When a sinkhole opened up underneath the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY yesterday, an octet of the rarest and most important Corvettes ever made fell in. CNN's got the story on what's happening below ground, while we look back now on the losses and ponder why this couldn't have happened to a Yugo museum instead. Should you feel compelled to help, you can do so here.
1993 "Ruby Red" 40th Anniversary Coupe
The guy who originally bought this car sold his mint 1970 'Vette when his daughter was born. Unbeknownst to him, his wife started saving her change from the grocery store, and surprised him with this new Anniversary Edition Corvette on the day their daughter left for college. Eventually, they donated it to the museum, saying, “We could never sell her and with this donation we will be able to visit her whenever we so choose.”
1962 Corvette Convertible
You know those people you hated in high school that had a shiny new Corvette? This was more or less the original, bought new by David Donoho shortly after he turned 16 with money he'd saved up. He kept it his entire life, always watched the skies and sped home the instant it looked like rain, and left it to the museum upon his death, so it would "be well maintained by those who would protect it."
1993 ZR-1 Spyder
This car originally debuted at the Detroit Auto show in ’91, and had its own special hood and quarterpanels that were specifically designed for better cooling, but the really cool bits of the car were in back. It had a tonneau cover that extended into the passenger compartment like vintage ‘Vettes, and the hood was lowered to make it look even more sleek.
2009 ZR1 Blue Devil
Blue Devil was GM's test car; it was the car you first saw in spy shots as word started spreading that Chevy was bringing the ZR1 back. It doesn't even have an actual VIN number, since it was more or less a factory hot rod. GM didn't ever give this one away — the company still owns it.
The 1,000,000th Corvette
This car actually has a born-on date: July 2, 1992 at 2 p.m. As an homage to the very first ‘Vette, it was painted white, with a red interior, then promptly donated to the museum by GM.
The 1,500,000th Corvette
The Museum was able to slot itself in line to get this car as soon as it rolled off the line on 05/28/2009 — it helps to know the right people — and it’s got the same color scheme as it’s milestone predecessors.
2001 Mallett Hammer Conversion
This was just the ninth Mallet ever built, and the only one with an AntiVenom Performance conversion. In other words, it’s an ultra-rare 700 hp monster that was on the cover of GM High Tech magazine, because it managed to do 181 mph in a standing mile in its first life, before being donated to the museum for use as a driver training tool. Just listen to this thing…
1984 PPG Pace Car
Designed to be a wild pace car for the (then) PPG Indy Car World Series, PPG and GM worked together to go a little over the top in the development phase. A 450 hp V8 sits beneath a skin that’s pretty much pure concept car in appearance, and it was painted Deltron Acrylic Urethan Orange Glow Candy, which doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as easily as taupe, but sure as hell looks amazing.
Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor. He's a little obsessed, but not in a sitting-outside-the-dealership-at-3a-with-binoculars sort of way. He undergoes track withdrawal symptoms on a regular basis and writes about cars as a salve, and you can follow him on Twitter @aaron_m_miller.