Whether attributed to its youth relative to the other Corvettes in the sinkhole, or simply fate favored it more than the others, there’s no denying that the 2009 ZR-1 Corvette, better known as the “Blue Devil”, bore the least amount of damage from its fall into the cavern under the National Corvette Museum.
The Blue Devil was quite comfortable garnering all the attention before it became one of the star players in a late-night surveillance video of eight Corvettes going subterranean in seconds. When the entire world was clamoring to get their first view of the new 638-horsepower ZR-1 Corvette, it was this particular car that was used in the photos dispersed to help appease the appetites of enthusiasts.
Life began for the Blue Devil as a 2008 Z06, but it was re-fitted with all the necessary bits to make it into a 2009 ZR-1. After its conversion, it made the rounds to various shows and on the covers of many magazines.
As saleable versions of GM’s supercar made it out into the wild, this one-off example was no longer needed to highlight the car’s existence. Because of the car’s notoriety, and the fact that GM can’t ever sell it due to legal constraints, the next best thing would be to donate it to the NCM so that it could bide its time, continuing to lift the ZR-1 RPO code among the greats within the walls of the museum. Little did anyone know that it would soon find itself on the front pages and news feeds of the world once again.
Again, whether by fate, or due to its lightweight materials in construction, the Blue Devil found itself upon a pile of rubble deep within the sinkhole that formed during the early morning hours under the spire of the National Corvette Museum. Its precarious drop ended with the car firmly planted on all four wheels and right-side up, much more than could be said for many of the cars that now resided under it.
During its fall, the car suffered some bruises, the damage at the time being best described by GM’s John Spencer, manufacturing integration manager for Corvette, “The ‘Blue Devil’ is in remarkable shape. Cosmetically, the carbon fiber running boards are shattered, there’s some minor paint damage, and a small crack in the windshield. Mechanically, the worst damage is a split in the oil-supply line for the 6.2L LS9 V-8. If you fixed that, you could drive the ZR-1 back to Detroit. Mechanically, the car was deemed unscathed enough to fire up immediately after being pulled from the rubble on March 3rd, almost one month after it fell into the sinkhole.
After all of the cars were extracted and the fate of each one decided, the Blue Devil went back to the people at GM that had originally built it into its ZR-1 configuration and they dutifully re-built it back into its former glory.
Mechanically, the worst damage is a split in the oil-supply line for the 6.2L LS9 V-8. If you fixed that, you could drive the ZR-1 back to Detroit. – John Spencer, manufacturing integration manager for Corvette