When deciding to donate a car to the National Corvette Museum, each donor has their reasons. For some it is to make room in their garage for the latest model, others it is because they would like to take advantage of the tax write-off benefits. For Craig Conde it was a combination of reasons, making his donation an emotional one.
After disability retiring seven years ago and due to multiple surgeries and medical issues, it had become impossible for Craig to enjoy riding in his Corvettes. “I had stopped showing them about two years ago because I was not able to take care of them,” Craig recalled. “I couldn’t bring myself to sell them, emotionally I couldn’t.”
Craig and wife Sharon, Lifetime Members of the Museum and members of the Corvette Legends of Texas Club in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, knew they needed to find a home for their prized 1978 25th Silver Anniversary Corvette, and their 2003 50th Anniversary Corvette.
After a trip to Wisconsin, Craig decided on a whim to make a detour and stop by the Corvette Museum to check out the restored Skydome after the sinkhole construction was complete. There he saw the special Anniversary and Special Edition Corvette display.
“I looked at the 25th and 50th that were on loan to the Museum, and I thought – this just isn’t right,” Craig said. “The Museum has been open 21 years, and somebody should have already donated these cars to the Museum. So I felt this was something that needed to be fixed.”
The cars were picked up in McKinney, Texas while Craig and Sharon traveled in Sharon’s 2005 Daytona Sunset Orange Corvette Coupe to Bowling Green on September 11 to officially turn the keys to their babies over. With staff and visitors clapping and cheering, Sharon drove the 1978 in to the Museum, followed by Craig in the 2003.
“These are their children, and now we’re responsible for them,” Gary Cockriel, Museum Development Officer said during the ceremony. “They’ve asked for visitation rights from now on, of course,” he joked “but it’s just a great honor to help keep our museum and their museum going for future generations. That’s what we’re all about. People like this are what keeps this museum alive. They’re stepping up and doing it not only with their cars, but also a donation to help keep up the cars,” Cockriel added.
“We want to thank Johnnie Downs, the NCM staff and volunteers that came to our home on Labor Day and assisted in the appraisals and transportation of the cars to the NCM,” Craig said. “I look forwarded to continuing to support the Museum,” he added.
Thank you to Craig and Sharon for these wonderful additions to the Museum, and for your contribution to ensure your children are taken care of for years to come!