Remember the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum (NCM)? After Amanda Bynes, it has (arguably) been the biggest news story for 2014. Now, a few days before the NCM is set to close the Skydome for construction repairs, Chevrolet has unveiled the newly-restored 2009 Corvette ZR1 that was damaged when by falling into the sinkhole. After the SEMA Show closes on November 7th, the Corvette will head back to the museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The “Blue Devil” ZR1 is the first to be restored of the eight cars that were damaged by falling into the sinkhole. This ZR1 is of special significance since it was one of two show cars used to introduce the all-new Corvette ZR1 to an enthusiastic market back in January 2008, and was slated to be scrapped since it was a pre-production model. The Blue Devil was hoisted almost 30 feet out of the sinkhole three weeks after it gulped the cars, and the super car even managed to start and drive out of the Skydome under its own power.
“After that unprecedented event, the ZR1 was the first car to be lifted out of the sinkhole,” says U.S. vice president for performance vehicles and motorsports, Jim Campbell. “It was great to recover it, bring it back to Chevrolet and begin the restoration of this significant Corvette.”
The Blue Devil remained on display at the museum until September due to unprecedented interest in the sinkhole, upon which it went back to Chevrolet for restoration. The damage consisted of:
- Cracked carbon-fiber ground effects and a broken passenger-side rocker panel
- Damaged passenger front fender and cracks in both doors
- Cracked windshield, hood window glass and passenger-side headlamp assembly
- Bent rear control arms on the driver’s side
- Cracked oil lines to the supercharged LS9 engine’s dry-sump oiling system
Six weeks later, the Blue Devil emerged from the General Motors Heritage Center in seemingly perfect condition.
Next year, two other “sinkhole Corvettes” will be restored: the 1-millionth Corvette and a 1962 Corvette. The other five will remain in their as-recovered state to preserve their historical significance for a future display at the NCM.