BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Chevrolet and the National Corvette Museum will restore three of the Corvettes damaged earlier this year when they tumbled into a sinkhole that developed beneath the floor of the museum.
Chevrolet will restore the 2009 Corvette ZR1 prototype, known as the Blue Devil, and the 1-millionth Corvette produced — a white 1992 convertible. In addition, Chevrolet will fund the restoration of the 1962 Corvette, which the National Corvette Museum will oversee. A restoration shop has not yet been determined.
In total, General Motors will provide nearly $250,000 in support to help the Museum recover from the sinkhole. The National Corvette Museum celebrates its 20th anniversary this weekend.
The five other Corvettes swallowed by the sinkhole will remain in their as-recovered state to preserve the historical significance of the cars. They will become part of a future display at the museum.
“Our goal was to help the National Corvette Museum recover from a terrible natural disaster by restoring all eight cars,” said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president of global product development. “However, as the cars were recovered, it became clear that restoration would be impractical because so little was left to repair. And, frankly, there is some historical value in leaving those cars to be viewed as they are.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by Corvette enthusiasts from around the globe.
“There has been an outpouring of messages from enthusiasts the world over, asking us not to restore all of the cars,” said Wendell Strode, executive director for the National Corvette Museum. “For Corvette enthusiasts, the damage to the cars is part of their history, and part narrative of the National Corvette Museum. Restoring them all would negate the significance of what happened.”
Timelines for the start and projected completion dates for the three Corvettes’ restorations have not been established. They will be announced later.