National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., has confirmed that a total of 8 vintage and rare Corvettes were swallowed by a massive sinkhole that opened up on its premises on Wednesday morning. Here’s comprehensive video footage from CorvetteMusuem Youtube channel.
A sinkhole measuring 25-30 feet deep and 40 feet wide suddenly opened up at the National Corvette Museum, gulping down 6 exclusive models belonging to the museum and two others owned by General Motors. Structural engineers are at the site trying to evaluate the reason for this occurrence and other damage inside the Sky Dome section. Here’s a pictorial of the Skydome sinkhole of the Museum.
“The vehicles at the National Corvette Museum are some of the most significant in automotive history,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of General Motors Global Product Development. “There can only be one 1-millionth Corvette ever built. We want to ensure as many of the damaged cars are restored as possible so fans from around the world can enjoy them when the Museum reopens.”
The two cars belonging to General Motors included 1993 ZR-1 Spyder and 2009 ZR1 “Blue Devil”, while six vehicles were owned by the National Corvette Museum and included 1962 Black Corvette,1984 PPG Pace Car,1992 White 1 Millionth Corvette,1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Corvette, 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette and 2009 White 1.5 Millionth Corvette.
An only surviving 1983 Corvette was also on the verge of going down the sinkhole but was saved just in time due to immediate action by efficient museum staff. Though there were no injuries reported, the museum was closed for the day as a precautionary measure. An estimate of cost of damages done to the vehicles and to the museum itself is yet to be ascertained.
Bowling Green is the only place where General Motors builds its Corvettes. The city itself sits in the Kentucky Western Pennroyal area wherein some of the longest and deepest underground caves exist. Sinkholes are common in this region.
To aid National Corvette Museum recover from sinkhole, Chevrolet will oversee restoration of the Corvettes damaged. General Motors Design in Warren, Mich., will lead the project. Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design, will oversee the restoration.
Once recovered, the damaged cars will be shipped to the Mechanical Assembly specialty shop within GM Design to determine the best restoration approach. Mechanical Assembly has been part of GM Design since the 1930s and maintains and restores many of the GM Heritage Collection vehicles and GM’s historic concept cars.
National Corvette Museum is independently owned, and supported solely by charitable donations from enthusiasts. Donations are currently being accepted on its website to help repair the the facility. Donations are tax-deductible.