HomeNews and EventsSinkhole survivor to be unveiled Monday at Corvette museum

Sinkhole survivor to be unveiled Monday at Corvette museum


The black ’62 is extracted from the sinkhole in 2014

On Monday, February 12, the fourth anniversary of the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum, the facility will livestream the reveal of the last of the restored vehicles, a black 1962 Chevrolet Corvette sports car.

The presentation will include a recap of the sinkhole disaster by museum director Wendell Strode, a tribute to the car’s donor, the late David Donoho, an overview of the car’s restoration by curator Derek Moore, a time-lapse video of the restoration process, and a question-and-answer session with Moore and preservation coordinator Daniel Decker.

Sinkholes are not unusual in western Kentucky — the museum is located in Bowling Green, also home to Western Kentucky University — and, fortunately, the one that opened beneath the museum’s Skydome occurred early in the morning before any staff were on site.

The ’62 Corvette in the restoration shop

While eight Corvettes were swallowed into the abyss, the museum was open and forthright in reporting what had happened, provided live video coverage throughout the retrieval of the vehicles and the repairs to the facility, and was rewarded with record attendance and financial donations.

Some of the cars were restored, but some were too damaged for such work and were simply put on display in the repaired Skydome as is. The 1962 car is the last to undergo restoration, this time at the museum’s own workshops.

The ceremony Monday begins at 9 a.m. (CDT) and will be shown live on the museum’s Facebook page.

From the Mullin museum to Best of Best honors in Parks

Mullin museum’s Bugatti takes Best of Best honors

The 1936 Bugatti Type 57CS Atlantic, co-owned by the Mullin Automotive Museum and Rob and Melani Walton, was honored during Retromobile week in Paris with The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award. The competition included seven other vehicles that won Best of Show honors at some of the world’s most prestigious concours d’elegance during 2017.

The Mullin/Walton Bugatti qualified by winning Best of Show at the 2017 Chantkilly Arts & Elegance event in France.

“The Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic is the crown jewel of the automotive circuit,” Bugatti’s head of tradition, Julius Kruta, was quoted in a news release. “This car was Jean Bugatti’s masterpiece with its beautiful and breath-taking lines, plus its unmatched performance for the time. Today, it remains the ultimate expression of the Bugatti legacy: unparalleled power and beautiful design.”

The winning car was the first Atlantic built and the only surviving Aero Coupe.

Brass Era cars gets some exercise at the Simeone

Can’t get over to the UK to watch the annual London to Brighton Run? You still can see some of the very early motorcars in motion Saturday as the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia features Brass Era vehicles in its Demo Day. Weather permitting, the museum to parade in its parking lot its 1907 Renault racer, 1909 American Underslung, 1912 Hudson Mile-A-Minute roadster and 1915 Packard 3-38 roadster. As a bonus, the museum also has decided to trot out its 1916 Oakland Speedster. The program runs from 11:15 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., with the driving demonstrations from 12:30 until 1 p.m.

Kansas City museum celebrates Model T

The Kanas City Auto Museum in Olathe, Kansas, does monthly vehicle celebrations and, for the first time, February is Model T Month with nine such vehicles on display, including a Henry Ford Speedster and a Model T circus wagon. On February 17, Derek Moore, former conservation specialist at the Henry Ford museum, will be on hand to talk about Ford and his early vehicles.

LeMay releases early voting results

You may recall that the LeMay – America’s Car Museum features “Through the Lens: Cars Defined by an American Century” at its facility in Tacoma, Washington, with an exhibit of vehicles selected to best-represent their respective decades. At least those were the cars selected by museum staff.

However, an ongoing vote is being done by museum visitors and the museum promises to change at least part of its display based on those votes. Preliminary results, based on 30,000 votes, indicate that to museum visitors, the cars that best represent recent decades are the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, 1964 Ford Mustang, 1977 Pontiac Trans Am, 1981 DeLorean, 1998 Ford Expedition and 2004 Toyota Prius.

Chauffeurs and other garage staff with 1911 Daimler | Beaulieu photo

Beaulieu opens ‘Luxury of Motoring’ exhibit

“The Luxury of Motoring” is the theme of a new exhibit at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, England. The exhibit showcases some of the most luxurious cars ever created and the stories of the people who owned them — and the chauffeurs who drove them.

The exhibit also includes a collection of 28 Lalique glass mascots being shown together for the first time, as well as other objects related to the cars and the luxury lifestyle.

Films and photography also are part of the exhibit.

“The Luxury of Motoring is an exciting new display and the latest part of our master plan to redesign the way we tell the history of British motoring at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu,” the museum’s chief executive, Russell Bowman, was quoted in a news release.

“The Collections Team has researched the museum’s wonderful treasures to find stories, objects, images and film which explore the concept of luxury,” added Andrea Bishop, director of collections. “We’re confident that our visitor will enjoy the colorful, quirky and sometimes controversial things we have discovered.”

Savannah car museum opens this weekend | Museum photo

Special events this weekend (and early next week)

Savannah Classic Cars, a collector car dealership, restoration facility and museum in the historic South Carolina city, will host the grand opening of its museum area Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. with live music and free admission.

“Cars, Corks & Chocolate” is the theme Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at America On Wheels in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, February 13, the National Packard Museum and the W.D. Packard Band will host “Mardi Gras at the Museum” on February 13, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Valentine’s Day, the Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island will offer a date night with the showing of the movie Tucker: The Man and His Dream, beginning at 7 p.m.

Mark your calendar

The Simeone museum in Philadelphia opens its Best of Britain exhibit February 17 with the British cars on display through March 4.

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, hosts its sixth annual Pint with the Past party February 17 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., featuring live music, appetizers, and beverages from more than two dozen Michigan breweries.

On February, the Gilmore stages its seasonal job fair from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Candidates must be available to work weekends and holidays through October 2018.

The Owls Head Transportation Museum in Maine offers its School Vacation Week programs at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily from February 19-23.

Read more about the sinkhole disaster and the restoration of the Corvettes here.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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