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Bow Tie Briefs - Chevy News - January 2015

Jim Campisano Sep 15, 2014
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Photos courtesy of the National Corvette Museum

NCM To Fill Sinkhole, Fix Only Three Cars

It was kind of a clever idea—leave the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum (NCM) open—but in the end, it was determined that the feasibility of that was simply impractical. At its quarterly meeting, the National Corvette Museum Board of Directors decided to completely fill the sinkhole. This was due to additional information and revised plans with price quotes from the construction company. It was also announced that only three of the eight cars that fell into the hole will be restored.

“We really wanted to preserve a portion of the hole so that guests for years to come could see a little bit of what it was like, but after receiving more detailed pricing, the cost outweighs the benefit,” said Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode. “At the June board meeting, the information available at that time indicated a cost of around $500,000 more to keep the hole, but after incorporating additional safety features and vapor barriers for humidity control, the price tag rose to $1 million more than the cost to put the Skydome back how it was.”

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According to the NCM, keeping even a portion of the sinkhole would require 35-foot retaining walls to be built inside of the sinkhole, additional micropiling, visible steel beams running through the hole and soil nailing to ensure the safety of the sinkhole and prevent cracking and breaking of the sides in the future.

The board also considered future maintenance issues that could arise if the hole was kept and the possibility that the hole wouldn’t look like a naturally occurring sinkhole any longer. “The interest in our new attraction has been phenomenal so we do plan to leave it ‘as-is’ through our Vets ‘n Vettes event November 6-8, 2014, after which time we will begin the process of remediating and filling the hole,” Strode added.

Chevrolet and the National Corvette Museum will restore only three of the Corvettes that were damaged when they were swallowed up by the sinkhole. After the sinkhole opened, it was said that all eight cars would be restored, but that, too, was deemed impossible. Chevrolet will restore the 2009 Corvette ZR1 prototype, known as the Blue Devil, and the 1-millionth Corvette produced, a white 1992 convertible. The GM Heritage Center will oversee this process. In addition, the restoration of the 1962 Corvette will be funded by Chevrolet, but will be handled by the National Corvette Museum. A restoration shop has not yet been determined. The remaining five cars were determined to be too badly damaged to warrant restoration. They will remain in their as-recovered state to preserve the historical significance of the cars and what happened on February 12, 2014. They will become part of a future display at the Museum.


On The Block

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As summer wound down, the prices on vintage Chevys did not at the Mecum Dallas auction. Still, some good buys were still made. This ’68 Impala sold for $12,500. Supposedly, the blue-on-blue fullsize was re-done at 100,000 miles (it has 132,000 on the clock now). Power is from a 327 and the factory air and AM radio still works.

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Another decent buy (in our opinion) was this Daytona Yellow-on-yellow houndstooth ’69 Camaro. The 350/300-horse machine sold for $28,000, which isn’t cheap, but you’d probably have to spend another ten grand to buy a ’69 Camaro and restore it to this condition. It had power steering, factory air, power disc brakes, and an automatic.

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What do you think of this Butternut Yellow ’66? The 327/275-horse four-speed car sold for $36,000. It was upgraded with Vintage Air and power disc brakes, but this seems a little steep to us. Are we wrong? Nice car, but it’s not like it’s an L79 car.

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