First ‘Sinkhole’ Corvette Restored

Subscribe to Vette Vues Magazine - The Corvette Enthusiast's Magazine - Subscribe Now!

Corvette ZR1 ‘Blue Devil’ debuts at SEMA Show on way back to museum

Chevrolet has completed the restoration of the first car damaged in the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 was one of two show cars used to introduce the all-new Corvette ZR1 in January 2008, and the car was on loan from Chevrolet to the National Corvette Museum when the sinkhole developed
Chevrolet has completed the restoration of the first car damaged in the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 was one of two show cars used to introduce the all-new Corvette ZR1 in January 2008, and the car was on loan from Chevrolet to the National Corvette Museum when the sinkhole developed
Chevrolet has completed the restoration of the first car damaged in the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 was one of two show cars used to introduce the all-new Corvette ZR1 in January 2008, and the car was on loan from Chevrolet to the National Corvette Museum when the sinkhole developed
Chevrolet has completed the restoration of the first car damaged in the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 was one of two show cars used to introduce the all-new Corvette ZR1 in January 2008, and the car was on loan from Chevrolet to the National Corvette Museum when the sinkhole developed
Chevrolet has completed the restoration of the first car damaged in the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 was one of two show cars used to introduce the all-new Corvette ZR1 in January 2008, and the car was on loan from Chevrolet to the National Corvette Museum when the sinkhole developed
Chevrolet has completed the restoration of the first car damaged in the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 was one of two show cars used to introduce the all-new Corvette ZR1 in January 2008, and the car was on loan from Chevrolet to the National Corvette Museum when the sinkhole developed

LAS VEGAS – Chevrolet today unveiled the restored 2009 Corvette ZR1 that was damaged earlier this year when a sinkhole developed beneath the National Corvette Museum. It’s on display this week at the SEMA Show, before heading back to the museum in Bowling Green, Ky.

The ZR1, nicknamed the “Blue Devil,” is the first of the eight cars swallowed by the sinkhole to be restored. One of two show cars used to introduce the all-new Corvette ZR1 in January 2008, the car was on loan from Chevrolet to the National Corvette Museum when the sinkhole developed.

Museum personnel were alerted about motion detectors going off in the Skydome area of the facility on the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 12. They arrived to find a sinkhole measuring about 45 feet wide, 60 feet long and up to 30 feet deep – and it had swallowed eight Corvettes.

Three weeks later, the ZR1 was pulled out of the sinkhole. Despite falling nearly 30 feet, it started and drove out of the Skydome under its own power.

“After that unprecedented event, the ZR1 was the first car to be lifted out of the sinkhole,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, performance vehicles and motorsports. “It was great to recover it, bring it back to Chevrolet and begin the restoration of this significant Corvette.”

The ZR1 remained on display at the museum until September, when it was returned to Chevrolet for restoration. The damage included:

  • Cracked carbon-fiber ground effects and a broken passenger-side rocker panel
  • Damaged passenger front fender, as well as cracks in both doors
  • Cracked windshield, hood window glass and passenger headlamp assembly
  • Bent rear control arms on the driver’s side
  • Cracked oil lines to the supercharged LS9 engine’s dry-sump oiling system.
Chevrolet has completed the restoration of the first car damaged in the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 was one of two show cars used to introduce the all-new Corvette ZR1 in January 2008, and the car was on loan from Chevrolet to the National Corvette Museum when the sinkhole developed
Chevrolet has completed the restoration of the first car damaged in the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 was one of two show cars used to introduce the all-new Corvette ZR1 in January 2008, and the car was on loan from Chevrolet to the National Corvette Museum when the sinkhole developed
Chevrolet has completed the restoration of the first car damaged in the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 was one of two show cars used to introduce the all-new Corvette ZR1 in January 2008, and the car was on loan from Chevrolet to the National Corvette Museum when the sinkhole developed
Chevrolet has completed the restoration of the first car damaged in the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 was one of two show cars used to introduce the all-new Corvette ZR1 in January 2008, and the car was on loan from Chevrolet to the National Corvette Museum when the sinkhole developed
Chevrolet has completed the restoration of the first car damaged in the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 was one of two show cars used to introduce the all-new Corvette ZR1 in January 2008, and the car was on loan from Chevrolet to the National Corvette Museum when the sinkhole developed
Chevrolet has completed the restoration of the first car damaged in the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 was one of two show cars used to introduce the all-new Corvette ZR1 in January 2008, and the car was on loan from Chevrolet to the National Corvette Museum when the sinkhole developed

Six weeks after work began, the restored ZR1 was started for the first time at the General Motors Heritage Center.

Chevrolet has completed the restoration of the first car damaged in the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 was one of two show cars used to introduce the all-new Corvette ZR1 in January 2008, and the car was on loan from Chevrolet to the National Corvette Museum when the sinkhole developed
Chevrolet has completed the restoration of the first car damaged in the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 was one of two show cars used to introduce the all-new Corvette ZR1 in January 2008, and the car was on loan from Chevrolet to the National Corvette Museum when the sinkhole developed
Chevrolet has completed the restoration of the first car damaged in the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 was one of two show cars used to introduce the all-new Corvette ZR1 in January 2008, and the car was on loan from Chevrolet to the National Corvette Museum when the sinkhole developed
Chevrolet has completed the restoration of the first car damaged in the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 was one of two show cars used to introduce the all-new Corvette ZR1 in January 2008, and the car was on loan from Chevrolet to the National Corvette Museum when the sinkhole developed

Two other cars will be restored next year – the 1-millionth Corvette and a 1962 Corvette – while the other five will remain in their as-recovered state to preserve their historical significance. They will become part of a future display at the museum.


If you enjoyed this article you might enjoy the following links:

2019 ZR1 Corvette First Look

Jay Leno’s Garage Video Driving 2019 Corvette ZR1

Museum’s 1962 Sinkhole Corvette Restoration

1953 VIN 003 Cutaway Corvette Donated to the NCM

NCM restores late officer Burke Rhoads 1984 Vette

Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode Named to 2020 Corvette Hall of Fame

2009 Chevrolet Corvette Product Information

2009 Corvette GT1 Championship Edition

2009 CHEVROLET CORVETTE ZR1

2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Photo Gallery

You might also want to check out our RECENT BLOG POSTS

If you have never seen Vette Vues Magazine you can see what our subscribers are enjoying each month in our ISSUE PREVIEW.

Check out our Subscriptions Specials

Call Now ButtonCALL NOW