Sinkhole corvettes
Patrick Rall's picture

General Motors Will Repair the Damaged Cars at the National Corvette Museum

While talking about the cars damaged at the National Corvette Museum earlier this week I have commented that a good body shop should be able to repair and the future of these eight Corvettes is looking a little brighter as General Motors has announced that they will take all of the damaged cars to fully repair them for the museum.
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We don’t know how badly damaged the 8 cars were which plunged through the floor of the National Corvette Museum and into a 40 foot sinkhole earlier this week, but we know that it is going to take a skilled body shop to make both minor and major repairs to these historic Chevy sports cars. Fortunately, General Motors has pledged the time of the GM Design Mechanical Assembly in Warren Michigan to perform whatever work is necessary to return these 8 rare Corvettes back to show quality. The GM Design Mechanical Assembly is the same division that is tasked with performing the restoration process on the many cars in the GM Heritage Collection.

There has been no timetable offered for how long it will take the GM Design Mechanical Assembly division as – right now – the cars are still lodged in the 30 foot deep and 40 foot wide cavern that sits in the middle of the National Corvette Museum Skydome floor. The car that did not fall into the hole were almost entirely removed by yesterday afternoon and once the engineers have found the safest way to remove the 8 damaged cars from the hole, they will be shipped to Warren Michigan for a full restoration.

It can be argued that there is no better body shop to restore a collection of rare Chevrolet Corvettes than a special division of the company that built the cars in the first place. Not only will the team restoring these 8 classic Corvettes have the best tools possible, but they likely will also have access to original design or engineering information. In some cases such as the Ruby Red 40th anniversary Corvette, the 1962 Corvette, the 1,000,000th Corvette and the 1,500,000th Corvette, repairs could be as simple as acquiring new-old components and that shouldn’t be too hard for the newer models in particular. As for the Blue Devil Concept, the 1993 ZR-1 Spyder Concept, the 1984 PPG Pace Car and the Mallett Hammer – a great many of the components will be standard GM parts while the others will need to be remade (like the custom design cues on the ZR-1 Spyder and the 1984 Pace Car).

The National Corvette Museum is planning a big celebration for their 20th anniversary this coming August and a member of the museum management crew has promised that we won’t be able to tell that the sinkhole happened. I would guess that means that the Skydome structure will be fully repaired along with those 8 rare Corvettes and with roughly 6 months between then and now – the GM Design Mechanical Assembly team will have their work cut out for them.

We will continue covering this story – bringing you any new developments as they happen.

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