It was a dark day on February 12, 2014, as the earth opened up underneath the National Corvette Museum and swallowed eight pristine historical examples of the high-performance Chevrolets. One of those Corvettes was a 1962 model donated to the museum in 2011 by David Donoho, and it is the third and final victim of the sinkhole to be restored.
One year ago—on the third anniversary of the sinkhole– the ’62 was removed from the display at the National Corvette Museum. It was transferred to the museum’s maintenance and preservation area where it underwent an intensive restoration while patrons of the museum could observe the work.
The team worked incredibly hard to preserve as much of Mr. Donoho’s ’62 as possible, only replacing one very small panel. “The frame was straightened a little at the rear, the body pieces or fiberglass components that were damaged or cracked were simply repaired,” said Derek Moore, the Curator of the National Corvette Museum. “Everything that we could leave, that Mr. Donoho had actually touched, was left on this car. We wanted to essentially leave his fingerprints on the car.”
The level of effort and care put in by the restoration team was astronomical, even going so far as to replace a sugar packet found under the seat during the restoration process. “We set it aside, finished up the car, and then slipped it right back under the seat where it was,” said Moore.
On February 12, 2018, four years from when the sinkhole opened up, and a year after Donoho’s ’62 had been removed from the museum, it was unveiled in a ceremony with more than 70 visitors in attendance, in the exact same spot it occupied prior to the original collapse.