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"Blue Devil" Is First Corvette Out Of NCM Sinkhole—And It Runs!

By , Photography by National Corvette Museum

This morning, the “Blue Devil”—the legendary prototype 2009 Corvette ZR1–was the first of the eight Corvettes trapped in a sinkhole under the National Corvette Museum’s Skydome—was hoisted out of the hole this morning, and rumbled to life soon after it was lowered onto the ground.

Here’s the National Corvette Museum’s update on the “Blue Devil” seeing the light of day again:

2009 "Blue Devil" ZR1 Emerges Nearly Unscathed

Crowds of construction personnel, media, Museum visitors and staff cheered as the first Corvette, the 2009 "Blue Devil" ZR1 emerged from the depths of the sinkhole this morning at approximately 10:35am CT. The process was streamed live on two of the Museum's web cams with thousands of viewers tuning in all over the world.

"It's wonderful... just seven more to go," said Mike Murphy, construction manager for the project.

Even more cheers erupted when the car cranked up after only a few tries, and even drove about 20 feet to the doorway of the Skydome.

"That's a GM product for you. They take a licking and keep on ticking!" added Murphy.

The crews have been working six days a week since the sinkhole incident that swallowed eight Corvettes in the National Corvette Museum's Skydome exhibit area. This past Saturday, the crews rigged up the ZR1 and did a few test lifts. John Spencer, Manufacturing Integration Manager at the GM Corvette Assembly Plant, helped consult the team on the best points to strap up the car. "With Mike, worker safety is number one. There are no compromises," said Spencer.

"I was worried about the wheels," said Murphy. "This morning we took so long because we wanted to add some secondary straps in case the wheels pulled. It was just a little more insurance." Murphy added that with this project, nothing is set in stone on how to do it. "It's been a huge relief. It went better than expected," he said.

After the elation of the first car being rescued and even cranking up, the Museum staff were excited to put the car back on display in the Museum's Exhibit Hall. "It's incredible to have the car back on display again. It's what we've been hoping for," said Bob Hellmann, Facilities and Displays Manager. "Now we just want to get the next seven, restore the cars, and get them all back on display." The Museum plans on displaying the cars as they are recovered, now through August 3. In addition, this Spring they plan to create a special display with information on the sinkhole incident, sinkholes and karst background details, videos, photos and more.

After taking a lunch break, the crew will resume the car retrieval process - with the 1993 "Ruby Red" 40th Anniversary Corvette slated for recovery Monday afternoon. The 1962 Black Corvette is planned to be retrieved on Tuesday, but will be much trickier as a five ton slab of concrete is partially resting on the front of the car. Two cranes will be used to simultaneously lift the car and the concrete.

Links to photos, videos and press releases are available on the Museum's website at www.corvettemuseum.org. For the latest updates visit the Museum’s Facebook Fan page at www.facebook.com/corvettemuseum.

For more info on the NCM sinkhole, see our previous coverage:

Trapped Corvettes to Emerge from NCM Sinkhole 3/3
Chevrolet Vows to Restore Damaged Corvettes
Watch the Corvette Museum Sinkhole Swallow 8 Cars (video)
Sinkhole Claims 8 Corvettes at NCM

And to watch live streaming of the excavation click here:

NCM Webcam Skydome
Ustream

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28 comments
Charles Ashley
Charles Ashley

That corvette is a rocket ship. 638 HP bone stock.

Shawn Burleson
Shawn Burleson

If that care really had fallen in that sink hole it would be all kinds of messed up, but there ain't a sent or scratch on it that's a fake

Maitroe Choko Lokoe
Maitroe Choko Lokoe

I dont hate them, as I am a tech, and a car guy, but I'll push my Ford before I drive a 'Vette.

Mike Johnson
Mike Johnson

Why do you guys hate these cars? I don't understand.

Maitroe Choko Lokoe
Maitroe Choko Lokoe

Sohail So Cool, not a boy, son. Im a Ford man with a couple of snakes too wiling to eat a Vette or a Gtr.

John Lyons
John Lyons

GM is restoring them all according to Hemming's.

Justin Gratto
Justin Gratto

that's in pretty good condition, having just fallen into a sinkhole

JK Images
JK Images

I have to guess most haters have never driven one. Most likely not any vette. Glad to see some saved

Josh Campbell
Josh Campbell

All I realize from all these Vette museum posts is that I hate the vitriol and animosity the Ford people have. And before you Ford boys cry Chevy fan, I have a Mustang as well.

Shawn Mahlum
Shawn Mahlum

Drop it off at my house its a vette it will still drive fine

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