The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky had a rude awakening in the wee hours of February 11, 2014. A massive, 20 feet deep sinkhole swallowed eight classic cars that were being displayed in the museum’s domed section; an original section of the building completed in 1994. Fortunately, no one was in the facility at the time, but the event did set off an alarm and elicited a visit from the fire department.
While the domed portion of the museum was closed, the parts that were not affected remained open. No humans were injured, but the eight cars did not fare so well. Once they were pulled from the wreckage and evaluated, only three were deemed to be in good enough shape to be restored.
The museum owned all eight of the cars and two were on loan from General Motors. The victims included:
- 1962 black Corvette
- 1984 PPG Pace Car
- 1992 White 1 Millionth Corvette
- 1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Corvette
- 1993 ZR-1 Spyder (on loan from General Motors)
- 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette
- 2009 white 1.5 Millionth Corvette
- 2009 ZR1 Blue Devil (on loan from General Motors)
Five of the cars were deemed too damaged to be restored. They were the ’84 PPG pace car, the ’93 ruby red 40th Anniversary Vette, the 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06, the 2009 1.5 Millionth Vette, and the ’93 ZR-1 Spyder. The damage was estimated to be around $1 million on the cars alone and $3.2 million for the facility which is expected be an eight month project. In the meantime, the museum has been making lemonade out of lemons enjoying an influx of curious visitors – and selling dirt from the sinkhole at $10 a pop.
The restoration team completed the Blue Devil in early January 2015. The ’62 black Corvette and 1992 1 Millionth are now waiting for the team to work their magic on them. And what’s the moral of the story? You just can’t keep a good Chevy down!
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