NCM Offers 360 Degree Virtual Tour Of Corvette Swallowing Sinkhole

It was just five short years ago today, February 12, 2014, that eight prized Corvettes were sucked into the sinkhole that formed under the National Corvette Museum. The world watched as the security video showed the deed, as each Corvette disappeared into the abyss.

The folks at the NCM had a crisis on their hands, and went about answering questions about the conditions of the eight Corvettes and how this might have happened. They were mercilessly forthcoming with information, flowing via updates and online webcams that caught every aspect of the recovery process. Through adversity, the NCM squeezed out their own flavor of lemonade and served it out to a thirsty press and public viewers.

The world sat on the edge of its seat as each Corvette was pulled from the sinkhole. Some cars were later brought back to their prior condition, while others were deemed too far to repair.

Many folks who had never heard of the NCM made plans to attend and see the sinkhole for themselves. As a result, NCM attendance jumped 67-percent, and the Museum has commemorated the anniversary of the day in some way each year. In 2016, the NCM opened their “Corvette Cave-In” exhibit, which explains how the sinkhole was formed and documents the process in reclaiming each of the eight Corvettes.

The Corvette Cave-In exhibit explains how the sinkhole happened and documents the entire process of extracting the cars.

In 2017, the NCM kicked off the year-long restoration of the 1962 Corvette that succumbed to the sinkhole and the following year, presented the car alongside its sibling cars in the display. Three of the cars were restored, the Black ’62, the White C4 and the Blue Devil ZR1. The other cars were deemed to mangled to bring back. They will always stand as a testament to the devastating forces of Mother Nature.

Previously, viewers could only peer through an opening at the top of the sinkhole. Now, everyone can scour the sinkhole virtually on the NCM's website.

While the Museum has filled in most of the sinkhole, they also provided a viewing man-hole for attendees to peer into the remaining areas, as well as an outline on the floor of the Skydome that depicts the original scope of the sinkhole. The NCM has further figured out a way to give the curious a better look at what lies beneath their feet. Working with LifeLike Imageworks, they have created a 360-degree interactive tour of the south side of the cave which is available on the Museum’s website. The tour allows virtual visitors to explore nearly every inch of the cave, and even utilize VR goggles.

A lot of people are curious about what it looks like inside the cave, beyond what the webcam shows, so we decided to add a 360-tour allowing them to take a look. – Katie Ellison, Marketing and Communications Manager, NCM

The 360-degree tour is free to access and can be found on the Museum’s website by clicking on the Explore – Exhibits menu, then selecting the Corvette Cave-In link or by clicking this LINK.

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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