Corvette museum sinkhole cars to be restored

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By now everyone has heard about the great Corvette sinkhole of 2014 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Fortunately, the 8 casualties will indeed be restored.

As most of my regular readers and closest friends probably know, I am one of the biggest Corvette fans you’ll find. Thus, this is incredibly exciting news to me (and I’m sure many of you). The sinkhole that opened up at the National Corvette Museum on February 12, 2013 swallowed eight cars. They were:

  • A black 1962 Corvette
  • 1984 PPG Pace Car Corvette
  • 1992 C4 Corvette – the 1 millionth Corvette ever produced
  • 2001 Millet Hammer Corvette Z06
  • 2009 C6 Corvette – the 1.5 millionth Corvette
  • 2009 Blue Devil – the codenamed project car that led to the 638hp ZR1
  • 1993 ZR-1 Spyder – a prototype for a car that never happened (but should have!)

The last two cars, the ZR-1 Spyder and the Blue Devil, were on loan from GM. The other six were property of the National Corvette Museum. Here’s just a few examples of the gruesome footage that was captured by security cameras when the sinkhole opened up around 5:40 AM.

And here’s some more footage taken from a drone helicopter flown in to the museum by the University of Western Kentucky’s engineering department:


The hole is reported to be about 39 feet across, and 24 feet deep. No one was inside the museum when it collapsed, and there were no injuries. One car, the only 1983 Corvette ever built, was pulled from the building before the National Corvette Museum decided to close its doors for the day.

These cars are irreplaceable. There can never BE another 1 millionth Corvette, or another 1962 Corvette, or even another 2009 prototype Blue Devil. Whether you love them or hate them, each of these cars has a very special place not only in Corvette and General Motors history, but in automotive history in general (yes, naysayers, even the C4s).

Thus, today, GM announced that they will work to restore the eight damaged vehicles. The cars will be sent to General Motors Design, located in Warren, MI, and the restoration will be overseen by Ed Welburn, the president of GM Global design.

The cars will be sent to GM’s Mechanical Assembly facility. The Mechanical Assembly facility is a small shop that specializes in restoring historic GM vehicles, including some of the ones that I saw on my trip to the Heritage Center last month, and has been a part of General Motors for 80 years.

As for the Corvette museum itself, there is no official timeframe regarding when it will be re-opened. If you want to help, you can make a donation. The National Corvette Museum has set up a page on their website where you can contribute, and remember: donations are tax deductible.


Ray Saez, Jr.

Ray is a lifelong auto enthusiast. His father worked on the dealership side of the industry for many years, and his passion for fast, fun, and unique cars has been passed on. Particularly fond of American cars and trucks, Ray is an avid General Motors fan. When not writing, he can be found with his dogs, or at a local car show.

View all contributions by Ray Saez, Jr.


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