them into fans based on the stories that are here.
The Hot Wheels: Race to Win exhibit runs from May 27, 2022 to September 25, 2022. Learn more about the exhibit on the museum’s website.
Five questions, one fascinating person (or team!) – look into the minds of movers and shakers in the nostalgia, game, play, or toy industry.