Crumpled classics on display

BOWLING GREEN, Kentucky (WAVE) – Five are out and three remain.

These days the sound of drills fill the National Corvette Museum on Bowling Green, Kentucky where a sinkhole opened up on February 12.

The 40-foot hole is part of the visitor experience.

Plexiglas separates the public from geotechnical engineers working to stabilize the red spire in the Skydome.

This week crews recovered the fifth Chevrolet Corvette, an orange 1984 model that was modified into a pace car for the PPG/Cart IndyCar World Series.

Unlike the first two sports cars that emerged from the pit, the pace car sustained significant damage. The crumbled car is near the visitor viewing area about 100 yards from the sinkhole.

Four other recovered Vettes are on display in an exhibit. The 2009 “Blue Devil” ZR1, 1993 40th Anniversary Corvette, 1962 black roadster and One Millionth Vette are part of the museum’s visitor experience.

Three more vehicles are still in the hole, including the 1993 ZR-1 Spyder (on loan from GM), the 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 and the 2009 1.5 Millionth Corvette.​ Museum personnel plan to remove the remaining cars in late April.

Families traveling south on Interstate 65 are making a pit stop at the museum to see the sinkhole and damaged sports cars.

“We’re on our way to Florida and thought this would make for a great detour. It’s amazing this even happened,” Stephanie Schuelke said.

Eventually the Great Eight, a term the museum uses to refer to the damaged Vettes, will be moved back into the showroom where the sinkhole opened up. The damaged cars will be on display through late August.

“GM tells us it’ll take about a year to restore all of the damaged vehicles,” National Corvette Museum Communications Manager Katie Frassinelli said.

The recovered cars will be shipped this fall to a small specialty shop within General Motors Design in Warren, Michigan where the best restoration approach will be determined.

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