A Devil Comes Forth From the Earth & Roars to Life

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Blue Devil WholeA Blue Devil that is; you may have heard about the massive sinkhole that opened up beneath the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky on February 12, 2014.

This catastrophic occurrence claimed some of the most cherished rolling stock that has ever been called Corvette. Eight cars, to be exact, were said to be lost in the disaster.

Nevertheless, there was one of these rare and valuable Corvettes particularly adept at surviving below the Earth’s crust because that is where devils dwell. Of course, I am referring to the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Blue Devil. It is the first of the eight ‘Vettes to be recovered from the deep dark recesses of the world beneath.

Blue DevilOn March 3, 2014 skilled construction workers, in conjunction with museum staff, used a crane to hoist the Blue Devil from the wreckage. Only minor damage was incurred when the powerful car was swallowed up last month. Several scratches to lower body panels, some broken glass, and a leaky oil cooler line seems a small toll when you observe the wreckage. Construction workers were lowered down into the sinkhole, which is believed to be over 40-feet in diameter and 60-feet deep, to place specially designed straps around the car. The straps were part of a sling that slowly lifted the vehicle from the hole and gingerly placed its tires upon the pavement. The oil cooler hose was quickly repaired and onlookers cheered as the 650-horsepower supercharged LS7 engine roared to life and drove out of the sky dome. Chevrolet spokesman Monte Doran said of the Blue Devil, “It is in remarkably good shape. You could have that car back on the road in a couple of days.”

RubyRed40thLater, a 40th Anniversary 1993 Chevrolet Corvette, Ruby Red in color, was extracted from the earth in like manner. This time the damage was more significant. Museum technicians on hand said that several body panels were in need of replacement, as well as some glass but the frame was unharmed. The good news is that the RubyRuby Red Red masterpiece is definitely salvageable. Doran stated that the Ruby Red ‘Vette seemed to be mechanically sound and museum Construction Manager for the project, Mike Murphy said, “It has been a huge relief. It went better than expected.”

1962 Vette 2Tuesday the black 1962 Corvette Hardtop is expected to be lifted out of the hole. Damage stands to be much more significant to this car which has a large slab of concrete against it. Construction workers plan to utilize two cranes in this extraction; one will lift the concrete from the car and secure it, then another will lift the car from its precarious position.

Chevrolet has plans to oversee the restoration on all of these valuable Corvettes, so you can expect nothing less than perfection. They are currently being placed on display at the museum, for all to see until August 3, when they will be transported to a plant in Michigan for repair.

After the 1962 Corvette is removed further repairs to stabilize the sinkhole will take place before the removal of any more cars can be undertaken. Bowling Green, Kentucky is known to experience sinkholes due to the presence of huge bedrock formations and caves in the area.

S.M. Darby

S.M. Darby

I am a freelance author with over 25 years of experience as a professional, ASE certified automotive technician and shop owner, muscle car enthusiast, avid street racer, and classic car restoration specialist.

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