'It looks like a piece of tin foil'

Andrew Thurlow
AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

Published: April 25, 2014 9:53 am ET
Updated: April 25, 2014 12:05 pm ET

Image By: National Corvette Museum Not much remains of the 2001 Corvette, the last car recovered from eight that fell into a massive sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum in February.

Related to this story

Topics Automotive
Companies & Associations General Motors Co.

General Motors Co. and officials with the National Corvette Museum will meet in May to determine which of eight Corvettes damaged after plunging into a major sinkhole on Feb. 12 are fit to be restored.

The museum, which plans to keep the damaged Corvettes on display through the summer, may decide to leave some unrepaired as part of a permanent display, GM spokesman Monte Doran said.

“That’s something that we need to discuss further with the museum,” Doran said.

On April 9 the last Corvette, a 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06, was removed from the sinkhole at the museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. “It is, by far, the most heavily damaged of all eight,” the museum said in a statement.

Two of the damaged vehicles -- a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder and a 2009 ZR1 Blue Devil -- were on loan from Detroit-based General Motors. The other vehicles, owned by the museum, included a 1962 black Corvette; 1984 PPG Pace Car; 1992 white 1-millionth Corvette; 1993 40th anniversary Corvette; the 2009 1.5-millionth Corvette and the Z06.

Kevin and Linda Helmintoller of Land O’Lakes, Fla., donated the Mallett Hammer to the museum in December. Kevin Helmintoller was on hand to see the recovery of what remained.

“I expected bad, but it's 100 times worse,” he said in a blog updated posted by the museum. “It looks like a piece of tin foil... and it had a roll cage in it. It makes all the other cars look like they're brand new.”

Image By: National Corvette Museum Kevin Helmintoller watches the recovery of the 2001 Corvette he and his wife donated to the National Corvette Museum in December.

The original plan was to restore all eight vehicles, Doran said. But because of severe damage to some of the Corvettes, and feedback received from Corvette enthusiasts, the museum is exploring other options, such as preserving a portion of the sinkhole.

A display focusing on the Sinkhole event is now open in the building’s exhibit hall.

“Current plans are to keep the cars on display as they are so that guests through the summer and especially the thousands attending our 20th Anniversary Celebration will have a chance to see the cars and witness the sinkhole,” Wendell Strode, executive director of the museum, said in a statement.

Doran said representatives from GM design, marketing and engineering who have built show cars are expected to attend the meeting and determine the “best way to fix” the cars.

“Our ultimate goal is to help the museum in any we can because they are a charitable nonprofit organization that is not owned by Chevrolet or GM,” Doran said.

Some of the Corvettes recovered from the sinkhole were not as badly damaged, such as this 1962 model.

The museum’s sinkhole recovery and remediation team, along with a group of architects and geologists from Western Kentucky University, met last week to discuss construction plans to rebuild the floor where the sinkhole occurred.

The team is still compiling data but early findings indicate the sinkhole was caused by the collapse of a portion of a cave roof. “Several things could have caused this, including the extra weight from clay soils above the roof becoming saturated from heavy rain,” the museum said in a statement.

After the accident, the museum has received $75,000 in donations, said Katie Frassinelli, marketing and communications manager at the museum.

“We even have a jar of dirt that fell off of the 1992 1-millionth Corvette when it was pulled out,” she said. It’s being auctioned to raise funds, she said, and “it’s up to $540.”


Comments

'It looks like a piece of tin foil'

Andrew Thurlow
AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

Published: April 25, 2014 9:53 am ET
Updated: April 25, 2014 12:05 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

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...    More

Image

Continental Structural Plastics buying 5 Magna SMC plants

July 17, 2014 4:35 pm ET

Automotive and construction supplier Continental Structural Plastics has signed an agreement to buy five sheet molding compound facilities from the ex...    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