The National Corvette Museum can’t seem to make up its mind about this whole sinkhole business. After previously deciding to leave the sinkhole open as a tourist attraction, the museum’s board of directors has now decided to close the sinkhole after all. However illogical it may sound, the cost of keeping the sinkhole intact is actually higher than restoring the museum’s Skydome section to its previous, hole-free condition.
According to the museum’s blog, the change of heart came after final cost estimates were assessed for the repairs. Since keeping the sinkhole would require adding all sorts of safety reinforcements, barriers, and walls, the board decided to go through with restoring the Skydome to its undamaged state.
The sinkhole will remain an attraction until November 2014, as the museum readily admits that this natural disaster has actually generated a huge amount of interest and an increase in attendance. Because of this, the museum has also decided that five of the eight damaged cars will remain in their damaged state as part of a new exhibit focusing on the sinkhole as part of the museum’s history.
General Motors previously agreed to restore all eight cars when the sinkhole collapsed in February 2014, but since many of the cars were in such a damaged state that restoration was unrealistic, GM now announced that it will restore only three of the eight cars. Among the cars set for restoration include the 2009 Corvette ZR1 “Blue Devil” prototype, the white 1992 Corvette convertible that was the 1 millionth Corvette produced, and the 1962 Corvette which will actually be restored by the museum itself with sponsorship from Chevrolet. Others like the near-unrecognizable 2001 Mallet Hammer Corvette Z06 will be displayed exactly as they were recovered from the sinkhole.
Stay tuned for more updates later this year as the National Corvette Museum fills the sinkhole and establishes this new exhibit.