Museum officials were alerted to motion detectors going off in the Skydome portion of the museum at 5:44 a.m. Wed., Feb. 12. When they arrived, they found a giant sinkhole had swallowed eight Corvettes. Talk about a car insurance claim! The sinkhole is estimated to be 40 feet across and 25 to 30 feet deep.
Two of the eight cars affected were on loan from GM: a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder and a 2009 ZR1 "Blue Devil." The other six cars were owned by the National Corvette Museum: a 1962 black Corvette, a 1984 PPG Pace Car, the 1992 white 1 millionth Corvette, a 1993 ruby red 40th anniversary Corvette, a 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 and the 2009 white 1.5 millionth Corvette. They were all located in the Skydome exhibit area, which is a separate building connected to the main museum.
The Mechanical Assembly facility within General Motors Design, which maintains and restores many of the cars in the GM Heritage Collection as well as GM's historic concept cars, will oversee the restoration of all the damaged Corvettes.
The damaged cars were described as "some of the most significant in automotive history" by GM. "There can only be one 1-millionth Corvette ever built. We want to ensure as many of the damaged cars are restored as possible so fans from around the world can enjoy them when the museum reopens," said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of General Motors Product Development.
Repairs to the Skydome are already underway. The repair crew estimates it will take two to three weeks to stabilize the area before the cars can be removed. Then the building will be reconstructed with additional features being added to prevent the possibility of damage again from a sinkhole in the future.
The National Corvette Museum expects the entire project to be complete in time for the museum's 20th anniversary celebration and the grand opening of the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park to be held Aug. 27-30.
Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.