The National Corvette Museum announced last night that the construction crew had unearthed the 8th and final Chevrolet Corvette lost in the sinkhole that swallowed the floor of the Skydome exhibit back on February 12th – although this final car will likely be the most difficult and the most time consuming to remove. Patrick Rall reports from TorqueNews.com
Since the 1,500,000th Chevrolet Corvette was pulled from the sinkhole under the National Corvette Museum last week, the crew has spent their time hunting for the 8th and final Corvette buried in the rubble. The 2001 Mallett Hammer Corvette was one of the first Corvettes to plunge into the sinkhole and throughout the process, it has been the car which posed the biggest challenge since the team had previously been able to locate it in the debris. In two separate occasions last week, the team found what they thought was the super tuned custom Corvette, only to learn that they had actually just found smaller parts of other cars. Fortunately, after almost two months of being buried, the Mallett Hammer was discovered yesterday evening.
As you can see in the image above, the Mallett Hammer is resting wheels up and the National Corvette Museum Facebook page explains that the Corvette is sitting with the nose pointed towards the center of the room. Although the wheels shown in the image are angled, leading me to first believe that these are the front wheels of the Mallett Corvette, the layout of the suspension (what I can see through the debris) appears to be the rear suspension setup, with one of the small mufflers poking out of the dirt to along the lower portion of the image. If these are the rear wheels and they’ve been contorted enough to be angled like that – I can only imagine how bad the rest of the car will be when it is unburied and removed. (It should be noted that the National Corvette Museum posted this image upright, with the tires to the right and the muffler to the left. I rotated the image 90 degrees because I thought that it offered a clearer look at the car.)
The problem now is that this Corvette is surrounded by more loose rock than the cars that had already been removed. The team has been mixing water with the dry dirt to make mud, which is easier to vacuum up out of the hole, but the rocks need to be removed individually – and very carefully to prevent other debris from shifting and re-burying the Mallett Hammer Corvette.
With any luck, this final Corvette will be relatively intact so seeing it come out of the hole will come with somewhat of a celebration as all 8 cars are finally back on terra firma – and there will most certainly be a sigh of relief by everyone once the final car is out – but having this Corvette be not quite as bad as some of the others would certainly bring a more pleasant end to this chapter of the story. That being said, this was one of the first Corvettes to fall into the hole back on February 12th and considering the massive amount of damage to the other cars – we should all be prepared for the worst with this final Corvette. I do believe that this car was displayed with its custom hood open so it is likely that the hood could be separated from the car, but here’s to hoping that the sinkhole wasn’t as rough on the Mallett Hammer as it was on the 1993 ZR-1 Spyder Concept.