Corvette ZR1 ‘Blue Devil’ freed from sinkhole: First of eight cars removed; recovery ongoing.

First of 8 cars removed; runs and drives

Update: Video of the ZR1 removal added below.

Workers at the National Corvette Museum have begun removing 8 cars from the bottom of a sinkhole that appeared inside the museum’;s Skydome last month. The first car to make it back to ground level is the 2009 Corvette ZR1 prototype nicknamed “Blue Devil.” Incredibly, the ZR1 reportedly cranked right up and even made it to the doorway of the Skydome under its own power.

The Blue Devil ZR1 is one of 2 cars swallowed by the sinkhole that is the property of General Motors. The other, a one-off 1993 ZR-1 Spyder, remains in the hole.

Though the museum claims the ZR1 is “nearly unscathed,” we’;re sure Chevrolet is still going to give it a thorough once-over anyway; the company has offered to restore all of the vehicles pulled from the pit to road-worthiness, if possible. That’;s after the sinkhole-damaged cars go on display at the National Corvette Museum, of course — you’;ll be able to gawk at the cars in their as-recovered state until Aug. 3.

Museum personnel have provided a rough timetable for the recovery of the remaining Vettes: The 1993 “40th Anniversary” coupe should come out later today, with the 1962 car coming tomorrow. Pulling that car will be “much trickier as a 5-ton slab of concrete is partially resting on the front of the car,” the museum said. “2 cranes will be used to simultaneously lift the car and the concrete.”

All bets are off with regard to the other cars, some of which are invisible beneath piles of rubble at the bottom of the sinkhole.

A pair of webcams positioned in the museum’;s Skydome should allow you to watch the rest of the extraction in real-time, but for some reason (possibly a flood of traffic), the streaming video is currently down.

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