One year ago at 5:38 a.m. (Feb. 12, 2014), a giant sinkhole opened up and swallowed 8 rare and historically important Corvettes at the National Corvette Museum. The sinkhole measured about 40 feet wide and 30 feet deep and opened beneath the Skydome where a total of 25 cars were displayed.
The event garnered worldwide media attention, including The New York Times and BBC, putting the museum on the international stage. Security camera footage showing the floor’s collapse has been viewed about 8.4 million times on YouTube, visits to the museum increased 66 percent this year and revenue grew by 71 percent, according to the museum. Several visitors throughout the year said they hadn’t heard of the NCM until the sinkhole.
The cars were removed one by one and the damage was assessed. Sadly, only 3 are able to be restored (the 2009 ZR1 Blue Devil, the 1 millionth Corvette (1992 white convertible) and a 1962 Tuxedo Black Corvette), but the good news is no one was hurt. The other 5 cars were too damaged to restore, so the museum has them displayed in their crunched condition. These cars are the 1984 PPG pace car, a 1993 ruby red “40th anniversary Corvette”, a 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette, the 2009 white “1.5 millionth Corvette” and a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder.
Construction began in November to fill the hole with an estimated cost of $3.2 million. As of last week, the hole has been entirely filled up with limestone and sand, but there is still a lot of work to be done. The project is on schedule to be completed by the end of June or early July.
Just how many tons of limestone and sand was used to fill the massive sinkhole? The Corvette Museum won’t say, and that’s because they’re running a contest where if you guess correctly at this Survey Monkey site, you can win a print that commemorates the Blue Devil ZR1 being triumphantly lifted out of it.