It was down, but never out.
The tragic sinkhole that swallowed and damaged eight historic Corvettes at the National Corvette Museum was tragic and caused the entire automotive community to shed a collective tear. The recovery process has just begun and there are some promising signs for the cars, with the new Corvette ZR-1 “Blue Devil” being able to drive away under its own power.
On Monday, the first Corvette emerged from the earth, started up, and drove 20 feet to the museum’s doorway. The 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 “Blue Devil” fell almost 30-feet into the sinkhole along with seven other cars on February 12th. On Saturday, workers test-fitted the car to be lifted and removed from the sinkhole, and the process was completed on Monday morning.
“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.”
Thankfully the ZR-1 only suffered minimal damage for such a high fall. What’s even more impressive is that the car was able to drive 20-feet to the doors of the National Corvette Museum.
“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-1 drive out of the museum was a great start to the recovery effort.”
The team has started the recovery process on the other seven cars with the 1962 Corvette and the 1993 40th Anniversary Corvette being extracted this week, with the rest of the cars being removed over the next 60 days. Once the cars are recovered, they will be sent to the Mechanical Assembly facility in Warren, MI. The specialty shop has been a part of GM Design since the 1930s and maintains and restores classic, vintage, and classic vehicles in the GM Heritage Collection and GM’s historic concept cars.
Corvette ZR-1 “Blue Devil” Sinkhole Recovery Gallery
Source: GM, Corvette Museum