Two and a half weeks after a sinkhole consumed eight irreplaceable cars in the Skydome section of the National Corvette Museum, the first victim has been removed from the chasm. The 2009 ZR1 “Blue Devil” was lifted by crane shortly before noon today – by virtue of being the last car into the hole, and coming to rest upright and relatively undamaged, it was the first to be removed.

After NCM personnel had a chance to perform a brief inspection of the Corvette, they got ambitious and put the battery on a jumper box to see if it could be started and driven out under its own power.

After a couple of unsuccessful attempts, the LS9 fires up like a boss, and the Blue Devil makes for the exit under its own power. Unfortunately, the car trails fluid, most likely engine oil, and the considerable puddle that accumulated beneath the car points to a serious leak. If that’s the worst of the mechanical damage, then the ZR1 got off easy.

With the first car out of the way, attention now turns to the black 1962 Corvette that had sat beneath a four post lift in the Skydome, and is currently partially pinned beneath a multi-ton slab of concrete. In order to extract the ’62 without further damage, the car and the concrete will have to come out at the same time, which should make for an interesting lift. We also noticed that in one still photo posted on the NCM’s Facebook page, one of the workers is wearing a GoPro camera on his hard hat, so there should be plenty more interesting video to come this week.

Watch streaming video of the work in progress on Ustream.