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  Bean's Corvette and paintings at the Cosmosphere

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Author Topic:   Bean's Corvette and paintings at the Cosmosphere
Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 07-03-2007 08:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cosmosphere release
quote:
Cosmosphere to display historical Corvette and paintings

The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center will display astronaut Alan Bean's 1969 Corvette Sting Ray June 29 through September 14 in the Cosmosphere lobby. Displayed alongside the car will be three original paintings by Bean, also a professional painter.

In November 1969, Alan Bean became the fourth man to walk on the Moon.

The car is one of the original Chevrolets General Motors leased to early American astronauts under an executive lease program, implemented as a means of sidestepping a ban on astronauts making product endorsements.

Under the program, the astronauts' lease was $1 per year. The lease program ended in 1971.

The Corvette sports gold exterior and black trim. A red, white and blue insignia with the initials “LMP,” standing for lunar module pilot, Bean's position aboard Apollo 12, is on the left side of the car.

The Corvette, customized for Bean and his Apollo 12 crewmates, is one of three matching Corvettes loaned to the Apollo 12 crew – the only crew to request matching Corvettes. Bean's Apollo 12 crewmates included Charles “Pete” Conrad Jr. and Richard Gordon Jr.

Under the loan, astronauts could choose any Chevrolet they wanted; most astronauts, Bean included, chose Corvettes.

After Bean's loan on the car expired, Danny Reed of Austin, Texas, bought the car and restored it, using all original parts. Reed still owns the car today, according to Jim Remar, the Cosmosphere's senior vice president.

Bean resigned from NASA in 1981 to become a painter. Three of his original works, "Fender Loving Care," "Our World at my Fingertips" and "Cernan and His Rover," will be displayed with the Corvette.

Bean's original paintings, currently selling for $17,000 to $68,550 per painting, have moon dust from his Apollo 12 spacesuit imbedded in the paint.

"Fender Loving Care," painted in 1995, is on loan from Barry and Charlotte Schartz and "Our World at my Fingertips," painted in 2005, and "Cernan and His Rover," painted in 1993, are on loan from the Tom McFadden family.

The exhibit, displayed in the Cosmosphere's main lobby, is free to the public.


mdmyer
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From: Humboldt KS USA
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posted 07-03-2007 08:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mdmyer   Click Here to Email mdmyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When I picked Miranda up from the Kansas Cosmosphere's Future Astronaut Training Program Saturday afternoon I saw Alan Bean's gold Chevy Corvette was on display. The Cosmosphere has a nice display built around the car in the lobby. If you get the chance stop by and see it.

Lou Chinal
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posted 07-03-2007 08:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does it have LMP on the door? -Lou

Harry Bennett
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posted 07-03-2007 08:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Harry Bennett   Click Here to Email Harry Bennett     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'd like to see photos of that!

If GM leased Corvettes to the astronauts each year it would be neat if my '61 was originally owned by one of them...

mdmyer
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posted 07-03-2007 08:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mdmyer   Click Here to Email mdmyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes. It does have LMP on the front fender if I remember right. Maybe it was the door. I think it also had a LMP license plate.

I took some photos of it but I still don't have a good digital camera. I might see if I can get the roll printed today and if I do maybe I can then scan them and have them added to this thread.

I don't know if your Corvette was owned by an astronaut but I can say that the location of Pete Conrad and Richard Gordon's Corvettes are unknown!

Mike Myer

capoetc
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posted 07-03-2007 09:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wasn't Shepard's corvette at the Space Walk of Fame Museum in Titusville?

------------------
John Capobianco
Camden DE

Jurg Bolli
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posted 07-03-2007 10:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I saw Shepard's car there in 2004.
Jurg
Edited by Jurg Bolli

Harry Bennett
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posted 07-03-2007 09:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Harry Bennett   Click Here to Email Harry Bennett     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's unlikely my 1961 Corvette was owned by an astronaut- it's wishful thinking though! I did buy most of my parts from a place in Titusville, FL right across the river from the VAB.

I'm still digging thru my file cabinets to find the article about Astronauts & Corvettes. Trying to find what year GM started the lease program.

Harry Bennett
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posted 07-03-2007 10:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Harry Bennett   Click Here to Email Harry Bennett     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On a related note...

A story about Alan Bean's Corvette with photos and a great article, and Gus Grissom's Corvette (and a highly optioned car).

Excerpt from article printed here...

quote:
So do you still have the Corvette?

No. We (astronauts) were treated like executives of General Motors. They loaned us two cars a year, any two cars we wanted. So we'd get a family car and a Corvette. We'd put in the gas and oil; they'd do all the rest. And then at the end of the year they'd phone you up and say, "What two cars do you want this year?" So we had red Corvettes and black ones and convertibles and T-tops. That went on from '63 to maybe '71. There's a fellow in Austin, I believe, who owns my old car (the gold one). And he's got it fixed up better than when I drove it.

There's a Corvette museum in Georgia where they make them and I've heard that they want to get all three of them and put them in their museum. That would really be wonderful.


mdmyer
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posted 07-04-2007 12:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mdmyer   Click Here to Email mdmyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mdmyer:
I took some photos of it but I still don't have a good digital camera. I might see if I can get the roll printed today and if I do maybe I can then scan them and have them added to this thread.

Lou Chinal
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From: Staten Island, NY
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posted 07-04-2007 12:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All-
Does anyone have a picture of Alan Shepard with a Corvette? I think I saw one a long time ago in LIFE mag.
-Lou

MCroft04
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From: Smithfield, Me, USA
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posted 07-04-2007 12:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Danny is a great guy; if you get a chance to meet him and talk to him do so. I met him at a JSC open house several years ago where he had Alan's vette displayed. Once he recognized my enthusiasm, he let me sit in the car. What a treat! I mentioned this to Alan at the San Antonio UACC and he replied that he had also recently sat in the car, and what struck him was the lack of safety features that his vette had compared to modern cars have.
Edited by MCroft04

Harry Bennett
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posted 07-04-2007 01:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Harry Bennett   Click Here to Email Harry Bennett     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great photos! It's interesting a big block car with 4spd and other options is equipped with wheel covers and not rally wheels....
Alan Shepard had a '53(first year) a '57, a '62, and '67, and what looks to be a 71 or 72.

dtemple
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From: Longview, Texas, USA
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posted 07-04-2007 11:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dtemple   Click Here to Email dtemple     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's an even better story about Danny Reed's car... http://www.carcollector.com/cover_detail.cfm?StoryID=1603

Dwayne Day
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posted 07-17-2007 06:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dwayne Day   Click Here to Email Dwayne Day     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lou Chinal:
Does it have LMP on the door? -Lou

I was there last week and took a lot of photos (the main atrium is not good for that, because the light gets a silvery tint to it, probably because of anti-UV glass). Mine are similar to the ones you see here and you can see that there is no "LMP" on either door.

This stuff about the car raises an interesting ethical question--the Apollo 15 astronauts were vilified for their stamp deal, using their status as astronauts to try and make a buck. But how was this car deal all that much different? In essence, the astronauts got free cars, which only happened because they were astronauts.

Now, yeah, you could note that this was apparently approved by management--as was the Life Magazine deal from earlier in the decade. But that kind of deal would be illegal today. Could this be technically legal but still unethical?

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-17-2007 06:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dwayne Day:
Mine are similar to the ones you see here and you can see that there is no "LMP" on either door.
As the release above describes and as Mike's last photo shows, " A red, white and blue insignia with the initials "LMP," standing for lunar module pilot, Bean's position aboard Apollo 12, is on the left side of the car." But Dwayne is right, it's not on the door.

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