Sinkhole Corvettes: What’s Happening NextBy: Chris Tepedino - April 26, 2014
Some the “Great 8” Corvettes, which fell into a sinkhole after the sinkhole opened up in the National Corvette Museum, may not be fixed, according to the latest CNN report. The damage, especially to the last three of four of the cars pulled out the sinkhole, has been that extensive.
“The last three or four cars that came out of the sinkhole…we didn’t expect them to come out looking quite that bad,” Dana Forrester, lead Corvette restoration member of the museum’s board of directors, told CNN in a phone interview.
Next month, the museum’s board of directors plans to meet with independent restorers and General Motors to determine what course of action to take regarding the damaged Corvettes. The most damage occurred to the 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 and the 1993 ZR-1 Spyder. The Mallett Hammer was the last car pulled out of the sinkhole on April 9.
Meanwhile, team members involved with the National Corvette Museum’s sinkhole recovery are analyzing why the sinkhole occurred at all. The team exploring the sinkhole found caves in the sinkhole, which Dr. Jason Polk, part of the WKU cave and karst team, said “is not surprising,” according to the National Corvette Museum’s blog.
“You don’t typically have sinkholes without caves or voids of some type below them, so this finding was not surprising,” Polk said.
He also stated that they found mineral deposits, which indicate that there are dry regions in the northern part of the cave. This means that the caves present in the sinkhole are thousands of years old and were there before the construction of the museum.
The team is also exploring ways to rebuild the floor of the museum, though the museum is interested in preserving a part of the sinkhole, “helping to tell the story of what is now Museum and Corvette history.”
“We will continue to explore these ideas as the process has not moved along far enough to know if keeping a portion of the hole is feasible or not,” said Wendell Strode, Executive Director of the Museum. “The interest in our sinkhole and the rescued Corvettes has been more than expected, and our attendance for March was up 56% over March of last year.”
She added, “Our special display focusing on this event is now open in our Exhibit Hall. Current plans are to keep the cars on display as they are so that guests through the summer and especially the thousands attending our 20th Anniversary Celebration will have a chance to see the cars and witness the sinkhole for themselves.”