First Car Recovered from the Corvette Museum
Crowds of construction personnel, media, Museum visitors and staff cheered as the first Corvette, the 2009 "Blue Devil" ZR1 emerged from the depths of the sinkhole Monday morning. The process was streamed live on two of the Museum's web cams with thousands of viewers tuning in all over the world.
"It's wonderful... just seven more to go," said Mike Murphy, construction manager for the project.
Even more cheers erupted when the car cranked up after only a few tries, and drove about 20 feet to the doorway of the Skydome.
Crews have been working six days a week since the sinkhole incident that swallowed eight Corvettes in the National Corvette Museum's Skydome exhibit area. This past Saturday, the crews rigged up the ZR1 and did a few test lifts. John Spencer, Manufacturing Integration Manager at the GM Corvette Assembly Plant, helped consult the team on the best points to strap up the car.
After the elation of the first car being rescued and even cranking up, the staff of the Museum were excited to put the car back on display in the Museum's Exhibit Hall. "It's incredible to have the car back on display again. It's what we've been hoping for," said Bob Hellmann, Facilities and Displays Manager.
The Museum plans on displaying the cars as they are recovered, now through August 3. In addition, this Spring they plan to create a special display with information on the sinkhole incident, sinkholes and karst background details, videos, photos and more.
After taking a lunch break, the crew resumed the car retrieval process - with the 1993 "Ruby Red" 40th Anniversary Corvette that was recovered Monday afternoon. The 1962 Black Corvette is schedule to be retrieved today, but will be much trickier as a five ton slab of concrete is partially resting on the front of the car. Two cranes will be used to simultaneously lift the car and the concrete.
Click here to see the video.