Crews begin recovery of Corvettes swallowed by a sinkhole

Andrew Thurlow
AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

Published: March 4, 2014 9:49 am ET
Updated: March 4, 2014 9:54 am ET

Image By: General Motors Co. Crews have begun rescuing cars swallowed by a sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky.

Related to this story

Topics Automotive
Companies & Associations General Motors Co.

Two of the eight General Motors Co. Chevrolet Corvettes swallowed Feb. 12 by a sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., were lifted out of the hole on March 3 and placed back in the showroom.

As a crowd of spectators cheered and thousands of viewers watched online, the 2009 ZR1 Blue Devil -- one of two cars on loan from General Motors -- and the 1993 Ruby Red 40th anniversary edition were lifted by a crane and placed at ground level.

The Blue Devil, which appears to have endured minor damage during its nearly 30-foot plunge, was driven about 20 feet to the museum's doorway, said Katie Frassinelli, a museum spokeswoman.

"The 'Blue Devil' is in remarkable shape," said John Spencer, manufacturing integration manager for Corvette in a news release. "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."

Video of the retrieval showed that the Ruby Red 40th anniversary edition sustained broken windows and severe damage to its front and rear.

A black 1962 model is scheduled to be retrieved March 4, but will be much "trickier" as a five-ton slab of concrete rests on the front of the vehicle, the museum said.

Two cranes will be used to simultaneously lift the car and the concrete, the museum said.

The recovered cars will be shipped to GM's Mechanical Assembly facility, a small specialty shop within General Motors Design in Warren, Mich., where the experts will determine the best restoration approach. 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.

Other Corvettes to be retrieved are a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder, the other car on loan from GM; a 1984 PPG pace car; the 1-millionth Corvette, built in 1992; a 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06; and the 2009 1.5-millionth Corvette.

Recovery of the vehicles is expected to take through Aug. 3, Frassinelli said.

The museum plans to display each vehicle after it is recovered until all eight are taken together to a small shop within GM Design in suburban Detroit for restoration.

Webcams are positioned around the sinkhole and pictures are available on the museum's Web site.


Comments

Crews begin recovery of Corvettes swallowed by a sinkhole

Andrew Thurlow
AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

Published: March 4, 2014 9:49 am ET
Updated: March 4, 2014 9:54 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

OSHA probes alleged asthma link to Lear's Selma, Ala., plant

July 23, 2014 11:58 am ET

U.S. foam manufacturer Renosol Seating LLC is being investigated following allegations its workers are at risk of asthma from TDI exposure at its...    More

Image

Illinois injection molder expands

July 21, 2014 1:23 pm ET

Automotive supplier All-Rite Industries Inc. has added two new injection molding machines to its operations.    More

Image

More head-up displays going into cars, with improved information, graphics

July 21, 2014 10:48 am ET

Head-up displays with "augmented reality," the technology that employs much of the windshield as a display area for data and images, is poised to...    More

Image

This is one bump that looks good on a car

July 18, 2014 1:34 pm ET

PSA Peugeot Citroen Group is using plastic for both design and protection on the exterior of one of its newest cars.    More

Image

New Smart cars start production

July 18, 2014 10:46 am ET

Daimler AG has launched new versions of its Smart ForTwo and ForFour city cars, which, as in previous models, make extensive use of plastics in exteri...    More

Market Reports

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Market Review & Outlook 2014

This special report from Plastics News examines the North American plastics recycling industry and provides insight into indicators that impact market viability, including Resin pricing trends for virgin and recycled market material and historical Resin production trends for post- consumer and industrial waste.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events