After sharing word yesterday that it could be awhile before a fourth car emerges from the Skydome sinkhole, the National Corvette Museum just announced that the “Millionth Corvette” is back above ground.
Initially there was no intention to bring the Millionth out (now)” Danny Daniel of Scott, Murphy and Daniel Construction said. However, he added, “as we got in there and saw more this morning, we did feel like this might be our best chance.”
The plan was to stabilize not only the sinkhole itself, but the tall red spire that rises up through the dome, and only then to continue with vehicle extraction, most likely sometime in mid-to-late April.
But Daniel said the crew thought they might be able to free the car, pulled it by one wheel from where it was lodged, and, said the museum news release, “it swung free into the cavern.”
At that point, the news release continued, “They were then able to lift the car and place it to rest, upside down on the bottom of the sinkhole. Finally, the Corvette was hooked up by its two tires for final lifting out of the sinkhole, much like the process to retrieve the 1993 40th Anniversary (car).”
“Went like a champ, we were tickled to death,” added Daniel.
The damage at first glance seems to be less extensive than what it could have been, especially given the precarious spot the car landed.”
— Bob Hellmann
“The Millionth Corvette has been through a lot, but the damage at first glance seems to be less extensive than what it could have been, especially given the precarious spot the car landed,” said Bob Hellmann, the museum’s facilities and displays manager. “The undercarriage and frame look to be in good condition and everything else is repairable.”
The Millionth Corvette was built at 2:00 p.m. July 2, 1992 at the Bowling Green (Ky.) assembly plant, which is just across the road from the museum.
Just like the first 1953 Corvettes, the car has a white exterior, red interior and is a convertible. The car was donated to the museum by General Motors.
In a press release from 1991, Jim Perkins, the Chevrolet Division general manager, said, “We’ve been looking for a way to support the goals of the museum, which are to enshrine a great car and the great people who made it an American institution.”
The car was donated two years before the museum opened its doors.
“We appreciate all of the support and interest from Corvette and auto enthusiasts around the world,” said Wendell Strode, the museum’s executive director. “We still have a long road ahead, lots of repairs to make but we are confident we will come out better than ever. “