Millions of dollars, down the hole – literally. An immense sinkhole below the National Corvette Museum in western Kentucky opened up early Wednesday morning, swallowing eight priceless and historic Chevrolet Corvettes that were donated to the museum, reports the Los Angeles Times today.
Security motion sensors at the museum in Bowling Green, ironically near the General Motors plant that builds Corvettes, captured the ground in the “Skydome” rupturing, then completely giving way and “eating” the rare vehicles.
“It’s just kind of a sad day in the Corvette mecca of the world,” said Wendell Strode, executive director of the museum.
The sinkhole measured about 40 feet across and 25 to 30 feet deep. The museum houses about 80 rare Corvettes, and was closed indefinitely as engineers assess the damage and the safety to the remaining parts of the building.
“It’s not looking good,” Strode said of the damage to the cars. “There were a lot of tears this morning as we were having to deal with what’s in there.”
According to the LA Times, the six cars that were damaged the most include “a black 1962 Corvette, a 1984 custom pace car from the IndyCar World Series, the 1 millionth Corvette and 1.5 millionth Corvette ever built, a 1993 Ruby Red 40th anniversary Corvette, and a 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette.”
Each car has a story, and the museum is in the process of personally contacting each owner with this sad conclusion to their beloved car.
“They were all very special cars to those individuals,” Strode said. “Each had a unique story and each had a unique place in their hearts. This is going to be devastating to them.”
Strode is confident however that the museum, and what it stands for, will recover.
“This is something we will overcome,” Strode said. “Corvette is America’s sports car and its museum will continue to be America’s sports car museum. We’ll come back stronger than ever.”