Sinkhole at Corvette Museum swallows eight rare Vettes

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., has long been a mini-Mecca for fans of America's most hallowed sports car. Early this morning, that museum suffered the catastrophe shown above, when a sinkhole in the Sky Dome opened up and swallowed eight rare Vettes, including two that belonged to General Motors.

According to museum officials, the sinkhole began around 5:30 a.m. while the museum was closed, and within minutes had grown to about 40 feet wide and 25 to 30 feet deep. No one was injured, but the list of Corvettes spelunking in the hole includes two on loan from General Motors, a rare 1993 ZR-1 Spyder and a 2009 ZR1 Blue Devil that may have been the original show car.

All of the other vehicles damaged belonged to the museum: the 1984 PPG Pace Car, 1992 white 1 Millionth Corvette, 1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Corvette, 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette and 2009 white 1.5 Millionth Corvette. The museum was unable to estimate how much damage the cars may have suffered.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reported that museum staff were allowed to remove one near-priceless vehicle from inside the Skydome — the prototype 1983 Corvette, a model year GM never built.


It's unclear how much damage the cars sustained or what the next steps will be. The Skydome will be closed until structural engineers can assess the damage to the building; the rest of the museum and the nearby Bowling Green assembly plant weren't affected. We'll have more updates as they come.

Photos: National Corvette Museum