National Corvette Museum

Useful Information

Location: 350 Corvette Drive, Bowling Green, Kentucky 42101.
(37.00415, -86.37445)
Open: JAN to FEB Mon, Wed-Fri 10-17, Sat, Sun 9-17.
MAR to OCT daily 9-17.
NOV to DEC Mon-Fri 10-17, Sat, Sun 9-17.
Fee: Adults USD 18, Children (5-12) USD 13, Children (0-4) free, Seniors (65+) USD 16.
Classification: KarstDoline
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: National Corvette Museum, 350 Corvette Drive, Bowling Green, Kentucky 42101, Tel: +1-270-781-7973.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1953 beginning of the production of Corvette sports car.
1994 National Corvette Museum opened to the public.
12-FEB-2014 a sinkhole opens under the floor of the Skydome area of the museum.
12-FEB-2016 new exhibition opened at the two-year anniversary of the collapse.
2024 temporary exhibition Ground To Sky: The Sinkhole Reimagined ten years after the collapse.


The National Corvette Museum is not an underground site, nevertheless, we listed it on The reason is simply that it is not only the site of a spectacular sinkhole collapse, the museum exhibition was actually extended by a sinkhole exhibition.

The National Corvette Museum is a museum which exhibits, as the name says, exceptional and expensive sports cars from General Motors. The Corvette sports car was produced since June 1953, until 2020 in eight generations more than 1.5 million cars were produced. A corvette is a small and manoeuvrable warship. According to legend, a name was sought for the new General Motors sports car until an employee came up with it while looking in a dictionary. It is produced in the Bowling Green Assembly Plant in the US state of Kentucky, the museum is located nearby.

On 12-FEB-2014 at 5:44, a sinkhole opened under the floor of the Skydome area of the museum. Fortunately, at this early hour the museum was closed, and nobody was inside and harmed. Eight rare and one-of-a-kind Corvettes, portions of the display stands, and large concrete floor slabs fell into the sinkhole. The fall and the concrete slabs caused serious damage to the cars. The Corvettes had an estimated value of a million dollars. The other cars in the dome were immediately removed. Five of the eight Corvettes were recovered from the sinkhole in early March. After serious stabilization works, the spire area of the Skydome was reinforced, the remaining three cars were recovered.

The cars were massively damaged, but soon there were offers to pay for the restauration. GM promised to oversee all restoration efforts once the cars were recovered. Actually, we think what they did with the cars was a better solution. The damaged cars were not restored, they are now part of a new exhibition.

Two years after the incident, the museum opened an exhibition which is called Corvette Cave-In or Skydome Sinkhole Experience. It gives detailed information about sinkholes and karst, about the incident, the damaged cars, and how the building was fixed. There is a 3D interactive tour showing the sinkhole. There were security cameras which actually filmed the collapse and the Corvettes falling into the sinkhole, the footage is on display in the museum. It's also on their website and on youTube. There is also a section about pop culture, the event was widely discussed on social media, memes and parodies were produced. And actually, the event made the museum very popular and increased the visitor numbers. The engineering involved in the repair process and a quick time-lapse video of the process are shown. As a result of the works, the Skydome is now one of the safest spots sitting on a cave. And there is a manhole, an iron tube with a ladder which goes down into the remaining part of the cave below. While it is still accessible, the real cave is not part of the exhibition, but there is a live webcam feed from the cave. This is a little weird, as actually nothing happens. The inauguration of the museum was on the two-year anniversary of the sinkhole.

The eight cars that fell into the sinkhole were:

  1. 1993 ZR-1 Spyder on loan from General Motors
  2. 2009 ZR1 "Blue Devil" on loan from General Motors
  3. 1962 Black Corvette
  4. 1984 PPG Pace Car
  5. 1992 White 1 Millionth Corvette
  6. 1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Corvette
  7. 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette
  8. 2009 White 1.5 Millionth Corvette

The worth of the destroyed cars is not easy to determine. The White 1.5 Millionth Corvette is probably the most valuable at about USD 750,000, others are worth around USD 250,000. In total, the damage was several million dollars for the cars and a large but undisclosed amount for the restauration of the building. On the other hand, the event was a marketing bonanza and visitor numbers soared afterwards.