I thought that only happened in Florida
February 12, 2014 10:21 PM   Subscribe

A sinkhole appeared inside the Corvette Museum in Kentucky, swallowing 8 classic cars.

The victims were:
a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder
a 2009 ZR1 Blue Devil
a 1962 black Corvette
a 1984 PPG Pace Car
a 1992 White 1 Millionth Corvette
a 1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Corvette
a 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette
a 2009 white 1.5 Millionth Corvette
posted by Chocolate Pickle (80 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
:O
posted by sexyrobot at 10:25 PM on February 12, 2014


I guess Satan is driving around in style.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:36 PM on February 12, 2014 [12 favorites]


“All of these have a unique story behind them,” said museum executive director Wendell Strode.

Now they all have the same story.
posted by michaelh at 10:48 PM on February 12, 2014 [50 favorites]


If only it had hit the creationist museum.
posted by scottymac at 11:15 PM on February 12, 2014 [35 favorites]


The mistake here was in putting the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Kentucky doesn't have the gross income to "support" such an enterprise.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:25 PM on February 12, 2014


The RC 'copter videos are pretty cool. Such a tantalizing glimpse of larger caverns underneath.
posted by sbutler at 11:29 PM on February 12, 2014


Little Dead Corvette

(Credit to Jon Ronson)
posted by the duck by the oboe at 11:38 PM on February 12, 2014 [10 favorites]


The mistake here was in putting the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

It probably seemed logical at the time, since that's where the Corvette factory is.
posted by The World Famous at 12:24 AM on February 13, 2014 [19 favorites]


Has anyone connected this to fraccing yet?
posted by Mezentian at 12:40 AM on February 13, 2014


“That’s a whole lot of money just to throw down a hole,” said Alida Kriete, who stopped with her family on their way back home in Indiana after a vacation to the Gulf Coast.

That's pretty much my reaction whenever I see a Corvette.
posted by three blind mice at 1:22 AM on February 13, 2014 [20 favorites]


I love it when shit like this happens and no one gets hurt because I don't feel bad about laughing about it. And how can I not laugh when a hole opens up in the ground and partially swallows several semi-arbitrarily defined status symbols?

I love you, Earth. I love you so much.
posted by NoraReed at 2:00 AM on February 13, 2014 [22 favorites]


Corvette Bummer
posted by Optamystic at 2:33 AM on February 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


A couple of really sad losses, and a load of arbitrarily 'important' modern cars ("it's the millionth corvette! identical to all the other 2009 'vettes!"). Amazing to see video of it, and a real shame about the '62.
posted by Dysk at 2:42 AM on February 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Not sure why this would be cause for any joy but don't let this chance to flash your too cool for school badges pass up. Vettes are only weird looking if you're an adherent of juche or satanism. They are barely a status symbol IMO, more of a declaration that you wanted entry level access to the supercar club, because the latest models just nudge their way into that category in my estimation.
posted by lordaych at 3:52 AM on February 13, 2014 [6 favorites]


Kentucky doesn't have the gross income to "support" such an enterprise.

Nor the geological stability, evidentially.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:56 AM on February 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


"A gaping sinkhole ... swallowed eight prized cars like they were toys..."

That is not what you do with toys, WaPo.
posted by griphus at 4:13 AM on February 13, 2014 [32 favorites]


Yay! Mine is worth more now (by a fraction of a cent or so, but still). At least they didn't lose a 1st gen like a 53 or 54. Those are RARE. The Earth giveth and the Earth taketh away.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 4:21 AM on February 13, 2014


So a couple of legitimately badass, limited production cars (the '93 ZR-1, the Mallet), a classic, a ZR1 that's barely even out of production, and a whole bunch of arbitrary production milestones and pace cars. No cars with any kind of racing pedigree. It could have been a lot worse, I suppose.

Weird to see all the Corvette hate in here, they're hardly the status symbol that a Porsche or Jaguar are even if they are often an even match on the track.
posted by indubitable at 4:23 AM on February 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


GOD
HATES
VETTES
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:27 AM on February 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


they're hardly the status symbol

No, but they are premium penis symbols.
posted by spitbull at 4:30 AM on February 13, 2014 [4 favorites]


indubitable: "Jaguar"

You mean that crap made by Tata Motors like a Range Rover? Jags were bad enough when they were made by Ford. Now they're laughable. Does the UK even make any cars these days?
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 4:31 AM on February 13, 2014


Park them all, the Earth shall claim her own.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:36 AM on February 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


Devils Rancher: "Park them all, the Earth shall claim her own."

Amen. That's why my money is on the rovers left on the moon. All that stuff will be there til the sun goes all red gianty. (Unless the Chinese decide to bring it all back.)
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 4:40 AM on February 13, 2014


No, but they are premium penis symbols.

What do you mean by that?
posted by indubitable at 4:41 AM on February 13, 2014


indubitable: "Jaguar"
InsertNiftyNameHere : You mean that crap made by Tata Motors like a Range Rover? Jags were bad enough when they were made by Ford. Now they're laughable. Does the UK even make any cars these days?


I don't know the new F Type looks major bad ass… and its made in Birmingham
posted by ShawnString at 4:43 AM on February 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Before I read the article I was assuming this was part of an elaborate heist.
posted by tofu_crouton at 4:49 AM on February 13, 2014


ShawnString: "I don't know the new F Type looks major bad ass… and its made in Birmingham"

That car does look sweet, and awesome for Birmingham (I'm super glad to hear that!), but how long until production is moved to Mumbai? Not that I can talk because most cars "made in the USA" are made in Canada, Mexico, or Asia. Sorry if I sounded antagonistic. I didn't mean it that way.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 5:00 AM on February 13, 2014


That's pretty much my reaction whenever I see a Corvette.

That made me laugh, but really what makes Corvettes interesting is how cheap they are. You get basically world-class performance for a price that a middle-class person (for pre-2008 definitions of "middle class") can afford. Looking at the company's website, MSRP on the base model is about $50k, and the fastest model is just over $60k. That's not free, but the payments are well within the ability of an empty nester professional, and crazy cheap compared to what other cars with that kind of performance sell for.

Which is of course part of why I personally find Corvettes a bit funny, because I've literally never seen one driven by a person who doesn't qualify for AARP membership. It's exclusively an old dude car, and I'm not sure what the company plans to do when those old dudes start failing their vision tests and moving into assisted living facilities.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:16 AM on February 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


Cars vs. Karst
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:18 AM on February 13, 2014 [5 favorites]


At least they didn't lose a 1st gen like a 53 or 54.

Back in the 80's I was a sales rep for a wine distributor. The owner had a white '53 that he typically stored in the warehouse in the winter. One February morning I received a call, the warehouse had caught fire. We all went in to see what we needed to do and there, in the corner where the 'Vette usually sat under a tarp was an engine block, drive train, rims and the springs from the seats... all laid out like when they arrange the bones for the forensic pathologist....The boss was just standing staring at it...ignoring the fact that the rest of the warehouse and hundreds of thousands of dollars in wine and imported beer was in ruins behind him.

(the upside... all those bottles with "smoke damage" that the state liquor control office said we couldn't sell, well..we had to do SOMETHING with 'em).
posted by HuronBob at 5:22 AM on February 13, 2014 [9 favorites]


Looking at the company's website, MSRP on the base model is about $50k, and the fastest model is just over $60k.

Check the used car listings for C5 Z06s. 400+ HP, huge tires, 3200ish lbs stock w/ driver and gas and other performance enhancements. Ranges from a little under $30k to a lot under $30k depending on the mileage, and there are a ton of low mileage examples out there due to the aforementioned old man demographic that tends to take them out only on Sundays.

Not a car for everybody, but for the price of a new FR-S or Miata, you get something a lot more fun.
posted by indubitable at 5:28 AM on February 13, 2014


That car does look sweet, and awesome for Birmingham (I'm super glad to hear that!), but how long until production is moved to Mumbai?

Doubtful that that'll happen any time soon. JLR have been hiring like mad in these parts (the midlands, UK) in the last couple of years.
posted by Dysk at 5:35 AM on February 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Dysk: "That car does look sweet, and awesome for Birmingham (I'm super glad to hear that!), but how long until production is moved to Mumbai?

Doubtful that that'll happen any time soon. JLR have been hiring like mad in these parts (the midlands, UK) in the last couple of years.
"

Fair enough, and you may be correct, but that's also what they said in Detroit in the 70s. I hope Birmingham fairs better.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 5:45 AM on February 13, 2014


It's not about being too cool for school myself, it's about the planet we all live on just out of the blue opening up and swallowing some cars. That's fucking awesome.
posted by NoraReed at 5:45 AM on February 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


Does the UK even make any cars these days?

Yes.
posted by Dasein at 5:51 AM on February 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Does anyone have an information on why this sinkhole opened up, particularly right at this spot? I thought sinkholes only attacked city streets, not buildings...
posted by Old'n'Busted at 5:55 AM on February 13, 2014


I really want this to be the start of a series of clever heists.
posted by srboisvert at 6:06 AM on February 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


When a friend's son wrecked his car, he had to start driving his mother's car. His mother's red Corvette.
posted by acrasis at 6:19 AM on February 13, 2014


So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels and Corvettes were cast out with him.
posted by nowhere man at 6:26 AM on February 13, 2014


Cameron and his dad are going to have a serious talk when he gets home.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:35 AM on February 13, 2014 [15 favorites]


I guess I should have known by the way they parked the cars sideways that it wouldn't last.
posted by The World Famous at 6:46 AM on February 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


Old'n'Busted: "Does anyone have an information on why this sinkhole opened up, particularly right at this spot? I thought sinkholes only attacked city streets, not buildings..."

Sinkholes will open up anywhere that the bedrock is dissolved. Water flows where water goes, so that can be under buildings as well as roads.

Info: I live in Florida.
posted by Splunge at 6:47 AM on February 13, 2014


Vice President Biden's comment, on the official VP twitter account: "RIP."

/nottheOnion
posted by dismas at 6:58 AM on February 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


Does anyone have an information on why this sinkhole opened up, particularly right at this spot? I thought sinkholes only attacked city streets, not buildings...

Bowling Green is very very close to Mammoth Cave National Park, a massive underground network of limestone caves. It's very likely that there were also cave formations underneath the museum that were filled with soft soil that suddenly...well you saw the video right?
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:06 AM on February 13, 2014


It's not necessarily true that the caves would be filled with anything - since it's a karst area, the limestone bedrock could have just been eroded enough that it was no longer able to support the surface and any buildings on it. It would be just like regular erosion above ground, just with the subterranean strata gradually being eaten away, not necessarily some other material filling existing voids. Limestone is generally a bit more soluble to rainwater that has carbonic acid (picked up from falling through the air) than other types of rock, so it gets eaten away fairly easily.
posted by LionIndex at 7:24 AM on February 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


What stood out for me in this tragedy is that they saved the only known 1983 Corvette.
There's only one 1983 Corvette known to exist, apparently. The reason? They had a hard time meeting their quality goals during the transition from the 1982 to the 1983 model year.
Think about that. The 1983 Corvette was TOO SHITTY for GM to sell it. This is the company that brought us the Cavalier, I can't imagine how shitty the 1983 Corvette must have been.
posted by Floydd at 7:25 AM on February 13, 2014 [8 favorites]


I bet most of the cars can eventually be repaired, at least cosmetically, it's not like theyre driving anywhere to begin with. Just not cheaply.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:33 AM on February 13, 2014


a real shame about the '62

Yeah, the only real loss here, IMO.
posted by Rash at 8:10 AM on February 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


What LionIndex said, & I didn't have the time to type this AM. They built the building on soluble rock, & it dissolved out from under them. Note: this usually happens over millions of years, and the weight of the building might have been just the last straw in the long history of an underground chamber's slowly-thinning roof. Building over karst is tough, and when large structures are built, cores have to be made to look for voids. It's a whole sub-genre of architecture, judging from the lit titles I see out there, & the symposia.

Inner Space Caverns in Georgetown, Texas was discovered when they were drilling test cores for interstate 35 in the early 60's. It's not uncommon for large caverns to have no human-discernable surface expression without testing.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:15 AM on February 13, 2014


Ah, the Corvette... Is there any other car that screams "midlife crisis" more loudly?
posted by entropicamericana at 8:19 AM on February 13, 2014


So when you're on a commercial cave tour and some rube pipes up and idiotically asks the guide "How many unknown caves are there?" The answer is probably many thousands without entrances, and actually we'd really, really like to know.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:21 AM on February 13, 2014


God finally expresses all that built-up fury over the square taillights on the C7 and the entire C3 series.
posted by introp at 8:22 AM on February 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


... hardly the status symbol that a Porsche or Jaguar are even if they are often an even match on the track.

(emphasis mine)

I...er...what?? Maybe, if the track is a long straight line or a Nascar oval. Cornering is not a Vette's strong suit.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:39 AM on February 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


Not sure why this would be cause for any joy but don't let this chance to flash your too cool for school badges pass up. Vettes are only weird looking if you're an adherent of juche or satanism. They are barely a status symbol IMO, more of a declaration that you wanted entry level access to the supercar club, because the latest models just nudge their way into that category in my estimation.

Soooo, I shouldn't laugh because rich people lost their entry-level supercars in a hilarious manner? As someone said above, shame about the '62, but one assumes the rest were insured to the hilt, and thus the poor rich folks will be just fine. Ergo, laugh!
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:46 AM on February 13, 2014


Maybe, if the track is a long straight line or a Nascar oval. Cornering is not a Vette's strong suit.

It totally depends on the track and the model, but generally modern Vettes have a huge horsepower advantage and corner well enough that they don't lose all of their straightaway advantage. Car and Driver runs track day comparisons like this semi regularly and it's not crazy to say that a Vette and a Porsche have similar lap times. C5 and later Corvettes are genuinely outstanding all-around performance vehicles.
posted by Kwine at 9:03 AM on February 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:16 AM on February 13, 2014


Sinkholes seem to like Corvettes.

Sinkhole made famous by swallowing Corvette, restaurant (Hickory, NC)
posted by alikins at 9:36 AM on February 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


Jeebus but the sneering around here is...well, I was about to say surprising, but I guess I'm not really surprised. Your hobby probably sucks to someone else, too.
posted by Thistledown at 9:37 AM on February 13, 2014 [6 favorites]


"It's exclusively an old dude car..." While I've noticed the same pattern, I have an abnormality in my neighborhood. The corvette in from the 80s, I can't tell years very well, and it's metallic hot pink/purple. It had a vanity license plate with a girls name on it like "DeeDee" or similar, and a busty blond with a penchant for tight leotards and animal patterns drives it. She's probably 65+ but still "a looker" if you like your ladies styling like a Barbie.
posted by dabitch at 9:53 AM on February 13, 2014


Greg_Ace, I'm really interested to know the basis for your assertion, in light of everything I've seen, read, and heard about the last few generations of Corvette in terms of handling and track performance. A friend has a C6 ZR1 that he drives regularly at Laguna Seca and Sonoma and its cornering is on par with or better than nearly everything out there.

And the standard C7 consistently is reviewed favorably against the best handling cars in the world. To give just one example, Chris Harris put a bottom-rung, base model C7 up head to head against the Porsche 991 Carrera S and, although he said he thinks the gearbox is "pretty terrible," the handling "feels quite tight" with manageable oversteer. He concluded that a Carrera S is better than a stripped base model C7, but that the fact that the price of the C7 is rougly the same as just the optional extras on the 991 means "it's pretty pointless testing [the C7] against anything else, because it offers so much for so little."

Now, I haven't driven a C5, C6, or C7, but I've never heard or read anyone who did drive one say they don't handle well or are not - at least in top-end trim - an even match on a track for european supercars. For me, the fiberglass body and general crappy build quality on the surface of things (and gaudy interior design) are big enough downsides that I'd not really be interested in one even if I had the money (not to mention the general Corvette driver image, for which I'd need to gain some weight and grow a mustache, at the very least).

But if I look at the all time production car lap records for Laguna Seca, the #2 slot is a 2008 Corvette ZR1. The first 5 slots are all Corvettes and Vipers, and #6 is a McLaren MP4-12C. The first 911 on the list is at #11, if you're curious - just shy of two seconds slower around the track than the 2008 Corvette ZR1.

In 2011, Jim Mero put a C6 ZR1 around the Nordschleife in 7:19.63, more than four seconds faster than the first 911 on the list (which was a GT2 RS).

Have you driven one on a track and reached a different conclusion? I'm genuinely curious. Because honestly, look at the track records for production, street-legal vehicles for just about any famous racetrack in the world and Corvettes are right there with the others - often with better lap times on twisty tracks.
posted by The World Famous at 9:55 AM on February 13, 2014 [4 favorites]


The World Famous: "Now, I haven't driven a C5, C6, or C7"

I have to say that the hydro-forming they use on the newest vettes makes for a MUCH tighter body/ride than my creaky old 1996 C4. Then again, I love the creakiness of the older vettes. They sure are fun to drive. Remove the targa top and hit the road. You can pass almost every thing else on the roads (and what you can't pass you can make go fast enough that they make a nice radar screen.). I can't wait for summer!
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 10:26 AM on February 13, 2014


Cornering is not a Vette's strong suit.
/
It totally depends on the track and the model, but generally modern Vettes have a huge horsepower advantage and corner well enough that they don't lose all of their straightaway advantage.
/
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.


Well, you could look at some lap times. The Corvette ZR1 was faster around the Top Gear track in the damp than the 911 Turbo Cabrio, 911 GT3 RS, or the 911 S. It kept pace with an Audi R8. It's one of the fastest production cars around the Nurburgring, and dollar for dollar nothing else comes close.
posted by Dasein at 10:57 AM on February 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


If you doubt how well a modern Corvette can handle, as someone who generally loathes Corvettes for personal historical reasons, I tell you this:

I encourage you to go look at SCCA Super Stock class (where the C6s and Z06 C5s are placed). Race results will typically show 60-90% of the top 10 are Corvettes. This is running against cars widely considered to be very fast, like the Porsche 996 GT3s and 997 GT3s. The national tour last year, for example, saw 9 of the top 10 SS winners in Corvettes, mostly C6s with a couple C5 Z06 models.

Now, part of this is that the SS class basically exists to contain the Porsches, Corvettes, Elises, TT RSes, etc.; cars that would otherwise be untouchable if you let them run in A Stock. And there are a lot more Corvettes out there than Porsches/Lotuses/etc. simply due to cost, so you're naturally going to see more of them represented. This doesn't diminish the fact that the C6 Corvettes are very very fast around a twisty track. Early C7 performance looks even better.

The fastest lap ever on VIR, which has plenty of tricky curves, was done in a stock C6 ZR1. (I think the same car that pulled a 7:20 on the Nürburgring. Certainly the same driver.) The seventh-fastest lap is held by a C7 Stingray. Take a look at fastest laps for most tracks and you'll see the modern Corvettes in the top five, punching away in there with GT2s, GT3s, 458s, 991 Turbos, GTR SVs, etc.

Their stock suspensions are very good, they corner very well, and they have a lot of extremely controllable power on tap. They don't warp time the way the GT3 does, but they're still quite quick. All this for about $55k new.
posted by introp at 11:07 AM on February 13, 2014 [4 favorites]


Wow, I was just about to suggest SCCA Solo Nationals results. That's on an autocross course no less, which is pretty much all cornering and doesn’t grant much advantage to powerful engines (the throttle control needed in a RWD car like the Corvette actually makes it harder until the driver masters that skill). Yet there they are, right up there with Lotuses and high end 911s.
posted by indubitable at 11:25 AM on February 13, 2014


Honestly, I can't be bothered to butt heads over an issue that's more complex than you're making it out to be, and taste is taste. So there you go.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:56 AM on February 13, 2014


Sinkholes will open up anywhere that the bedrock is dissolved. Water flows where water goes, so that can be under buildings as well as roads.

Yep -- and under buildings, it's often a leaky water pipe that provides the water.

Cornering is not a Vette's strong suit.

In the hands of an amateur? Nope, not at all, because Corvettes offer you absolutely no help other than very wide tires. Treat a Corvette wrong and it will fling you into a ditch.

In the hands of a driver who can ride the edge of the grip? Modern Corvettes turn very well indeed. The C6 ZR1 put a 1:20.4 on the board in the hands of The Stig, and did it on a damp track -- over two seconds faster than a Porsche GT3 RS or a Ferrari F430 on a dry track. It went around the Nürburgring in 7:26.4 on the stock tires.

Modern Corvettes are not slow cars. They don't have nearly the driver aids that Ferrari puts in, but if you can drive them, they'll go.
posted by eriko at 12:00 PM on February 13, 2014


Honestly, I can't be bothered to butt heads over an issue that's more complex than you're making it out to be, and taste is taste. So there you go.

My mistake. I apparently misinterpreted your prior statement as a factual assertion that a Corvette is not "often an even match on the track" to a Porsche or a Jaguar unless, as you said, "the track is a long straight line or a Nascar oval." I think some of us understood your statement as an assertion of fact, rather than a matter of taste. I thought the issue was "is a Corvette often an even match on the track" to a Porsche, which is not a complex question at all. I prefer the Porsche every time, just like you apparently do. So agree to agree, then?
posted by The World Famous at 12:02 PM on February 13, 2014



"I guess we'll have to agree to disagree."

Looks like Greg_ace doesn't know much about modern Corvettes.

More astute students of Corvette generations may correct me on when it happened, but my recollection is that basically from the C5 version forward, these cars have handled and cornered absurdly well, and easily match anything made in Europe or Japan at twice the price. There's no contest if you match dollar-for-dollar.

This isn't something that's really debatable; check Ring times, for example. It's fine to quibble about build quality or longevity, or the generalized lack of taste in interior design that Detroit seems incapable of improving (which is why there's not a Vette in my garage), but in terms of quantifiable sports car metrics, modern Corvettes are on part with anything made anywhere. You move the goal posts now, Greg, with "taste is taste," but you were ragging on Vettes as being unable to compete on twisty tracks above. That dog won't hunt.

Also, chalk me up as another who finds it sadly predictable that Mefi would jump so quickly on the "HAW HAW HAW CORVETTES AMIRITE" bandwagon here. Not everybody who enjoys sports cars is an asshole, and it's more than a little creepy to express joy about a car museum losing exhibits.
posted by uberchet at 12:37 PM on February 13, 2014 [4 favorites]


  how long until production is moved to Mumbai?

Very unlikely, as others have noticed. My brother is consulting on the mindblowingly large production upgrades that Tata are putting in. Apparently, there had barely been any investment in decades.
posted by scruss at 12:50 PM on February 13, 2014


Sinkhole made famous by swallowing Corvette, restaurant (Hickory, NC)

Folks, if you have not clicked on that link (which I have conveniently reproduced right here), you are missing out on local news gold.

First, we get some sort of crazy post-modern sequential sound collage: A trolley bell and an acoustic guitar riff, separated by what sounds like a piece of paper tearing in half while a distant jet takes off. Then the reporter opens his piece by describing the town of Hickory as "the most livable place to live". He reminds you that it is the furniture manufacturing capitol of the world.

But what is Hickory really famous for? Thanks to an interview with an unidentified man, we learn that it's famous for a sinkhole. Every sentence the man says, the reporter follows with his own sentence. Initial interjectory sentences include:

"And a car is disappearing!"

"This Corvette!"

The unidentified man describes how the car rose out of the ground and somehow hovered before being swallowed by the sinkhole. And the car, he says, was only two days old. The reporter repeats this fact for emphasis:

"Two days old!"

After describing how people gathered 'round to look at the sinkhole — which, according to a newspaper clipping shown earlier, somehow digested the Corvette and disgorged it in pieces — the man says what happened next: Another sinkhole.

"Another sinkhole!" the reporter repeats, in case you didn't hear or understand.

The interviewee then reveals his secret identity: "I matured as a mayor very quickly."

At this point in watching the video, you begin to suspect that some reporters really actually believe that their sole job is to write down and repeat what has been told to them. Perhaps. But not this reporter. He could have said, "He matured — as the mayor!" And it would have been a great line. But instead he hits you with sinkhole facts:

The two sinkholes merged. The restaurant was torn down. The Corvette owner bought a second Corvette. Another man bought the property for one dollar.

Then, in the finest one-two punch of local reportering I have ever seen, his last fact is followed by a sinkhole pun: "It could be a 'hole' new beginning."

What does the future hold? The mayor thinks the site could someday be a great location for a water park, but right now he bemoans the sinkhole's lack of kudzu.

Cut back to the news desk. There's time for one more sinkhole fact. It also swallowed a USA Today newspaper box and all the coins contained therein. Goodbye.
posted by compartment at 1:04 PM on February 13, 2014 [8 favorites]


Honestly, I can't be bothered to butt heads over an issue that's more complex than you're making it out to be, and taste is taste. So there you go.

Dude, learn to admit when you're wrong with at least a little grace.
posted by Dasein at 1:06 PM on February 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


I've driven a C6. I really liked it. I've had no special driver training and probably couldn't turn in a good lap time on a go-kart track, so I'll leave assertions about performance to people who know what they're talking about.

But I know a thing or three about the old ones, having grown up building them with a restoration enthusiast. Dad's particular to the solid-axle 'Vettes.

The 1950s Vettes are - by my estimation - perfectly awful cars by today's standards. They have skinny tires, flexing bodies and chassis, clunky mechanical systems and handle about as well as my Radio Flyer wagon....I drove my Dad's '56 a few times and hated it. But the graceful, swooping lines of the thing, with the double-curved dashboards....

...you have to appreciate an old thing in its context, you know? The '56-'57 Vettes (later 57's were fuel injected - a brand new thing for domestic production cars) evoked some of the same feelings that Aston Martins and Veyrons and Vectors (if you're a certain age) do now; they're the stuff of near-science-fiction. The 'Vette opened people's eyes to what was possible. It made an entire generation of baby boomers dream and fall in love with mechanical things.

And I learned damned near everything I know about tools and mechanical technique building that car and a '57 Bel Air. I didn't appreciate it at the time...but my love of mechanical things, appreciation for engineering, of things well and properly done...of being patient with epoxy and fiberglas and the weird sensation of sanding your fingerprints completely OFF your fingers for several days...these are some of the most vital and visceral memories I have.

By the 60's the cars got interesting. When I go visit the old man, I still borrow his '66. It's the "small, old lady version" which is to say it has the 300-some-odd HP small block instead of the monstrosity of a big block. It's a hell of a lot of fun to drive. It has seat belts, which were a new thing. It has power steering. And a thin, teak steering wheel. And I cannot tell you what the grin is like on my face just cruising along at 60mph with the windows down.

This post has gotten too long, but I could go on and on about the '62 which is going to be finished in about a year, and I could write a whole shitload of sentimental stuff about how, as the Old Man is getting older - despite the things we don't see eye to eye on - I can spend hours in the garage turning wrenches with him and not have to say a word and it's the best day either of us has had in a long time.

So - you don't have to like Corvettes. And you can call them "old dude cars" and you can snark about performance and whatever else...

...but the next time you look at something you love...something you're passionate about...something that resonates in your soul and marks the time in your history...you remember this thread.
posted by Thistledown at 1:48 PM on February 13, 2014 [7 favorites]


http://www.mostwatchedtoday.com/tag/2-corvettes-racing/
posted by tgov27 at 4:14 PM on February 13, 2014


The 1950s Vettes are - by my estimation - perfectly awful cars by today's standards....you have to appreciate an old thing in its context, you know?

This is absolutely true. My first car was a 65 Mustang GT convertible (my long-in-restoration high school graduation present) and if you want to see people who are as passionate about their cars as Vette owners, we're them. And as much fun as I had in that car, it was a death trap only marginally safer than a Pinto. It was high maintenance, I had to check the oil, water, and battery at nearly every gas stop. But it performed. I took the car up to 135mph for a sustained run on the Kansas Turnpike, the car shook so hard I had to use all my might to hold on to the steering wheel. And even then, I could tell the car had maybe another 15mph in it. But I hit my personal speed limit. I was young and stupid, and thought I was immortal.

I loved to drive old muscle-car era boxes. For many years I drove a craptacular 65 Cuda. Powerful, but a money pit, especially with high milage driving around LA. I even got kicked out of AAA for having too many roadside breakdowns and tow truck dispatches. Eventually I got fed up and bought my first new car ever: a 95 Camry. I got in it, and immediately I thought, holy crap, is this what other people have been driving, while I've been bashing around in that old rattletrap? I used that Cuda POS for daily driving, I was torturing myself unnecessarily, and endangering my life too (no disc brakes).

But I would gladly go back to those days when I was young and stupid, and my Mustang GT was one of the hottest muscle cars in town. And my friend drove the hottest one of all, a 67 Coronet Hemi 426. There's a reason why those cars are expensive (a good 426 Hemi car will set you back a million). Guys like me who grew up with the cars, now are getting older and can afford to buy an expensive restoration vehicle like we had when we were kids and didn't appreciate them properly. Youth is wasted on the young. If only we could restore our own bodies as easily as we can restore an old car body. A new old car will have to be our substitute. And a museum full of old cars we still can't afford, it's like looking in your high school yearbook, and seeing a photo of that cheerleader you had a crush on when you were both 16 but you could never bring yourself to speak to her. Nothing will ever bring back that chance again. But someone else took that chance. You know they did. So there she is, behind velvet ropes in a museum. Look but don't touch. And imagine what could have been.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:12 PM on February 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


And a museum full of old cars we still can't afford, it's like looking in your high school yearbook, and seeing a photo of that cheerleader you had a crush on when you were both 16 but you could never bring yourself to speak to her. Nothing will ever bring back that chance again. But someone else took that chance. You know they did. So there she is, behind velvet ropes in a museum. Look but don't touch. And imagine what could have been.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:12 PM on February 13 [1 favorite +] [!]


Brilliant, CDS. My '72 Ghia would also applaud if it hadn't been actively trying to kill me, either.

What amazes me is how well Detroit is doing new-old cars. The current Mustang GT is gobsmackingly good as a daily driver and still has the tingle-in-your-nethers oomph that comes from stomping on the go-fast pedal with authority. The new Camaro, equally so. The Challenger - very damned close to awesome, if it could shed a few hundred pounds.
posted by Thistledown at 8:41 PM on February 13, 2014


If only we could restore our own bodies as easily as we can restore an old car body.

Then we could haul our restored bodies around in a trailer and only use them on sunny weekend days, if that!
posted by entropicamericana at 8:57 AM on February 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Sinkhole made famous by swallowing Corvette, restaurant (Hickory, NC)

Folks, if you have not clicked on that link (which I have conveniently reproduced right here), you are missing out on local news gold.


Totally awesome; thanks for sharing.
posted by littlecatfeet at 6:44 PM on February 15, 2014


Very unlikely, as others have noticed. My brother is consulting on the mindblowingly large production upgrades that Tata are putting in. Apparently, there had barely been any investment in decades.

Am I misunderstanding this, or is this referring to Jaguar? Ford bought Jaguar in 1990 and invested tons of money in it, developing entirely new engines, platforms, fabrication and manufacturing processes and facilities, design studios, the works. Literally everything Jaguar makes today began its life as a result of Ford's massive investment over the 20 or so years it owned the marque (during which time Jaguar never turned a profit).

There's a strong case to be made that Ford's platform sharing with the Mondeo and Lincoln LS (the X-Type was built on the Mondeo platform, whereas the Lincoln was built on the Jaguar S-Type platform - not the other way around) and the design language Ford developed were not as helpful to the brand as Ford hoped they would be, and that the Ford connection diluted the "specialness" of Jaguar. But Ford turned the rotting, leaky XJS into the really quite brilliant XK8 and XKR, and updated the XJ series to a fully-aluminum, modern car that is really, really good, and they spent tons of money doing it.
posted by The World Famous at 10:40 AM on February 18, 2014


Thistledown: "The 1950s Vettes are - by my estimation - perfectly awful cars by today's standards. "

All 50s cars are perfectly awful by todays standards; the only thing they have going for them is styling not confined by wind tunnel.
posted by Mitheral at 7:56 PM on February 19, 2014




« Older to climb the Shanghai Tower   |   "IT'S ALIVE, ALIVE!! ... I've always wanted to say... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments