It has been a long process since a sinkhole swallowed up eight cars in the National Corvette museum in Bowling Green. The museum was getting ready to celebrate its 20th Anniversary when the tragedy occurred, leaving mystery to the condition of eight of the most important Corvette's in GM's history.
The lost collection included a black 1962 Corvette, 1984 PPG Pace Car, 1992 White “1 Millionth” Corvette, 1993 ZR-1 Spyder, and a 1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Corvette. There were also several later generation Vette's lost, including a 2001 Mallet Hammer Z06 Corvette, 2009 White “1.5 Millionth” Corvette, and the infamous 2009 ZR1 “Blue Devil”.
It was a relief when GM stepped in and said they would pledge to help restore each of the cars once they were recovered from the sinkhole. And the process began. Unfortunately, as you might expect, the first couple were more badly damaged than were hoped.
However, the museum was not going to stop until they found all eight. Earlier this week, using a sophisticated metal detector, the final Corvette was found, the 2001 Mallet Hammer Z06 Corvette. “I expected bad, but it’s 100 times worse,” said Kevin Helmintoller, the man who donated the car to 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.”
Before GM can restore the couple of the Corvette's in salvageable condition, the Corvette Museum plans to display all eight in their current damaged state in their exhibit hall through August 8, 2014. After that, the museum will have their new Skydome built in the same place where the damage occurred, and the cars will be moved there for the Museum's 20th birthday, which will be celebrated from August 27 through 30.
View the sad remains of the Mallet Hammer, in the video below: