Article: Back From The Depths --- Remember The Museum Sinkhole

November 30, 2017

by Jerry Burton // November 17, 2016

It was swallowed whole in a bizarre accident. Then GM’s “signature restoration” on the one-millionth Corvette brought it back to life.

The ground rumbled and then opened beneath the floor of the Skydome at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in the early morning hours of February 12, 2014. In this surreal scene captured on video, eight significant Corvettes tumbled 40 to 60 feet down into the rocky bottom of a sinkhole. It is the most bizarre incident ever to occur in the collector car world.

One of those casualties was the 1-millionth Corvette, a white 1992 convertible with a red interior and a special black top designed to match the original 1953 Corvette with that same color combination. The car had been much celebrated when it rolled off the Bowling Green assembly line on July 2, 1992, greeted by Corvette luminaries including former chief engineers Zora Arkus-Duntov and Dave McLellan, as well as a legion of automotive journalists and Corvette fans.

The majority of the eight Corvettes were too damaged to restore. The millionth Corvette came close. With its collapsed windshield, crushed bodywork, deep scratches and mudcaked surfaces, a typical insurance adjuster would have uttered the “T” word without hesitation. This milestone car was too important not to restore, however, so it was moved to the Design Center on GM’s Technical Center campus in Warren, Michigan, in an effort to bring the one-of-a-kind Corvette back to life. An undertaking too massive for a private restoration shop, this was definitely going to be an inside job.

“As the one and only 1-millionth Corvette, its preservation was important to us as the designers of the vehicle — and as Corvette enthusiasts,” says Ed Welburn, former vice president of GM Global Design, .... Click here to read the complete article about the restoration of the millionth Corvette.



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