Two more sunken sports cars were pulled from the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green on Wednesday. Officials at the museum estimated that it might take weeks to pull the next cars from the hole, but on Wednesday, crews were able to extract a white, 1992 model, the one-millionth Corvette to roll off the assembly line. Later in the afternoon, they recovered the 1984 PPG Pace Car.
Five of the eight cars that fell into the hole February 12th have now been recovered and will be on display at the museum through early August.
The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green put on quite a show Monday. Construction crews began the slow, methodical process of removing eight cars that fell into a 50-foot sinkhole last month in the Skydome exhibit area.
Crews did a few test runs over the weekend, but the moment of truth came at 10:35a.m. when first out of the depths of the hole was a blue 2009 ZR-1.
As a crane safely lifted to the surface the 3,500-pound car known as the ‘Blue Devil,’ Museum Director Wendell Strode smiled and gave a thumbs up.
“It was a wonderful feeling and something we have been building for ever since the first day when this all happened," commented Strode. “The pride, you could just see it. We’re happy for everyone who has had a hand in it to this point and certainly all the supporters worldwide. It’s a great feeling and we’re thrilled to share it with so many others."
Strode was amazed at the car’s good condition.
“The pictures we had seen previously looked as though it had been delicately placed on top of the soil, but when it was coming out, it looked like it could be started right up and driven off," he added. "It’s a great tribute to the engineering and everything that goes into the Corvette.”
Besides some fiberglass damage, an oil leak, and some scrapes, the ‘Blue Devil’ defied the odds. Cheers erupted when the car cranked up and drove a few feet. Construction Manager Mike Murphy was shocked.
“I could not believe it fired up and they could drive it out the door. After taking a 40-foot fall, that’s amazing," said Murphy.
The ‘Blue Devil’ was loaded onto a flatbed trailer and moved to the museum’s exhibit area where all eight cars as they are recovered, will be on display through August 3.
Engineers expect to start pulling out Corvettes from a Bowling Green sinkhole next week.
Eight vintage versions of the car fell into the sinkhole that opened up two weeks ago beneath the National Corvette Museum. The construction company Scott, Murphy, and Daniel says the removal of the first three cars could begin next Monday, with the hopes of having those vehicles out of the sinkhole by Wednesday.
The construction team has been told it can bring excavation equipment into the Skydome area of the museum where the sinkhole opened up.
Workers will be allowed to set up cranes that will suspend engineers and contractors into the hole so that they can better examine the condition of the sinkhole and create a recovery plan.
The company estimates the crane will be in place by Saturday.
Construction crews at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green are making preparations to remove the eight cars that fell into a massive sinkhole less than a week ago.
Measures are also being taken to satisfy curious guests.
Right after the sinkhole collapse, a temporary wall was placed between the Skydome and the rest of the museum. Now, the wall is being moved closer inside the Skydome and a window is being put in so that visitors can get a better view of the sinkhole and the work being done around it.
"We've had quite a few visitors who have been coming specifically to catch a glimpse of the sinkhole, and for safety reasons, we can't allow them to go into the Skydome to see it for themselves," says Communications Director Katie Frassinelli.
A live webcam has also been placed above the sinkhole and can be accessed here.
Anecdotally, she’s seeing more visitors than normal for this time of year and more local gawkers are showing up at the museum.
Construction remains on schedule at the new Motorsports Park adjacent to the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green. Mitch Wright, general manager of the Motorsports Park says any concerns related to the sinkhole that opened up inside the museum last week we’re actually addressed months ago.
“We did have some sinkholes on the property, which we have remediated. We had quite a bit of geotech work done prior to the construction starting," said Wright. “We’re pretty confident we found what we needed to find and we’re going to have a fantastic facility for people to enjoy.”
He says crews are making progress with underground work right now, and pavement will be put down in the spring. The Motorsports Park is scheduled for completion in August.
Eight cars that fell into a sinkhole at Bowling Green’s National Corvette Museum last Wednesday will be getting a little tender loving care.
The prized sports cars were damaged when a 40 foot wide by 25 foot deep sinkhole opened up beneath the Skydome portion of the museum.
Long-time Warren County Representative and former House Speaker Jody Richards says the cars will be sent off for refurbishing.
“General Motors is going to transport those to Detroit and they’re going to restore all eight of the Corvettes," the Bowling Green Democrat said. "They are very special corvettes and they want to restore them and they will eventually be back on display in the National Corvette Museum”
Richards isn’t sure if the repaired cars will be back in Bowling Green in time for the Corvette Museum's 20th anniversary in August. That's also when a new motorsports park will open in Warren County.
The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green will re-open to the public Thursday after a sinkhole collapse swallowed up eight of the iconic vehicles.
The collapse happened shortly after 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. The Bowling Green Fire Department responded to an alarm triggered by the sinkhole.
Security cameras at the museum captured the collapse, which took place in the Skydome portion of the facility where the museum shows off some of its most invaluable vehicles. Six of the Corvettes that fell into the sinkhole are owned by the museum, with the other two on loan from General Motors.
According to a news release by the museum, all cars on display in the Skydome not affected by the sinkhole have been safely removed from the area. That same release also said a structural engineering firm at the site has determined that the perimeter of the Skydome is stable.
Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode estimated the hole that opened up at the facility is 25 to 30 feet deep and 40 feet wide.
The sinkhole didn't come as a shock to WKU Geology Professor Jason Polk, who says recent rainfall may have played a role in Wednesday's collapse.
A visit with Mitch Wright about the future Motorsports Park adjacent to the Corvette Museum
The last three months have been full of good news for the 2014 Corvette Stingray. In November it was named Automobile Magazine’s Car of the Year, followed the next month by the same honors from Autoweek. Monday, it was named the Car of the Year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
It’s a car with a long and storied past – and no place is that more celebrated than at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green. In August, the museum will celebrate its 20th anniversary. As part of the celebration, the Corvette Museum will open a new Motorsports Park featuring a 3.1 mile road course on 184 acres just across the highway from the museum.
Leading the planning for the track is Motorsports Park General Manager Mitch Wright – a former professional race car driver-turn-motorsports park operator, who’s been behind the wheel for most of his life.
“I started quite young – I was 11 years old when I started racing go-carts,” said Wright. “From as far back as I can remember, I wanted to race…I wanted to race something.”