Sinkhole-damaged Chevy Corvettes have all been restored, last one will be unveiled in February

Article by Christian A., on January 31, 2018

Back in 2014, there was an unexpected natural catastrophe that happened right smack in the center of Bowling Green. This was when a sinkhole opened up and swallowed part of Kentucky’s National Corvette Museum, which included eight historic Chevy Corvettes.

Instead of worrying about the cars that had been damaged, the museum dealt with this lightly and instead allowed visitors to take a look at the sinkhole up close, where there were Corvettes lying upside down.

Years after the incident, the museum finally decided that it was time to restore what had been damaged four years ago. Some of the cars were destroyed almost beyond recognition, while the others fell without being seriously ruined. Now, the National Corvette Museum has finally finished restoring all the damaged Corvettes and is ready to showcase the complete set to the public again.

Among the eight Chevy Corvettes that fell into the sinkhole, it was the handsome 1962 example that was restored last. It will take its rightful place on the Corvette Museum floor, looking brand new in a few weeks. Earlier this month, the museum announced that the vehicle will be restored in-house, within view of visitors, before it makes its debut on February 12.

The 1962 Chevy Corvette we are talking about now was donated in 2011 by a die-hard Corvette enthusiast, David Donoho. His car was finished in Tuxedo Black, and the car has a cool story behind it. That was because Donoho, at a young age, saved up enough money so he could afford to buy this particular car when he was still in high school. And ever since he bought it, he drove the car for 50 years before donating it to the museum - how many people in the world do you know drives a car for that long and maintains it so well?

Daniel Decker, Vehicle Maintenance and Preservation Coordinator, said that it was an honour for him to perform the restoration of the 1962 Chevy Corvette. He continued to say that this, along with seven other Corvettes in the museum, have made headlines around the world and are all considered iconic.

This is why travelers go out of their way from wherever they are in the world to visit this museum to see these cars in person. He excitedly uttered how ecstatic he is for people to see the transformation from the time of the sinkhole - and that is only a few weeks away from now.

Who amongst you plan to visit the National Corvette Museum next month? February 12 actually marks the fourth anniversary of the event.

Press Release


Nearly four years ago many Corvette enthusiasts across the globe woke up to some startling news. A massive sinkhole had opened inside the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky – taking eight Corvettes into its depths. What could have been a roadblock for the Museum turned into more of a speed bump as the natural occurrence garnered international media attention, and the casualties were luckily just inanimate objects. Making lemonade of the situation, the Museum turned what could have been a disaster into a tourist attraction, offering visitors the chance to see the Corvette-swallowing sinkhole up close and in person, as well as all eight Corvettes in their damaged state.

In the years that followed, the hole has been mostly filled (a manhole into what’s left of the cave with viewing window remain), and two of the Corvettes were restored by General Motors. In 2016 the Museum opened ‘Corvette Cave In: The Skydome Sinkhole Experience’ exhibit offering a hands-on, in-depth look at the story of what happened. Then in 2017 it was announced that restoration would begin on the final repairable Corvette – the Tuxedo Black 1962.

Over the past year, work has been performed on the Museum-owned Corvette in-house at the AutoZone Maintenance and Preservation Area by Vehicle Maintenance and Preservation Coordinator Daniel Decker, with the help of Curator Derek Moore, Dan Garrett and other members of the Museum team.

The Corvette was donated to the Museum in 2011 by David Donoho, a die-hard enthusiast who saved up enough money to buy the car in high school, and ultimately owned it just over 50 years. David was so obsessed, in fact, that he earned the nickname “The Weather Man” because his friends would tease him about how closely he would watch the weather, and quickly take his Corvette home when there was a chance of rain.

Most of the restoration work has been viewable by visitors to the Museum, and in some cases Decker would let guests get an up-close view and share with them the process that was being accomplished that day, answering questions along the way.

On Monday, February 12, 2018 the restored 1962 will be placed back in its original pre-sinkhole display space in the Skydome and revealed to the public. A ceremony will be held in the Skydome at 9:00am CT, and broadcast live on the Museum’s Facebook page.

“For me, it’s been an honor to perform the restoration of the 1962,” said Decker. “This Corvette as well as the other seven made international headlines. Visitors travel from all over the world to visit our Museum and see these cars. I can’t wait for them to see the transformation.”

Source: Chevrolet

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