BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (Sept. 4, 2014) — General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet Division and the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green will restore three of the eight Corvettes that were famously swallowed up in the sinkhole that appeared there in February of this year.
The news comes after a debate over which cars to conserve and which to restore. GM will provide $250,000 in support.
Chevy will restore the 2009 Corvette ZR1 “Blue Devil” prototype, the 1 millionth ‘Vette produced—a white ‘92 convertible—and a 1962 Corvette.
The five others—a ZR-1 Spyder, a 1984 PPG race car, a ‘93 Anniversary Corvette, the “Mallett Hammer” Z06 and the 1.5 millionth—will remain as is.
“Our goal was to help the National Corvette Museum recover from a terrible natural disaster by restoring all eight cars,” said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development. “However, as the cars were recovered, it became clear that restoration would be impractical because so little was left to repair. And, frankly, there is some historical value in leaving those cars to be viewed as they are.”
A quick history of the event goes as follows: Early in the morning of Feb. 12, motion sensors went off at the National Corvette Museum. When workers arrived, they saw a 45-foot hole in the Skydome display area. On March 3, the first Corvette was recovered and driven out of the museum, despite its rough condition. All eight were extracted by April 9, when the “Mallett” was lifted out of the hole.
The Corvette museum celebrated its 20th anniversary last weekend. Officials said the sinkhole was responsible for a nearly 60-percent jump in traffic in the four months after it happened. The five unrestored cars will be part of a new exhibit.
This report appeared on the website of Autoweek magazine, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.