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Museum to fill Corvette-ruining sinkhole

2014-09-01 09:14

SINKHOLE ATTRACTION TO BE FILLED: One of eight Chevrolet Corvettes removed from a sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky. Image: AFP / Alex Slitz

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – In February 2014 Wheels24 reported that a huge sinkhole swallowed eight classic sports cars at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Six belonged to the museum and two were on loan from General Motors. Among the eight were a 1992 white one-millionth Corvette and a 2009 white 1.5-millionth Corvette. The damaged cars, worth the equivalent of R10.5-million, plummeted amid rocks, concrete and soil.

VIDEO: Sinkhole swallows classic cars

Fortunately for museum-goers, the sinkhole won’t be a permanent attraction.


On August 30 2014 the museum’s board of directors voted to fill hole, reversing a decision to preserve part of it. The hole, 18m x 14m and nine metres deep, increased the popularity of the museum - spokeswoman Katie Frassinelli said visitors were up by 66% and revenue by 71% - and prompted the board in June 2014 to consider keeping part of it open with a car wreck at the bottom.

Understandably, the decision to keep part of the hole open was overruled due to safety concerns, the Detroit News reported.


The possible cost was not mentioned but the fill is scheduled to start in November and take about six months. The museum will remain open but the Skydome will be sealed . Visitors can watch the progress of the repairs through a Plexiglas wall.

Frassinelli said the hole would be filled with rock and steel casings installed. Crews would pour grout into the casings, creating a steel and concrete pillar to provide additional support under the floor, the DetNews said.

Bowling Green is in the centre of a large karst region (an area characterised by sinkholes and caves) where many of Kentucky’s deepest caves run.


Chevrolet has taken on the job of restoring the classic Corvettes. GM's head of global product development Mark Reuss said they were some of the most significant in its history and that the automaker wanted to restore as many as possible. The work will  be done at a plant in Michigan.

Chevrolet will restore the 1992 ‘millionth’ Corvette and the 2009 ZR1 Blue Devil but the other five were too badly damaged and will be displayed in their dented and wrecked condition.

General Motors will provide nearly R2.6-million to aid the museum which is near the plant where the iconic Corvettes are made.

Full list of damaged cars:

Museum-owned corvettes
1962 black Corvette
1984 PPG Pace Car
1992 White "one-millionth" Corvette
1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Corvette
2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette  
2009 white '1.5-millionth' Corvette

Damaged cars on loan from General motors
1993 ZR-1 Spyder
2009 ZR1 Blue Devil

Read more on:    chevrolet  |  general motors  |  kentucky  |  usa  |  classic cars  |  corvette  |  crash

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