After seeing the condition of the first Corvette to fall into the National Corvette Museum’s Sinkhole and the last one out, it’s pretty hard to be excited about the retrieval of the 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette. But the final Corvette is now out and that marks the completion of “Operation Corvette Plus” which is what the workers dubbed the rescue of the “Great 8″ Corvettes that fell into the 40-ft sinkhole on February 12th.
The heavily modified C5 Corvette was donated to the National Corvette Museum last December by Lifetime members Kevin and Linda Helmintoller of Florida. Kevin visited the Museum just after the sinkhole happened and he returned to Bowling Green to witness the the rescue operation.
“I expected bad, but it’s 100 times worse,” Helmintoller said. “It looks like a piece of tin foil… and it had a roll cage in it! It makes all the other cars look like they’re brand new.”
Kevin and Lina had owned the Corvette for 13 years before the 700 hp rocket was donated to the NCM. “We donated this car to the Museum to help with the continued growth, but also because it could be a good vehicle for training other drivers at the new NCM Motorsports Park,” Helmintoller said in December upon donating the car. Here is Kevin and Linda with the Z06 at the NCM in December:
Until Monday, the whereabouts of the Mallett Hammer Z06 were unknown. Workers finally found the car resting on its roof with the nose pointing to the Sky Dome’s red Spire.
“It looks like the worst one… a lot of parts and pieces,” said Mike Murphy, CEO of Scott, Murphy and Daniel Construction. “It took a lot of punishment from a lot of big rocks.”
Here are pictures of the Mallett Hammer Z06′s retreival courtesy of the National Corvette Museum:
“We’re happy to have the completion of our major goal to recover all eight of the Corvettes,” said Wendell Strode, Executive Director of the Museum. “Next week we have a meeting with all the major players, including the construction team, geo-technical firm, cave and karst specialists, engineers, our insurance company and others to review all the findings and have discussions on the next steps and a mutual understanding about rebuilding.”
The Corvette Museum will officially open the “Great 8″ display featuring the eight “as-is” Corvettes rescued from the sinkhole on display in the main Exhibit Hall. The display will run through the NCM’s 20th Anniversary event August 27-30, 2014.
National Corvette Museum
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