THE SINKHOLE `VETTES
Eight Corvettes on display in the Skydome were swallowed up by the sinkhole. Five were declared beyond repair, two have been fixed and one is in the process of being restored. All but one are on display.
can try their hand at a Corvette Crane Rescue video game, and an amphitheatre area that provides an audio simulation of a collapsing sinkhole.
In all, it was very detailed and interesting experience, but seeing all of the affected cars (with the exception of the 1962 Convertible, which is still being restored) back on display in the Skydome was pretty arresting – especially those that were unrepairable. One might have thought the museum would have chosen to discard them, but putting them back on display in their original position and in the condition they were in when pulled from the sinkhole seems like the right call to me.
The damaged cars were easily the most fascinating part of my visit. Some were badly crushed, (2009 1.5 Millionth), some were mostly intact (1993 40th anniversary), while others were barely recognizable as a Corvette (2001 Mallett Hammer Z06). All were covered in reddish dirt and small rocks and stones from the collapse. Museum staff chose not to remove the residue – there's no point in cleaning up destroyed cars, after all – which helps to bring the violence of the collapse into sharp focus. An interactive exhibit is great, but the cars tell the real story.
After spending about two hours documenting everything, I decided it was time to hit the road. On my way back to the interstate, I made a brief visit to the plant across the street to take some additional photos. I was told it had been idle since July, but there were a number of cars in the parking lots I drove through which seemed to indicate something was going on inside. Given that Bowling Green builds only the Corvette, I was struck by its size – it is an enormous facility.
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