Breaking: Sinkhole Swallows Eight Corvettes At National Corvette Museum


The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY experienced a nasty surprise just before 6AM this morning when a sinkhole approximately 40 feet wide and 30 feet deep opened up and swallowed eight rare and prestigious American sports cars. When the ground opened, luckily, the museum was still closed for the night, and nobody was injured, but the list of Corvettes lost is certainly disheartening. The sinkhole set off an alarm within the museum, and the local fire department was notified. Upon arrival, they found a large hole in the floor of the SkyDome “hall of fame” section of the museum, with a number of special cars resting subterranean.

While some of the cars appear salvageable, certainly a few will be reduced to no more than scrap. The damaged cars include two cars currently on loan from General Motors; a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder, and a 2009 ZR1 “Blue Devil”, as well as six vehicles owned by the museum itself; a 1962 Black Corvette, a 1984 PPG Pace Car, the 1 Millionth Corvette, the 1.5 Millionth Corvette, a Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Car, and a Mallett Hammer C5 Z06.  Some of these cars, as you can tell, are one of a kind, and can never be replaced.  


A few years back, I got the opportunity to visit the museum, and certainly the SkyDome was among my favorite sections of the place. I had just graduated college, and the job market in Michigan was abysmal, so I packed everything I owned into the back of a 1995 Ford Aspire with no rear window and no fourth gear, trucking it all down to Atlanta, GA to live in my father’s basement. I had 200 dollars in my pocket, and a mountain of student loan debt, but I still managed to convince myself that it was worth the 12 dollars to enter the hallowed grounds of the Corvette museum. I’m really glad that I did.

Growing up, I was always a Ford guy, like my father before me. However, having gotten bit by the sports car bug, the Corvette team competing on the world stage had certainly piqued my interest. In the museum, I was instantly attracted by the Corvette GTP I’d only read about, and sat enamored watching the newly released ZR-1 video, depicting the 7:26.4 lap of the Nurburgring, in its entirety. In the hall of fame sat the Dempster Corvette that I’d read about, and dreamed about, from the pages of Car and Driver. I ogled, and oohed, and aahed for a couple of hours before continuing my long journey to Georgia, and I’m still glad that I did.  

DSC_1250The loss of these cars falls just short of tragedy, and the rebuilding process will be a lengthy one. Hopefully they can rebuild, both the cars, and the SkyDome in rapid fashion, as the enthusiasts of the community deserve to see this museum in its entirety.

In 2014, the museum is scheduled to host its own 20th anniversary in September, they are playing to a big crowd in the form of “Corvette Convoy” in August, and are planning to open the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park this year as well. 

Photos: The National Corvette Museum

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