Wow. 20th Anniversary. Didn't realize it had been that long. The first museum event I was involved with was in '99, the 5th Anniversary Caravan which consisted of over 10,000 Vettes. The last one I participated in was in '03, the 50th Anniversary of Corvette and was even bigger. I need to dust off my old '96 C4 and get involved again. Just like with the Mini, you meet a lot of nice people at these events.
When members of the restoration team rolled up their sleeves and took the car apart for the first time last April, they discovered a surprise.
Hundreds of them, actually.
GM factory workers who rolled out the 1 millionth Corvette in July of 1992, had signed their names on hundreds of hidden places inside the car. The surfaces underneath nearly every part were "absolutely covered with signatures," Bolognino said. The GM assembly line workers at the Bowling Green factory who rolled the car out in July of 1992, had signed it. They signed it in virtually every hidden place — under the carpet, under the side panels, under the dash pad. Each signature amounted to a personal salute from hundreds of proud men and women honoring their work and the museum piece they helped create.
WARREN, Mich. – Craftspeople and technicians at the General Motors Design Center are painstakingly restoring the historic 1 millionth Chevrolet Corvette damaged nearly 16 months ago when a sinkhole opened beneath the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky.
The restoration crew is part of GM’s Mechanical Assembly group at the Design Center, which typically spends its time building prototype and concept vehicles. The white 1992 Corvette is a challenge because rather than build an all-new vehicle from the ground up, the workers are trying to preserve the original appearance of a production vehicle.
It is the second of three sinkhole-damaged Corvettes that Chevrolet has pledged to restore. The first, a 2009 Corvette ZR1 prototype known as the Blue Devil, was only lightly damaged and was returned to its original condition last fall. The National Corvette Museum will oversee the restoration of the third car, a 1962 Corvette.
Five other Corvettes swallowed by the sinkhole will remain in their as-recovered state to preserve the historical significance of the cars. They will become part of a future sinkhole-themed display at the museum.
On Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, at 5:44 a.m., National Corvette Museum personnel were notified by their security company about the burglar alarm going off in the Skydome area of the museum. Upon arrival at the museum, a sinkhole measuring about 45-by-60 feet wide and 30-foot deep was discovered.
Security camera footage showing the Skydome floor’s collapse has been viewed more than 8.5 million times on YouTube.
Eight historic Corvettes – two on loan from GM and six owned by the museum – were swallowed that day:
1993 ZR-1 Spyder (on loan)
2009 ZR1 “Blue Devil” prototype (on loan)
1984 PPG Pace Car
1992 1 millionth Corvette
1993 40th Anniversary Corvette
2001 “Mallett Hammer” Z06
2009 1.5 millionth Corvette
On March 3, 2014, the 2009 Blue Devil was the first car recovered and despite significant damage was started and driven out of the Skydome. The 1.5 millionth Corvette and Mallet Corvette were the last cars pulled from the sinkhole, on April 3 and April 9, respectively – after workers were initially unable to find them amid the collapsed earth.
Corvette Museum’s Sinkhole Exhibit Now Open (autoguide.com)
By Jason Siu | Feb 18, 2016
The National Corvette Museum has opened its Corvette Cave In! Skydome Sinkhole Experience.
More than two years have passed since a massive sinkhole opened up inside the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and now visitors can check out the Corvette Cave In! exhibit. The new exhibit features the renovated Skydome with all eight Corvettes that were swallowed up by the sinkhole. While the museum originally wanted to preserve the sinkhole, it determined that it wouldn’t be feasible, leading them to do the next best thing.
A line on the floor now outlines where the sinkhole was and a second line marks where the cave still resides. The museum added a 48-inch manhole that allows visitors to take a look into a glass window to see the floor of the sinkhole, which is more than 30 feet down.
The exhibit, which is open to the public and is included with regular museum admission, is divided into multiple sections: The Day, Media Coverage, Pop Culture, Cars Affected, The Recovery, Karst Landscapes, What It Took to Fix the Sinkhole and The Grand Finale that combines photos, videos, informational text and interactive experiences that visitors of all ages can enjoy. There is even a crane game that visitors can play to remove boulders, debris and Corvettes from the sinkhole.
“Probably two days after the sinkhole happened, after we realized it could be fixed and once we saw more and more visitors starting to trickle in from the interstate, we shifted our attitude. We embraced the situation,” said Katie Frassinelli, marketing and communications manager for the Museum. “Honestly, it paid off big for us. Our attendance had leveled out around 150,000 in 2013, but in 2014 it skyrocketed to our highest number ever – over 250,000 visitors. Even last year we had 220,000 visitors… which if you remove our Corvette caravan event attendance from 2014 (a once-every-five-years blowout event), then 2015 was actually higher.”
"Straight roads are for fast cars, turns are for fast drivers." ~Colin McRae
I suppose we are supposed to look at this latest development in the mode of 'making lemonade out of lemons', but I watched a news story about this entire new major interactive section of the Corvette museum and the execution of it was way, way over the top. Note that is branded as a "sinkhole experience" rather than just a simple exhibit.
The over the top approach is kinda fitting though for the intended audience of Corvette fans.
2002 MINI Cooper S
1988 Austin Mini
... professional sports is the opiate of the masses...