After 4 months and 1,200 man hours, restoration work of the milestone one millionth Corvette is now complete. The restored car will return to the National Corvette Museum as a permanent exhibit.
The one millionth Corvette was damaged on Feb. 12, 2014, when it and 7 other rare Corvettes tumbled into a sinkhole that opened beneath the museum’s Skydome area.
“We felt it was important to restore this extremely significant car in Corvette’s long, storied history,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “When we disassembled it, we found that each employee involved in building it had signed a part of the car, which was fantastic and moving to see. It brought the history to life, and reinforced the importance of the project.”
Approximately 30 technicians and craftspeople from GM Design’s Mechanical Assembly group, along with GM Service Operations restored the car at the Design Center on GM’s Technical Center campus in Warren, Michigan.
Despite the car’s extensive damage, the team vowed to to preserve and repair as many original components as possible because the car carries all the signatures from the Bowling Green Assembly workers who built the car. Only two signed components couldn’t be saved, so the team had the autographs scanned, reproduced as transfers and placed on the replacement parts.
Chevrolet even worked with the National Corvette Museum to obtain a signature from Bowling Green Assembly employee Angela Lamb for a new signature.
“We went to great lengths to preserve every autograph,” said David Bolognino, director of GM Global Design Fabrication Operations. “In the end, we saved every one of them, which was an unexpected and important element to the restoration.”
The other 5 Corvettes swallowed by the sinkhole will remain in their as-recovered state to preserve the historical significance of the cars. They will become part of a future sinkhole-themed display at the museum.
One millionth Chevrolet Corvette photo gallery