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Road Trip: See Corvettes That Rose From the Dead in New Exhibit in Kentucky

February 12, 2014: The day the world lost eight beautifully restored Corvettes to a sinkhole. No doubt plenty of auto fanatics shed some tears when they turned on the morning news and heard that a car-eating natural disaster struck the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, near the Tennessee state line. (You know, the place you’ve always meant to check out on the way to Florida and Nashville.)

A sinkhole had opened up underneath the museum, crash-dumping cars 30 feet into a cavern like a scene from an action movie. Luckily, the good folks at the museum figured out a way to rebound from a bad situation—and the expensive loss. A new show, Corvette Cave-In: The Skydome Sinkhole Exhibit, gives visitors a peek into the Corvette recovery process and how the museum patched itself back up.

The “sinkhole Corvettes” are the stars of the semi-permanent exhibit. Two of the cars have been fully restored, and the remaining six are on view for mourners visitors to see the damage firsthand. There’s also video footage taken by the museum’s security cameras when the sinkhole opened. Daredevils can step into a “mini-cave” simulator that replicates what it’s like to be inside a collapsing cave, and a 48-inch manhole lets visitors see what the caves underneath the museum look like.

Other current exhibits include special-edition and anniversary models, Corvettes from IndyCar races (June 10­–October 14), and two prototypes from General Motors (through June 9). So the next time you’re on the way to Music City or Destin, hit the brakes, get your picture taken behind the wheel of one of America’s favorite sports cars—and hope your own ride is still in the parking lot when you leave.

350 Corvette Dr., Bowling Green, Kentucky; 270-781-5286; corvettemuseum.org

 

Fernandez began writing for Indianapolis Monthly in 1995 while studying journalism at Indiana University. One of her freelance assignments required her to join a women's full-tackle football team for a season. She joined the staff in 2005 to edit IM's ancillary publications, including Indianapolis Monthly Home. In 2011, she became a senior editor responsible for the Circle City section as well as coverage of shopping, homes, and design-related topics. Now an executive editor, she lives downtown.
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