National Corvette Museum

The eight cars swallowed up when a sinkhole erupted in the middle of the National Corvette Museum earlier this week will be sent to General Motors Design's Mechanical Assembly, which handles restorations for the GM Heritage Collection, in Warren, MI for full restorations. Vice President of Design, Ed Welburn, will oversee the process.

"The vehicles at the National Corvette Museum are some of the most significant in automotive history," said General Motors Executive Vice President of Global Product Development, Mark Reuss. "There can only be one one-millionth Corvette ever built. We want to ensure as many of the damaged cars are restored as possible so fans from around the world can enjoy them when the Museum reopens."

As for the museum itself, authorities say the damage caused by the sinkhole is repairable, and the building's structure and foundation remain in good shape. Recovery of the fallen vehicles can't begin, though, until engineers stabilize the area around the sinkhole, which could take a few weeks. Following that, it's expected to take four to six days to recover all eight cars.

A timeline for the total repair of the facility hasn't really been detailed, although in a press release, Executive Director Wendell Strode said is confident the museum will be ready to host its 20th anniversary celebration in August. "You won't even know that this happened," Strode said.

Scroll down for the full press release on the restoration from GM as well as a news brief from the NCM, and click here if you'd like to donate to the museum's repair efforts.
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Chevrolet to Oversee Restoration of Historic Corvettes
Museum cars damaged in sinkhole collapse will be shipped to Warren Mich.

DETROIT – To help the National Corvette Museum recover from the massive sinkhole that opened under the facility this week, Chevrolet will oversee restoration of the Corvettes damaged. General Motors Design in Warren, Mich., will lead the project.

"The vehicles at the National Corvette Museum are some of the most significant in automotive history," said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of General Motors Global Product Development. "There can only be one 1-millionth Corvette ever built. We want to ensure as many of the damaged cars are restored as possible so fans from around the world can enjoy them when the Museum reopens."

Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design, will oversee the restoration.

When the cars are recovered, they will be shipped to the Mechanical Assembly facility, a small specialty shop within GM Design, where the best restoration approach will be determined. Mechanical Assembly has been part of GM Design since the 1930s, and today maintains and restores many of the vehicles in the GM Heritage Collection and GM's historic concept cars.

The National Corvette Museum is independently owned, and supported solely by charitable donations from enthusiasts. It is currently accepting donations on its website to assist in refurbishing the facility. Donations are tax-deductible.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

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Timeline Set for Sinkhole Repair and Car Recovery

During a press conference today on Corvette Boulevard, Mike Murphy with Scott, Murphy & Daniel construction provided an update and timeline on the work to be done.

Highlights of the press conference include:

- This is very common for this area, what's not common is for a sinkhole to swallow eight Corvettes.
- It is repairable. The building foundation and structure is in good condition.
- They will be securing the sinkhole and surrounding areas to ensure that even if we have sinkholes on the property in the future it will not affect the Museum.
- It will take 2-3 weeks to stabilize and secure the area (red spire, walls of the sinkhole) then the process of vehicle recovery will begin.
- They will be making sure the sinkhole is safe and that no further damage will occur before starting vehicle recovery.
- It will take 4-6 days to retrieve the vehicles
- After that, they will replace earth and the floor system
- They have a good plan and it takes action tomorrow with no problems foreseen

"We are confident that it will be done in time for the Museum's 20th Anniversary Celebration in August. You won't even know that this has happened," said Wendell Strode, Museum Executive Director