Photo credit: STEVE FECHT/CHEVROLET
2 of the 8 Corvettes swallowed Feb. 12 by a sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., were lifted out of the hole today and placed back in the showroom.
As a crowd of spectators cheered and thousands of viewers watched online, the 2009 ZR1 Blue Devil — one of 2 cars on loan from General Motors — and the 1993 Ruby Red 40th anniversary edition were lifted by a crane and placed at ground level.
The Blue Devil, which appears to have endured minor damage during its nearly 30-foot plunge, was driven about 20 feet to the museum’;s doorway, said Katie Frassinelli, a museum spokeswoman.
Video of the retrieval showed that the Ruby Red 40th anniversary edition sustained broken windows and severe damage to its front and rear.
A black 1962 model is scheduled to be retrieved Tuesday, but will be much “trickier” as a 5-ton slab of concrete rests on the front of the vehicle, the museum said.
2 cranes will be used to simultaneously lift the car and the concrete, the museum said.
Other Corvettes to be retrieved are a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder, the other car on loan from GM; a 1984 PPG pace car; the 1-millionth Vette, built in 1992; a 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06; and the 2009 1.5-millionth Corvette.
Recovery of the vehicles is expected to take through Aug. 3, Frassinelli said.
The museum plans to display each vehicle after it is recovered until all 8 are taken together to a small shop within GM Design in suburban Detroit for restoration.
Webcams are positioned around the sinkhole and pictures are available on the museum’;s Web site.
You can reach Andrew Thurlow at firstname.lastname@example.org.