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History of the 1984 and 2009 Corvettes - Sinkhole Corvettes: Part 3

Exploring the history of the ’84 and ’09 sinkhole Corvettes

Walt Thurn Nov 4, 2014
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This is a continuation of our series about the Corvettes recovered from the February 12 NCM sinkhole. In Parts 1 and 2 we provided you with information about the ZR1, ’62 convertible, ’92 1-millionth, and ’93 40th Anniversary coupe. These four cars were the least damaged of the eight that fell into the void. Part 3 covers the next two Corvettes, each receiving considerable damage and might not be repairable.

2009 1,500,000th Corvette

On May 28, 2009, a new Corvette convertible rolled off the Bowling Green assembly line. This Arctic White with red interior beauty was the 1.5 millionth example of this iconic American sports car. This fully loaded convertible included the 3LT package: AM/FM stereo, six-disc in-dash CD changer, Bose premium seven-speaker system, heads-up display, power telescoping steering wheel, universal home remote, heated seats, memory seat package, side impact airbags, driver/passenger power adjustable sport bucket seats with perforated leathers inserts, luggage shade, parcel net, Bluetooth, power convertible top, and leather-wrapped steering wheel. In addition, it was equipped with the Z51 Performance Package: larger cross-drilled brake rotors, performance-tuned tires, stabilizer bars, springs, and shocks. It rolled on forged chrome aluminum wheels and had DVD navigation, dual-mode performance exhaust and its 6.2L LS3 engine packed 436 hp (with the exhaust) that was coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission. This Corvette carried VIN1G1YY36W295114471 and was purchased by the National Corvette Museum Foundation to preserve its place in history. It followed two other production milestone models, the 500,000 white coupe built in 1977 at the St. Louis plant and the 1-millionth white convertible built at the Bowling Green assembly plant in 1992. This Corvette has served as a showpiece at the National Corvette Museum and usually could be found parked in a prominent location near the 1-millionth ’92 Convertible inside the museum’s Spire exhibit hall. That is until it tumbled into a 60-foot void on February 12 and was buried under tons of dirt and rocks. On April 3, 2014, after extensive digging by the Scott, Murphy & Daniel Construction crew, they located the Corvette. Its nose was exposed enough so the crew could wrap straps around its frame and control arms. The Corvette was slowly removed from the void. Damage was extensive and repairing it could prove very costly. Currently, it’s being displayed with all of the other damaged sinkhole cars in the NCM exhibit hall.

2009 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible Damaged 2/9

The remnants of the badly damaged ’09 convertible now rest in the NCM exhibit hall. Restoration of this iconic Corvette would be lengthy and expensive.

1 5 Millionth Corvette 3/9

This was the first peek at the 1.5-millionth Corvette after massive amounts of dirt were removed from its resting place. The attached cables were used to raise it from the bottom of the sinkhole.

1953 Chevrolet Corvette  1 5 Millionth Corvette 4/9

In happier times the 1.5-millionth Corvette was displayed next to a ’53 Corvette. The hood stripe was added after it arrived at the National Corvette Museum.

Bowling Green Assembly Plant 5/9

Employees at the Bowling Green assembly plant gather around the 1.5-millionth Corvette on May 28, 2009, before it exits the final assembly area. The fully optioned convertible was purchased by the National Corvette Museum.

1984 PPG Indy Pace Car

In 1994, this PPG Indy Pace Car was displayed when the National Corvette Museum opened its doors on September 2. It was donated by PPG to the museum in early August 1994 and became one of the NCM’s permanent exhibits. This was one of a fleet of specially constructed PPG Pace Cars that were developed by different manufacturers to showcase their products. The pace cars were rotated so a different one would pace each race during the racing season. Chevrolet and PPG jointly designed this Corvette coupe, and it included many unique features that were not found on a production Corvette. It was equipped with coilover suspension for better handling. Power was bumped from 205 to 450 hp by Katech Engineering. Long-tube headers with outside side exhausts were covered by custom bodywork. The only stock body panels that remained were the doors and roof panel. All of the other panels were removed and replaced with custom bodywork made by Diversified Glass Products. This unique Corvette held a place of honor among the various pace cars that were on exhibit at the museum until it fell into the void on February 12. Damage was extensive and the custom body panels will be expensive and difficult to replace. It is currently on exhibit with the other sinkhole survivors.

1984 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe 6/9

This 1984 Corvette coupe was completely reskinned with panels from Diversified Glass Products and assembled by Triad Services. The completed body was finished in Deltron Acrylic Urethane Orange Glow Candy. It was part of the PPG Indy Car Pace Car fleet and donated to the museum in 1994.

Pace Car Side View 7/9

The design of this one-of-a-kind pace car was a joint effort of the Chevrolet Division and PPG. It is powered by a Katech-developed 401ci engine that produced 450 hp and was coupled to a Warner T5 five-speed transmission. The coilover suspension was installed by race specialist George Follmer.

Frame Rail Pace Car 8/9

On March 5 Scott, Murphy & Daniel Construction crew attached straps to the front framerails and carefully lifted the Pace Car from its resting place.

Ppg Race Car 9/9

The PPG Pace Car received extensive damage to its frame and body. Many of its parts were custom-fabricated and would be very expensive to duplicate. It is now on display in the NCM exhibit hall.



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