BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WKYT) - In less than a week, the 1.5 Millionth Corvette has gone from location unknown to being dug out from the depths of the sinkhole, regaining its status as a display car in the National Corvette Museum on Thursday.
While methods of probing the mounds of dirt in the sinkhole and the use of metal detectors were unsuccessful in finding the milestone Corvette, it was the retrieval process of the Spyder that yielded signs of the first of the two missing cars.
"We had no idea where it was, we just happened upon it," Mike Murphy, CEO of Scott, Murphy and Daniel Construction said.
Upon the removal of the Spyder, the team began working to free the 1.5 Millionth. Initial attempts to pull the car free were to no avail as a large rock appeared to be wedging the rear of the car in the dirt.
"Originally, we thought we had to remove the boulder itself to free the vehicle," said Zach Massey, Project Manager with Scott, Murphy and Daniel Construction, "But we were able to free the 1.5 without addressing the boulder as it turned out it was not directly resting on the car, which was a great advantage to us."
Wednesday afternoon the team was able to successfully free the car, with final removal from the sinkhole taking place Thursday morning.
"While the car appears to be in really rough condition, most of the major components are still there and provides a great base to work off of," said Adam Boca of the NCM Insurance Agency and a member of the Museum's Display Committee.
The National Corvette Museum was given the opportunity to purchase the milestone car brand new to preserve its place in history. It was built in Bowling Green, KY on May 28, 2009 and is a white convertible with red interior, a small nod to the first 300 Corvettes built in 1953 in Flint, MI - all being white convertibles with red interiors. The 1.5 Millionth is fully loaded with the 3LT Preferred Equipment Group, Z51 Performance Package, Dual Mode Performance Exhaust, Navigation, 6-Speed Automatic Transmission with Paddle Shift and has a 6.2L V8 engine boasting 430 hp.
The final Corvette to be removed is the 2001 Z06 with Mallett Hammer conversion.
"The rest of the day will be spent probing and excavating the area to find any signs of the Mallett Hammer," said Murphy.
The "sinkhole Corvettes" will come together for a special display in the Museum's Exhibit Hall through August 3, after which time they will be moved into the restored Skydome where they will remain on display, as-is, through the Museum's 20th Anniversary Event August 27-30, 2014.
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