Often referred to as the world’s largest moving automotive event, the National Corvette Caravan is a celebration of America’s Sports Car, culminating in Bowling Green, Kentucky for the anniversary celebration of the National Corvette Museum. Hosted only once every five years, the next event is slated for Labor Day Weekend 2019 and will mark the Museum’s 25th Anniversary. Leading the charge will be Jeffrey Duda of Hainesport, NJ, a Lifetime Member of the Museum and previous co-captain of the New Jersey 2014 and 2009 Caravans.
“As soon as I returned from the 2009 Caravan, I began work on the 2014 NJ Caravan and again I was the Co-Captain,” Jeff said. “The advance planning paid off, as this Caravan was just spectacular with over 3,000 Corvettes from across the world joining the drive to Bowling Green to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the NCM. It was so much fun planning the event and others could see the enthusiasm I had. I was contacted by Paul Mariano, the National Caravan Chairman, and by Karen Renfrow, the Events Manager at the NCM and was asked to become the 2019 Caravan National Chairman. It was a task that I was honored and humbled to accept the position,” Jeff added.
Jeff has been a Corvette fan all of his life, hearing stories from his dad about the 1962 he once owned, and becoming an owner himself in 2001 when he purchased a triple black 1998 convertible. “I bought my first Corvette as a celebration of my wife graduating with her Master’s degree in nursing which also happened to be just after the tragedy in the USA on September 11, 2001. My thinking was life’s too short not to enjoy every moment and we both loved Corvettes,” Jeff recalled. “Soon after buying that Corvette we joined the NCM as members.”
Just two years later in 2003, Jeff and wife Phyllis drove their Corvette to Bowling Green and Nashville as part of the 2nd National Corvette Caravan and the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Corvette. Jeff has been involved in his local club, The Original Garden State Corvette Club, serving as President for four years, and has been on the club’s board for over 10 years. He is also active on Corvette Forum.
Jeff and Phyllis have a 6-year-old daughter, Noelle, who they enjoy sharing their Corvette passion with. “My goal now is to bring along the next generation to see the joys of Corvette ownership and get them involved with America’s Sports Car,” Jeff said. “It’s my hope to be that guy that takes some young person for their first ride in a Corvette, just like my family friend did when I climbed into his 1978 Corvette, and make an impression that lasts a lifetime, sparking the Corvette passion it did for me.”
The 6th National Corvette Caravan is slated for August 28-31, 2019. Regional caravans will form and join other caravans as they travel across the United States to meet in Bowling Green, Kentucky for four days of festivities at the National Corvette Museum. An event such as this requires years of planning and coordinating. All help is appreciated! If you would like to volunteer to be a Caravan Captain, please email Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Museum is located at I-65, exit 28 in South Central Kentucky and is open daily, 8am to 5pm Central Time.