The Helmintollers' Corvette C5

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.