All is not lost! Recovery of the Corvettes that fell into a sinkhole under the National Corvette Museum last month began Monday.
The first of eight historic Corvettes to be pulled out of the hole is the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 “Blue Devil.” The museum said the car was in good enough condition to drive 20 feet to the doorway of the museum’s Skydome.
According to the museum and based on initial inspection, the ZR-1 sustained minimal damage, despite falling nearly 30 feet when the hole opened beneath an exhibit area on Feb. 12. The ZR-1 emerged from the depths of the sinkhole, where workers test-lifted the car on Saturday, at about 11:35 a.m. EST Monday.
“The ‘Blue Devil’ is in remarkable shape,” said John Spencer, manufacturing integration manager for Corvette. “Cosmetically, the carbon fiber running boards are shattered, there’s some minor paint damage, and a small crack in the windshield. Mechanically, the worst damage is a split in the oil-supply line for the 6.2L LS9 V-8. If you fixed that, you could drive the ZR-1 back to Detroit.”
The museum explained the team plans to recover the 1962 Corvette and the1993 40th Anniversary Corvette this week, and the remaining cars in the next 60 days.
“The recovery of the ZR-1 went incredibly well,” said Mike Murphy, CEO of Scott, Murphy & Daniel construction. “Obviously, there’s a lot of work still to do. But, watching the ZR-1drive out of the museum was a great start to the recovery effort.”
Once recovered, the eight Corvettes will be shipped to the GM’s Mechanical Assembly facility, a small specialty shop within GM Design in Warren, Mich., where the best restoration approach will be determined.
The Mechanical Assembly facility seems to be the ideal place for these Corvettes as GM said Mechanical Assembly has been part of GM Design since the 1930s, and today maintains and restores many of the vehicles in the GM Heritage Collection and GM’s historic concept cars.