Sinkhole swallows 8 cars at National Corvette Museum


The 1993 ZR-1 Spyder is taken from the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum. Though many of the cars came out with cosmetic damage, this one looks like it sustained the most damage. Crews had to shovel this one before it could be extracted from the sinkhole.



Photos of the extracted 1 millionth Corvette from the sinkhole at the Corvette Museum:






Crews have pulled the 1984 PPG Pace car from the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum. According to the YouTube description, it was “karate chopped” by a huge slab on concrete.

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According to the National Corvette Museum, after removing the hood and attaching the straps to the frame through the engine bay, this 1962 Corvette came up smoothly and looks “pretty good,” considering what the car had been through.

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The Associated Press got footage of two Corvettes being pulled out of the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum:

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The engineering department at Western Kentucky University sent in drones to get an up-close view of the extensive damaged the sinkhole caused to a series of cars at the National Corvette Museum.

CorvetteSinkhole: The SkyDome at night from WKU Engineering on Vimeo.

The other video can only be seen on Vimeo, but it can be seen here:

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A couple from Tampa, Florida, drove 13 hours to get a look at the Corvette they donated, except this time, it was in the sinkhole that swallowed several other cars last week.

“People say it’s just a car,” Kevin Helmintoller told Bowling Green’s WBKO. “They don’t understand.”

He said in the story that it was like losing family.

“It was heavily modified. It had a mallet conversion. It had anti-venom conversion. So it was unique in that sense. You can’t really restore it to a stock condition,” Kevin said.

According to WBKO, the Helmintollers had just donated it around Thanksgiving, and it was brought out of storage to the center of the Sky Dome rotunda about six weeks ago.

If you’re having trouble with the video, you can take a look at it here:



Bowling Green, Kentucky’s, WBKO reports on how the National Corvette Museum is working with Western Kentucky University and a recovery team to extract the cars from the sinkhole that formed last week.

Check out the latest video:




From the National Corvette Museum –

Activity picked up as workers began doing various tasks back in the Sky Dome, including removing some of the yellow panels. See my previous update from the local TV station. In the meantime, there was a meeting in our conference room with all the major players…….5 from the construction management firm, 4 from the Geo Tech engineering firm, 2 from the civil engineering firm, 2 from WKU Center for Cave and Karst Studies, 1 from environmental engineering firm, 1 from Chubb Insurance, 3 consultants retained by Chubb and 3 from the NCM.

Lots of discussion concerning future plans. While there will always be some decisions made onsite and when executing the agreed on plan, this is what I understood to be the agreed on plan.

1. Secure and Stabilize the red spire. Hayward Bacon Inc. the Geo Tech engineering firm will be handling this.
2. Extract the 3 cars that are on top and appear to be easily accessible.
3. Secure and stabilize the sinkhole area (various options discussed)
4. Extract the remaining cars. Please note previous photo from the National Corvette Museum that showed six of the cars.
5. Begin work on mitigating the entire sinkhole area. This will include exploring the caverns that can be seen in some of the previous video/photos. At this time, the plan is to remove all the dirt from the sinkhole to allow the WKU Cave/Karst professionals and others to see the floor and the caverns (some people get excited about going down and into these areas). One observation that was repeated today and I do not believe I have shared with everyone – for the sinkhole to be 25 – 30 feet deep, then it had to fall that far…… ‘bottom’ will be another 25 – 30 feet deep……or approximately 60 feet actual depth.
6. Finalize plan and implement plan to mitigate the entire sinkhole area.
7. Finalize plan and then execute plan for repairs to Sky Dome floor.

Keep in mind that this is a layman’s understanding and summary of all the discussion and agreements reached from about 7 – 8 hours of talks. Tomorrow I plan to visit with the Construction Manager and confirm this. If different I will share with you in the next day or two.

Hayward Bacon will have equipment and employees here within two days and will begin (1) above. This will not be an easy task, but one they are very comfortable doing and I guess this is why they are the # 1 geo tech engineering firm in the world.

In the meantime, several other tasks were agreed on. Cost estimates are being prepared for each of these. While every professional associated with this project feels confident that this sinkhole is an isolated case, a series of drillings, borings and tests will be completed.

The Sky Dome and the area out back (old PDI and the parking area out back) will become a full fledge construction zone. Temporary fence will be installed and the Construction Manager will be bringing in a trailer (office). We will have night time security and there will be times it will be 24 hours. The companies involved with this plan to work 5 10-hour days and 8 hours on Saturday.

We will be renting a warehouse to take the excess cars to as we are crammed tight right now.

Probably no update Tuesday as mostly it is doing what we outlined above. Scripture tells us that God’s compassion never fails…..that they are renewed every morning and great is His faithfulness. His love has been awesome this far on our journey and knowing He will be with us and His compassion for us will be renewed tomorrow and all other tomorrows gives all of us strength for the journey.

In the meantime, the public hearing for the Detailed Development Plan for the NCM Motorsports Park is scheduled for 2/20/2014. This will be with the Planning and Zoning Commission. Our new General Manager has stepped right in and has been quite involved in every aspect of that. Working with our Construction Manager, Warren County Public Works, and civil engineering company, DDS Engineering, we believe this should be approved. This DDP will then allow us to apply for building permits for the control tower, garages and move forward with all our plans that are outlined on






From the National Corvette Museum:

Timeline Set for Sinkhole Repair and Car Recovery

During a press conference today on Corvette Boulevard, Mike Murphy with Scott, Murphy & Daniel construction provided an update and timeline on the work to be done.

Highlights of the press conference include:

– This is very common for this area, what’s not common is for a sinkhole to swallow eight Corvettes.
– It is repairable. The building foundation and structure is in good condition.
– They will be securing the sinkhole and surrounding areas to ensure that even if we have sinkholes on the property in the future it will not affect the Museum.
– It will take 2-3 weeks to stabilize and secure the area (red spire, walls of the sinkhole) then the process of vehicle recovery will begin.
– They will be making sure the sinkhole is safe and that no further damage will occur before starting vehicle recovery.
– It will take 4-6 days to retrieve the vehicles
– After that, they will replace earth and the floor system
– They have a good plan and it takes action tomorrow with no problems foreseen

“We are confident that it will be done in time for the Museum’s 20th Anniversary Celebration in August. You won’t even know that this has happened,” said Wendell Strode, Museum Executive Director



Video shows employees taking further measures to protect the the Corvettes at the museum:

Representatives from Western Kentucky University and the National Corvette Museum hold a press conference regarding the sinkhole and what will happen next:



From Chevy —

DETROIT – To help the National Corvette Museum recover from the massive sinkhole that opened under the facility this week, Chevrolet will oversee restoration of the Corvettes damaged. General Motors Design in Warren, Mich., will lead the project.

“The vehicles at the National Corvette Museum are some of the most significant in automotive history,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of General Motors Global Product Development. “There can only be one 1-millionth Corvette ever built. 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.”

Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design, will oversee the restoration.

When the cars are recovered, they will be shipped to the Mechanical Assembly facility, a small specialty shop within GM Design, where the best restoration approach will be determined. Mechanical Assembly has been part of GM Design since the 1930s, and today maintains and restores many of the vehicles in the GM Heritage Collection and GM’s historic concept cars.

The National Corvette Museum is independently owned, and supported solely by charitable donations from enthusiasts. It is currently accepting donations on its website to assist in refurbishing the facility. Donations are tax-deductible.


Here’s a look at exclusive footage of the Corvette Museum from PowerNation:

As part of Throwback Thursday, take a look back at the day the 1,000,000th Corvette was assembled.



Corvette Museum releases security camera footage of sinkholes forming, causing the cars to collapse.



Corvette Museum evacuate other at-risk cars that could fall into sinkholes. At this time, no information about the cost or the future of the damaged cars has been released.

The following images are from security cameras in the Corvette Museum:

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And here’s a video of the damage inside the sinkhole at the museum:


WSMV out of Nashville has reported that the following cars were lost in the sinkhole.

The eight cars affected include:
• 1993 ZR-1 Spyder on loan from General Motors
• 2009 ZR1 “Blue Devil” on loan from General Motors
• 1962 Black Corvette
• 1984 PPG Pace Car
• 1992 White 1 Millionth Corvette
• 1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Corvette
• 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette
• 2009 White 1.5 Millionth Corvette

These were photos released from the Corvette Museum:





WBKO in Bowling Green, Kentucky, reports that a sinkhole opened up and swallowed 8 vehicles at the Sky Dome at the National Corvette Museum.

According to the news station, the sinkhole is estimated to be around 40 feet wide and 20-30 feet deep.

No injuries have been reported.

Thoughts? Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet to @PowerNationTV.

Also, make sure you check out this week’s PowerNation TV schedule so you don’t miss out on any of the shows! Click here: