Last updated: 10:44 AM ET, Sat June 13 2015

After Museum Collapse, GM Rebuilding 1 Millionth Corvette

Destination & Tourism | Donald Wood | June 12, 2015

After Museum Collapse, GM Rebuilding 1 Millionth Corvette

PHOTO: The one millionth Corvette was partially flattened after a sinkhole opened underneath it. General Motors is working to restore the car. (Courtesy of GM)

Corvettes are one of the most iconic lines of cars in the world, but a restoration team from General Motors has been tasked with rebuilding the one millionth Corvette after it was swallowed in a sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

According to Thom Patterson of CNN, there was a major sinkhole that formed in 2014 under the National Corvette Museum that swallowed eight priceless editions of the vehicle, including the one millionth Corvette ever produced.

Instead of totaling the vehicles and calling the devastation a loss, General Motors director of design fabrications operations Dave Bolognino and his entire team are working feverishly at their shop in Warren, Michigan, to restore the historic vehicle.

The team already has the structural damage repaired and the car runs again — about 15-20 percent of the vehicle is fixed — but there was a surprise on every piece of the car when the repair crew began stripping the corvette apart.

Throughout the classic vehicle in hidden places, the workers on the assembly line who helped build the one millionth Corvette in July 1992 had signed pieces. Instead of replacing those parts of the car, the crew took extra care to save almost every signature.

The task of repairing the car has not be easy, as the crews have been dealing with serious damage to the paint, the back bumper and the hood. As difficult as the process has been thus far, the entire restoration project is dedicated to bringing the car back to as close to original condition as possible.

With so much work left to do, the GM crew expects the car to be completed by Labor Day weekend (Sept. 5-7) and it will be major part of the museum's 21st anniversary celebration taking place.

As for the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky, the building is nearly 100 percent completed following the opening of a massive 140-foot wide sinkhole. The museum is open for business and officials say the news of the sinkhole has even increased business.

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