It was nearly 20 years ago that Mike and Lynda Patterson decided that someday they’d donate their Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Chevrolet Corvette to the National Corvette Museum. Someday turned out to be April 17.
“Seeing that other Ruby in the hole made me think that maybe I should give our’s to the museum soon,” Lynda Patterson said as she delivered Ruby 2 to the museum.
“Almost 20 years ago, my husband Mike and I designated that our Ruby would go to the National Corvette Museum anyway. He died in 2012 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor a year earlier,” she said, adding that she knew Mike would have agreed to moving up the donation date of their car so it could replace the one damaged when a sinkhole swallowed eight Corvettes on display at the museum.
“The people at the museum were very excited about having her,” she said. “It made me feel good that the people there would be taking care of her.”
Lynda Patterson is a graduate of Western Kentucky University, which like the Corvette museum and Corvette assembly plant is located in Bowling Green, Ky. She resides in Louisville, Ky.
It was 22 years ago that the Pattersons saw the special anniversary-edition Corvette at Bob Smith Chevrolet in Louisville. Lynda Patterson said she fell in love with the car instantly.
“I asked Mike what he thought about it and he said, ‘If you want it, get it and take it home’,” even if that meant trading in his beloved black 1991 Corvette he called the “Batmobile.”
The Pattersons drove their Ruby Red car to various Corvette events, including a gathering of 40th Anniversary cars at the museum.
Lynda Patterson said she began getting phone calls and texts from friends on Feburary 12 with the news about the sinkhole beneath the museum’s Skydome. She turned on her television and watched the news reports.
“It was quite a shock,” she said of seeing what she called the “other Ruby” in the hole.
But now her car can replace that damaged Corvette.
“This is bittersweet,” she said as she left her car at the museum. “I’m so glad she’s here and will be enjoyed by so many.”
Through tears, she added that, “Some people may not get why I’d be so emotional about it, but it is more than a car… it is memories.”