Car enthusiasts around the world gasped in horror when the huge sinkhole opened up under the Corvette Museum’s dome area, swallowing eight cars. The eighth car was finally located in the massive hole and extracted. Unfortunately, the car looks like it has been in a cheese grater or perhaps a large blender. The shape of the 2001 Mallet Hammer is barely distinguishable in the least, leaving some to question if the original plan of restoring the car is even feasible at this point.
The Mallet Hammer is a highly significant car to Corvette enthusiasts since it is a heavily modified 2001 Z06. Ironically, the Corvette’s upgrades included a roll cage, which obviously did not withstand the crushing forces of the dirt and rocks in the sinkhole. The car was donated to the museum just in December by Kevin and Linda Helmintoller, who are from Land O’ Lakes, Florida, The Helmintollers are Lifetime Members of the museum and avid supporters of its mission.
Once the Helmintollers heard the car had been located in the hole, Kevin flew to Kentucky to witness the car’s extraction for himself. He, like so many others, was in complete shock at the extent of the damage done to the Mallet Hammer, stating “It looks like a pieces of tin foil.”
The Helmintollers dedicated 13 years to modifying their Corvette Z06, which they purchased when it was new back in 2001. The modifications have squeezed a verified 700 horsepower and 575 lb.-ft. of torque from the engine at the flywheel, making it a monstrous performer. The car has been featured on the cover of GM High Tech Performance magazine in the past, making it a well-known model among the GM faithful.
With the Mallet Hammer finally out of the hole, crews can now begin filling it so repairs on the building can continue to move forward.