Chevrolet will oversee the restoration of eight vintage Corvettes that were damaged falling into a sinkhole that opened inside the National Corvette Museum, General Motors said Thursday.
The sinkhole opened under the floor of the museum's skydome area early Wednesday morning.
Officials were alerted to the sinkhole--estimated to be 40 feet across and 25 to 30 feet deep--after security alarms were triggered at 5:45 a.m., according to the museum's website. The museum is located in Bowling Green, Ky.
A structural engineer was called to assess the situation.
The affected vehicles include a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder and 2009 ZR1 Blue Devil, both on loan from General Motors Co. The remaining cars--owned by the museum--include a 1962 Black Corvette, 1984 PPG Pace Car, 1992 White 1 Millionth Corvette, 1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Corvette, 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette and 2009 White 1.5 Millionth Corvette.
The restoration process will be managed by General Motors Design in Warren, Mich., and will be overseen by Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design, according to the company.
"The vehicles at the National Corvette Museum are some of the most significant in automotive history," said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of global product development at GM. "There can only be one 1-millionth Corvette ever built."
GM said once the cars are recovered, they will be shipped to a small specialty shop within GM Design, where the best restoration approach will be determined.
Images of the destruction began lighting up Twitter on Wednesday. The most detailed photo shows a large section of the gray-carpeted floor pulled away and two Corvettes sitting vertically in the middle of the sinkhole.
The skydome exhibit area is a separate structure that is connected to the main museum. Both were closed to the public Wednesday. The museum is located across the street from GM's Corvette assembly plant.
Write to Erin McCarthy at [email protected] and Jeff Bennett at [email protected]