Found: Last sinkhole Corvettes located
Final three heavily damaged by rock and debris
Eric Kaminsky - April 09, 2014 09:33 AM
The crushed ZR1 Spyder is being prepped for lifting. Missing pieces, like the autographed hood, were found later.Photo courtesy of the National Corvette Musuem
The ZR1 on the flatbed. Note the heavy damage to the driver’s side and front.Photo courtesy of the National Corvette Museum
The 1,500,000th was located near the ZR1 Spyder. It was flattened after ending up upside down.Photo courtesy of the National Corvette Museu
Waiting to be hauled to the exhibit hall, damage from rocks is clearly seen.Photo courtesy of the National Corvette Museum
The Mallett Hammer Corvette was found upside down under several feet of debris. Here, only two tires and part of the suspension is visible.Photo courtesy of the National Corvette Museum
The Mallet Hammer Corvette as recovery operations began.Photo courtesy of National Corvette Musuem
The Mallet Hammer Corvette sits on a trailer outside the Musuem prior to being placed int he Exhibit Hall.Photo courtesy of the National Corvette Museum
UPDATE: April 9, 3:30 p.m.
The Mallett Hammer Z06 has finally been removed from the sinkhole. Its body was completely separated from the chassis when it was lifted out; the chassis appears to be twisted. The passenger front wheel has been detached.
Mallet photos added. Video of Mallet recovered added.
The last three Corvettes that were in the bottom of the sinkhole in the Skydome at the National Corvette Museum have now all been found, almost two months after a huge section of the floor collapsed in the early morning hours of February 12.
When they were lifted out of the hole by crane, they were placed on a flatbed tow truck with dollies under their wheels to roll them into the exhibit hall.
The ZR1 Spyder was removed on April 1. The ZR1 was hit hard on the driver’s side and front by huge pieces of concrete. Several pieces, including the autographed hood, were not with the car when it was pulled from the dirt, but were later located. The hood had been up while the car was on display, and was torn off when it fell.
The ZR-1 was one of a few prototypes made by GM. This car was a full performance ZR-1 and was originally painted Sebring Silver with a Neutrino Yellow interior. It debuted at the 1991 North American Auto Show before being repainted black and having its interior changed to red. The car has many one-off features. Mechanically, the Spyder is a stock 1990 ZR-1.
The 1,500,000th Corvette, a white convertible with red interior, ended up top down when the floor collapsed, was discovered near and below the ZR1 Spyder. While rough, all the major components are still there, according to Museum officials. It was at least recognizable, even though it too had been hit by falling concrete. The trunk lid and windshield were badly damaged.
The National Corvette Museum purchased the milestone car brand new to preserve its place in history. It was built in Bowling Green, Kentucky, on May 28, 2009.
2001 Z06 Mallet Hammer
The final Corvette, the 2001 Z06 with Mallett Hammer conversion, was located on April 7. It had been donated to the Museum last year.
It was found upside down with its nose pointed towards the spire in the center of the sinkhole. Its recovery was the most difficult, as it was covered by several feet of rock and debris, and the recovery process was slow and meticulous, as it was the furthest down.
As of the time this story posted, workers were still digging around the car.
The “sinkhole Corvettes” have been placed in a special display in the Museum’s Exhibit Hall through August 3, officials said, when they will be moved into the restored Skydome, where they will remain on display, as-is, through the Museum’s 20th Anniversary Event August 27-30, 2014. Chevrolet has agreed to restore all eight cars.
Engineers, geologists and Museum officials will now begin formulating the plan to repair the sinkhole damage.
Video links (courtesy of the National Corvette Museum):