How GM Restored Its Sinkhole-Damaged 1 Millionth Corvette

Chevrolet // CC BY-NC 3.0
Chevrolet // CC BY-NC 3.0 / Chevrolet // CC BY-NC 3.0

In February of 2014, a sinkhole gave way under the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., and ate up eight of its prized vehicles.

While some were lost forever to the accident, one—the one millionth Corvette ever made in fact—was able to be saved and restored. It was unveiled earlier this month at the museum.

When restorers first set to work on the 1992 white convertible, they were surprised to find it had been signed by all the General Motors workers who aided in the car’s assembly. Their John Hancocks were on almost every part, which made the recovery of each element even more important. When it was all said and done, only a couple pieces were beyond repair. For ones that needed to be replaced, the old signatures were scanned and transferred, and in one case, when even a scan wouldn’t do, GM found the employee and asked her to sign the car again, more than two decades later.


It took 1200 hours and four months to complete the job. The hood, front fascia, and the lower panels between the front wheels and doors, were ultimately replaced among other supporting components under the hood. The replacements all came from a vehicle of the same vintage and color.

The car was reportedly the most valuable of those that could be saved, and has an estimated worth of around $750,000.

For some very cool interactive photos showing the Corvette’s restoration, check out the press release from Chevrolet here.

[h/t The Verge]