1993 40th Anniversary Corvette Convertible in Ruby Red (© General Motors)Click to enlarge picture

A 1993 40th Anniversary Corvette Convertible in Ruby Red was one of the cars damaged by the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum.


After 24 hours of uncertainty about the fate of the eight Corvettes swallowed up by a sinkhole under the National Corvette Museum, Chevrolet announced it will oversee the restoration of the vehicles.

Once the vehicles are retrieved from the hole, they will travel to Warren, Mich., where General Motors Design will take charge of the project. Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design, will oversee the restoration.

"The vehicles at the National Corvette Museum are some of the most significant in automotive history," said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of General Motors Global Product Development. "There can only be one 1-millionth Corvette ever built. We want to ensure as many of the damaged cars are restored as possible so fans from around the world can enjoy them when the Museum reopens."

In addition to the 1-millionth Corvette, GM had loaned the museum two of the vehicles -- a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder and a 2009 ZR1 "Blue Devil" -- that fell into the hole.

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The sinkhole opened up under the museum's Sky Dome around 5:30 a.m. yesterday. Alarms sounded less than 15 minutes after that, but by then the damage was done. Some of the cars look to be in pretty good shape, GM officials said, but there are others that are buried and no one is sure how much damage has been done to those vehicles . . .or if they can even be recovered from the sinkhole which is 40 feet wide and 30 feet deep.

If the cars are recovered, they will be shipped to the Mechanical Assembly facility, a small specialty shop within GM Design, where the best restoration approach will be determined. Mechanical Assembly has been part of GM Design since the 1930s, and today maintains and restores many of the vehicles in the GM Heritage Collection and GM's historic concept cars.

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The National Corvette Museum is independently owned, and supported solely by charitable donations from enthusiasts. It is currently accepting donations, which are tax-deductible, on its website to assist in refurbishing the facility.