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Blue Devil ZR1 First to be Extracted from National Corvette Museum Sinkhole

Suzanne Denbow
by Suzanne Denbow
March 5, 2014
1 min. Reading Time

Early on the morning of February 12th, the carbonate rock beneath the Skydome wing of the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, unexpectedly collapsed into a 30-ft sinkhole. Although the architecturally impressive Skydome itself remained structurally unscathed, the jagged crater of raw earth swallowed eight of the precious Corvettes on display. One of the unlucky vehicles was 2009 Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 "Blue Devil," an iconic comeback kid on loan from General Motors that set the automotive world on fire during its initial release.

On Monday, the famed Blue Devil became the first model to be successfully rescued from the sunken karst formation, officially marking the return of the crossed-flag ascendancy.

Despite the three-story fall, the extraction team found the Blue Devil in relatively good condition. "Mechanically, the worst damage is a split in the oil-supply line for the 6.2L LS9 V-8," explained John Spencer,  manufacturing integration manager for Corvette . "If you fixed that, you could drive the ZR-1 back to Detroit."


Thanks to the deft skill of the recovery team, the ZR1 sustained no further damage during the rescue effort.


While relatively minor, the Blue Devil will nevertheless require some cosmetic repair. Damage includes a cracked windshield, shattered carbon fiber, and paint blemishes.


After retrieval, all of the damaged Corvettes will be shipped to the GM Design facility in Warren, Michigan for complete repair. Although only two of the eight vehicles are actually owned by the company itself, GM has pledged total support for the restoration process. Said General Motors Global Product Development  executive vice president Mark Reuss, "We want to ensure as many of the damaged cars are restored as possible so fans from around the world can enjoy them when the Museum reopens.”



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