GM restores ‘Blue Devil’ ZR1 Corvette


 

Written By Melissa Burden, The Detroit News

General Motors Co. and Chevrolet are to reveal the restored 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 that was damaged when a giant sinkhole in February swallowed it and seven other Corvettes at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

The 2009 ZR1, nicknamed the “Blue Devil,” was on loan from GM. It fell into a 30-foot-deep sinkhole and was the least damaged of the eight cars. About 10 people worked for six weeks — mostly at an auto shop in Sterling Heights — to restore the Blue Devil to its original glory.

Chevy will show the restored car at the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas, an industry show where car bling is king.

“We wanted to bring the car to SEMA simply because it was the first of the sinkhole Corvettes restored, and we know the other two cars will likely take six months to complete,” Chevrolet spokesman Monte Doran said in an email.

In February, GM said it would try to restore all eight Corvettes that tumbled into the 45-foot-wide and 60-foot-long hole that opened in the floor. But the museum determined just three could be restored. The other five are on display — in their smashed states — at the museum.

When SEMA wraps up later this week, the Blue Devil will be trucked to the museum, but it will be in storage for several months while the museum fills in the hole.

Damage to the Blue Devil included cracked carbon-fiber ground effects and a broken passenger-side rocker panel; front fender damage; cracked windshield, hood window glass and headlamp; cracks in the two doors; broken oil lines; bent rear control arms; and scratches.

GM also has in its possession the 1 millionth Corvette produced: a 1992 white convertible that fell into the hole. It will restore that car, too, though work has not begun, Campbell and Doran said. The museum also will work with a restoration shop to have a black 1962 Corvette restored.

In total, the Detroit automaker is providing about $250,000 to the nonprofit museum to help in restoration efforts.

The sinkhole garnered increased awareness for the museum, which saw attendance soar 65 percent through Sept. 30. Security video footage of the cars falling into the sinkhole has been viewed nearly 8.4 million times on YouTube.

A $3.2 million construction project to fill the hole is to begin Monday and should be completed by July, said Katie Frassinelli, the museum’s marketing and communications manager. She said most of the cost is covered by insurance, though Corvette enthusiasts are donating money and sales of some items at the museum store — including a $10 jar of dirt and debris — are helping the effort.

Museum visitors will be able to view construction through a viewing window. At least some of the damaged Corvettes will be on display in other parts of the museum during construction, Frasinelli said. Damaged cars on display include a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder, 1984 PPG Pace Car, 1993 40th Anniversary Ruby Red Corvette, 2001 “Mallett Hammer” ZO6 and the 2009 1.5 millionth Corvette.

“Even though this was something bad to happen at the museum, in the end everything comes out for the better,” Frassinelli said.

“Attendance and interest in the museum is up significantly and while were doing great before the sinkhole happened, now we’re doing even better.”

Suggested Posts

2017 Corvette Stingray

Corvette Image & Picture GalleriesContentsCorvette Image & Picture GalleriesCorvette Images (By Generation & Year)C1 Corvette Images1953 – 1962C2 Corvette Images1963 – 1967C3 Corvette Images1968 – 1982C4 Corvette Images1984 – 1996C5 Corvette Images1997 – 2004C6 Corvette Images2005 – 2013C7 Corvette Images2014 – At Corvsport.com we’ve compiled the ultimate collection of Corvette images and photos. We’ve organized the Corvette pictures by …

0 19.9k

1993 C4 CorvetteContents1993 C4 Corvette1993 Corvette Overview1993 Corvette Image Gallery1993 Corvette Specifications1993 Corvette Main Specs1993 Corvette Pricing & Options1993 Corvette Exterior & Interior Colors1993 Corvette Powertrain Specifications1993 Corvette Wheels, Suspension & Brakes1993 Corvette Exterior Dimensions1993 Corvette Performance Results1993 Corvette Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN)1993 Corvette Factory Options1993 Corvette RecallsRecall 06e043000Recall 92V1600001993 Corvette Service BulletinsService Bulletin 020730024aService Bulletin 01697Service Bulletin 010729004Service Bulletin 93131101993 Corvette Common IssuesMechanical …

0 22k

2014 C7 CorvetteContents2014 C7 CorvetteFAST FACTS ABOUT THE 2014 CORVETTE STINGRAY2014 C7 Corvette Image Gallery2014 Corvette Specifications2014 Corvette Main SpecsSeatsConfigurable Dashboard Displays2014 Corvette Exterior Dimensions2014 Corvette Factory Options2014 Corvette Owners User Manual Model: 2014 Corvette Generation: C7 Corvette Type: Two Door Coupe, Two Door Convertible Available Colors: Arctic White, Black, Blade Silver, Crystal Red, Cyber Gray, Laguna Blue, …

0 19.3k
Jordan Taylor and Marcel Fassler join the Corvette Racing team for the 2017 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Corvette Racing has announced its driver line-ups for the team’s pair of Corvette C7.Rs as they prepare to make another run at the LM GTE Pro Title during the 2017 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans this summer.  The race, which will be held on June 17-18, will mark Corvette Racing’s 18th consecutive …

0 19k