Last month’s bizarre sinkhole incident at the National Corvette Museum might have been a disaster for the eight cars consumed by the pit that opened beneath them in the Skydome, but it’s proven to be a boon for the museum.

sinkholeBowling Green’s WBKO reports that since the hole opened up, the museum created a visitor gallery to watch recovery and repair, and the retrieved cars were put on display, curious Corvette fans have come in droves to visit the museum. Per Debbie Eaton, the NCM’s guest services manager, the museum saw 700 more visitors between February 13 and March 13 this year than last.

“They see the first one and you hear, ‘Oh, that’s sad.’ As the cars are in worse shape leading up to the fifth car they extracted, you hear physical moans and they’re in pain for them,” Eaton adds. “I saw a lady today who was actually in tears and shaking.”

Five of the eight cars have been recovered and are on display in their unrepaired condition for the moment, and it may be as long as three weeks before the remaining Corvettes are recovered from the chasm, which still needs to be stabilized in order to safely remove the bottom-most cars.

General Motors has already pledged support to rebuild the Corvettes, some of which suffered extreme damage, but many museum patrons have suggested that at least one of the cars be left unrepaired and on display at the museum.