Corvettes start to emerge from giant sinkhole - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Corvettes start to emerge from giant sinkhole

Posted: Updated:
The first two of eight cars came out of a giant sinkhole Monday morning. The first two of eight cars came out of a giant sinkhole Monday morning.
The crane raised the car up out of the 40-foot hole. The crane raised the car up out of the 40-foot hole.
The 2009 Blue Devil started right up after it was recovered from the sinkhole. The 2009 Blue Devil started right up after it was recovered from the sinkhole.
Michael Murphy Michael Murphy
Nestor Martinez Nestor Martinez

BOWLING GREEN, KY (WAVE) - Two and a half weeks trapped under the earth's surface and now, one-by-one, eight classic cars are coming back up at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green.

The first two of eight cars came out of a giant sinkhole Monday morning.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Surveillance video shows Corvettes falling into sinkhole at National Museum]

It only gets more difficult from there. Picture your childhood game of pickup sticks. The cars are all stacked in there with layers of dirt and rebar and barricades from the display. Crews will have to sift through all of that for eight moments of victory.

"It looked like the blue devil had just been eased down and placed on top there," said Wendell Strode, Executive Director of the museum.

[PREVIOUS STORY: National Corvette Museum will display sinkhole damaged cars]

So raising it up out of the 40-foot hole where it's rested for weeks, while it may look impressive, was relatively easy.

"Devised a lifting device to lift it out without damaging the body," Michael Murphy, CEO of the company doing the work, said. "On Saturday we hooked it up, lifted it about two feet to test it. Everything held good."

[PREVIOUS STORY: First Corvette pulled from museum sinkhole]

Murphy knows there's no time for celebrating. Tuesday, one of the more challenging tasks begins when they try to get the third car out.

"There's a 10 ton concrete slab resting against the front of it," he said, "and we've got to hold on to that 10 ton slab and the 1962 Corvette, lift up on both of them at the same time."

[SLIDESHOW: The way the Corvettes were]

When it comes to cars seven and eight, no one really knows.

"There are two cars that we have no clue," said Strode. "We can't see anything at all."

As for Monday's work, no one in the museum really expected what they saw from the 2009 Blue Devil, the first car up.

"I could not believe that it fired up and started and they were able to drive it out the door," said Murphy.

Strode added it, "Shows that Chevrolet is like a rock still."

It now sits in the museum, on display for people like Nestor Martinez, who came from Chicago to see them, rocks and dust and all.

"I'm kind of surprised that it didn't take any more damage considering the size of the hole," said Martinez.

Corvette Museum officials said all the cars will stay on display in Bowling Green until August and then head to Michigan for GM to repair and restore.

Martinez isn't sure that's the best idea. "If you fix it up, it's just going to be like one of the other cars that's out on the lot, but if you leave it here, it was a big story, the sink hole. I think it would bring more attention to the people," he said.

Officials expect the removal of that third car, a black 1962 Corvette, to take a couple of days.

After that, they'll work to further stabilize the hole. That will take several weeks. Then they'll try to get the other five cars out.

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow