Although the National Corvette Museum has posted a small collection of images of the Mallett Hammer Corvette, I believe that the one shown above best shows the massive level of damage to the modified C5. On Tuesday February 11th, the Mallett Hammer was sitting among some of the rarest Corvettes in the world in the National Corvette Museum Skydome when the last worker to leave flipped off the lights. This Corvette, like so many others in that room, was gently used, but still show quality. On February 11th, the Mallett Hammer Corvette was a car that so many gearheads around the country would sell their souls to own.
Less than 12 hours later, the Mallett Hammer Corvette was 40 feet below where it was sitting when the lights went off on the evening of the 11th with thousands of pounds of debris – and 7 other Corvettes – piled on top of it. The Mallett Hammer was one of the first cars to drop into the sinkhole under the National Corvette Museum and considering that the cars got progressively worse as the crew got deeper into the hole, it shouldn’t come as any huge surprise that the Mallett Hammer was literally annihilated. When the museum posted pictures earlier this week showing the oddly angled yet still intact rear wheels and rear suspension, it gave me some hope that the Hammer wouldn’t be as bad as some of the other cars – but those hopes were dashed as soon as this Corvette was lifted away from the dirt.
All that is left of the Mallett Hammer Corvette is the rear wheels, the rear suspension, some components of the trunk area, the engine and the mangled remains of the unibody chassis. If not for the distinct Corvette wheels, it would be almost impossible to guess what kind of car this was before being crushed under tons of debris. The impact and pressure was SO great that the race-spec roll cage – which is designed to protect the driver in very high speed impacts – is pretty much gone. You can see the final few bits of the safety cage in the image above, directly above the wheel. You can also see the engine towards the right of the image, but that is about all that is recognizable.
General Motors stated as soon as the National Corvette Museum sinkhole tragedy happened that they would take all 8 cars back and restore them to a like new condition. While some of the other Corvettes were badly damaged, it looks as though every single component of the Mallett Hammer has been destroyed. In the long run, a restoration process of the Mallett Hammer will likely entail finding a C5 Corvette Z06 donor car and then performing all of the modifications that were worn by this raced Corvette
As an interesting note, the Mallett Hammer Corvette wasn’t technically designed to be a show piece. This Corvette was donated by the original owners, Kevin Helmintoller of Tampa, Florida, who spent years racing the 700hp tuned beast before retiring the car and turning his attention to a new C7 Stingray. Helmintoller opted to donate the car to the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Complex, where it would serve as a learner race car for special programs at the new road racing facility. After years of racing success with the original owner, the Mallett Hammer Corvette would help new racers learn to handle a high performance Corvette. Until the racing facility was completed, the donated Mallett Hammer was parked in the National Corvette Museum Skydome and that was where this monster Corvette met its sad demise.
Now that the 8th and final Corvette has been pulled from the sinkhole, the team will turn its attention to securing the ground under the Skydome before filling the hole and repairing the floor. As always, you can be sure to find any available updates right here on TorqueNews.com.
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