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Lakeland Motor Museum unveils rare sports car ahead of half term holidays

The Lakeland Motor Museum has this week added another rare sports car to its collection; a 1992 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 – one of only six of its kind known to be in the UK.

The vehicle, which is only one of 15 to have come from the production line in the USA painted in metallic quasar blue in 1992, has been donated to the Backbarrow, Cumbria attraction by an enthusiast from Wokingham near Reading.

Donor, Stuart Wilson, says, “To the best of my knowledge, I’m one of only two owners of this car, after buying it second-hand in California back in 2002 and importing it to England two years later when I moved back here.”

Powered by a unique Lotus engine, it was the first production engine anywhere in the world that had two sets of intake runners, allowing for half the cylinders to be switched off during normal running, allowing for better fuel economy.

Stuart continues, “When I first brought it back to the UK it was initially serviced by an ex-member of the Lotus development team that help design, build, test and calibrate the LT5 engine. He considered the Lotus engine as one of his and his Lotus development team’s finest achievements. I believe Lotus did 10,000 of hours of endurance testing to show just how reliable that engine was. It had a key on the dash that allowed you to switch between normal power 200BHP to High power 400BHP.”

The Lakeland Motor Museum’s Duty Manager, Chris Williams, says, “This car is in fantastic shape overall, considering it’s the best part of 30 years old. The ZR-1 has a complete fibreglass body, so it will never rust. In its 28 years of running, it’s only clocked-up 84,000 miles and we’re delighted to finally be able to show it off to our visitors, as it’s been locked away for the last 12 months while our team cleaned every square-inch to get it ready for display.”

The Corvette will initially take the place of the popular TVR Cerbera Speed 12 exhibit, which has left the museum for a month-long repair project in Blackpool.

In-line with attractions across Cumbria and the rest of England, the museum followed government guidance by introducing a series of changes earlier this year to ensure the wellbeing of visitors and staff.

Individuals or their households are asked to book their visit in advance, with entry times staggered at 15 minute intervals to ensure social distancing can be respected. While businesses are permitted to operate with a one metre social distancing rule in place, the museum will continue to operate under the previous two-metre distance as a precaution. ‘Hands-on’ interactive exhibits such as vintage games remain off-limits until further notice.

Further ongoing measures include increased cleaning regimes, reception screens and floor signage with designated ‘passing places’. Staff have even brought genuine traffic lights into operation to give the green-light to each group when their turn comes to move between the two floors of the museum.

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