Corvette Museum Unveils Last Restored Car from Sinkhole

Restoration team members Daniel Decker (left), Dan Garrett (middle) and Derek Moore (right) unveil the restored 1962. (Photo credit: National Corvette Museum)

Four years ago, a massive sinkhole swallowed eight cars inside the Skydome in the National Corvette Museum.

Monday, February 12, on the anniversary of the sinkhole, staff revealed the newly restored 1962 black Corvette.

The Corvette was among the three that were able to be repaired after the catastrophe, and museum officials decided it would be fitting to repair the vehicle in-house.

A restoration team made up of several mechanics and curators have spent the last year repairing the vehicle inside the museum.

Monday, it all came to fruition.

“Really wanted to unveil the ’62 today to really kind of bookend the story of the sinkhole,” says Derek Moore, one of the curators.

Some of the members of the club recall the devastation that happened exactly four years ago today.

Stanley Marshall, a Corvette Club Member remembers, “I heard about it on the news and you just feel like you lost somebody.”

Monday, though, the last of the three cars to be prepared was that slick, jet black ’62. Seeing it come back to life was incredible.

“It was a real good feeling to see it happen and it’s a real cool thing to see,” adds Marshall.

The story behind this car belongs to its owner, the late David Donaho. As his attorney and long-time friend Beth Sease watched on today, she knew David would be thrilled.

“It would be a highlight of his life to come and see his baby all restored again and just like he left it,” Sease says.

That was the goal for the curators who repaired this ride was to restore it to the exact same condition it was in when it was donated.

“We only repaired what we absolutely had to that was damaged by the sinkhole, and we left everything else as it was when Mr. Donaho donated it,” Derek Moore said.

As she sits in the ’62 Corvette today, memories rush through Beth’s mind.

“To see him come to life and the gleam in his eye when he looked over on me and the accelerator went down, we just soared through,” she says.

The memories, stories, and secrets are what the museum wanted to bring to life today.

“You’re digging into their past and telling stories that might’ve been lost when they passed away,” Moore says. “It’s always an honor to get to work on any artifact and Mr. Donaho’s car was a very special car to work on because of that.”

This story, by Dalton Godbey, first appeared on wbko.com

To learn more about the National Corvette Museum, visit corvettemuseum.org

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