It wasn't any easy thing for any Corvette enthusiast to see, but the sinkhole that appeared last week at the National Corvette Museum tore a hole of its own in the hearts of Kevin and Linda Helmintoller. That's because their car was one of the eight Vettes that was sucked into the pit in Bowling Green. So rather than sit at home in Tampa, they drove 13 hours from Florida to Kentucky to see what was going on first hand.

What they found was that their Chevrolet – a modified 2001 C5 model with a Mallett conversion and AntiVenom kit – was sitting the deepest in the sinkhole. The Helmintollers had recently loaned the car (leaving them without a Corvette for the first time since 1996) and had yet to see it on display when the curators took it out of storage and put it in the middle of the Skydome where the sinkhole emerged.

It's expected to take a couple of weeks for workers to recover the cars from the sinkhole, after which Chevrolet will oversee their restoration. But as you can see from the video below, the Helmintollers are understandably skeptical that their prized 700-horsepower C5 will ever be quite the same again.


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  • 38 Comments
      sp33dklz
      • 10 Months Ago
      At least the car had a bra. No rock chips right?
      davebo357
      • 10 Months Ago
      Was that really museum-worthy? C5 Z06's are hardly rare, and the fact that they had the horsepower bumped doesn't really make it more interesting to come and see sitting in a building. If I ran a Corvette museum and someone donated that to me, I'd use it as a demo model to let tourists take around that new track they built nextdoor. Speaking of that race track, is there any concern there's a sinkhole waiting to happen under that too?
      m_2012
      • 10 Months Ago
      Pull the 62 and the ZR1. The rest can stay. No need to spend money and risk lives for the rest.
      Nathan
      • 10 Months Ago
      Thank god it was that modified thing and not another 1-off classic in the sinkhole. Too bad the museum didn't have another half dozen of those sitting there instead of some of the actual rarities that fell in.
      NightFlight
      • 10 Months Ago
      C5 Z06s are a dime a dozen, and why the hell did this thing have a bra on in the museum? Sorry for the loss, but I am sure it will be made right and then some.
        rboote
        • 10 Months Ago
        @NightFlight
        I dunno, maybe if you actually read the short three-paragraph article you'd understand?
        Stevan Cartwright
        • 10 Months Ago
        @NightFlight
        I'm pretty sure that's not a bra that's a Carbon fiber front bumper
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 10 Months Ago
      Never loan anything to anyone unless you're OK with never getting that thing back.
      Termin8
      • 10 Months Ago
      I find it hard to feel sorry for them.
      Avinash Machado
      • 10 Months Ago
      Quite sad.
      sp33dklz
      • 10 Months Ago
      Simple case of thinking your care is far more cool than it really is. I feel more bad for the owners ignorance than the loss of Corvette. As for car memories, all enthusiasts have them.
        Chris O.
        • 10 Months Ago
        @sp33dklz
        @Sp33d: Honestly, I feel bad for your ignorance. I think people can make their own decisions, regarding what is meaningful or "cool" to them. Nobody needs some delusional fool trying to make that determination for others.
      johnnyhedwardsjr
      • 10 Months Ago
      I get it... the individuals that are making the negative comments on here may be car enthusiast... but they are simply paper enthusiasts, and not owners of a "special" car. Because if they were, they would understand how upsetting something like this is to an owner. It's not about how much the car is worth to the general public or how fast the car was, it was the time spent in that car. The memeories connected to that particular car. What if the guy and girl first met and he picked her up in that car? Or what if he drove to the hospital with his pregnant wife in that car? Or what if the last time he drove in a car before his father passed, it was that Corvette? Cars are like part of your family after a while. Perhaps they lent the car to the Museum while they were going though a period in their life with not as much garage space and wanted it in a "safe" environment while they were away. And they wanted to give others an opportunity to apprecite their baby. You guys are heartless.
      Dart
      • 10 Months Ago
      Not seeing where the Mallet is a "special car" to anyone other than them...and really, if it's so special, why donate it? To me the Spyder and '62 are far more important than any of the others. The 1M and 1.5M really aren't special other than their place on the assembly line.
      Frisky_Dingo
      • 10 Months Ago
      Maybe the car gods took it because it was so ugly....
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