Welcome

Thank you for visiting Paducahsun.com, online home of The Paducah Sun.

Calendar
June 2012
S M T W T F S
27 28 29 30 31 01 02

Click here to submit an event.

Corvette's fate in sinkhole brings owner to tears

Associated Press

BOWLING GREEN - A Tampa, Fla., couple that donated one of the cars swallowed by a sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum says the car was "part of the family."

Kevin and Linda Helmintoller said they donated the red 2001 Mallett Hammer Conversion ZO6 Corvette just six weeks ago. They had not even travelled to see it at the museum yet before a sinkhole opened up early Wednesday morning and swallowed their car and seven other classic gems.

The couple visited the museum in Bowling Green on Saturday. Kevin Helmintoller said his car appeared to be underneath the others at the bottom of the hole.

"It definitely hurts, and I've cried," he said. "There's no question I'm definitely upset, but there's no way to conceive of anything like this."

Helmintoller said he discovered Corvettes at 16, when his aunt let him drive hers.

"I thought I'd died and gone to heaven," he said. "From that moment on, I said 'I'm going to own one of these.'"

He bought his first Corvette in 1996 and has owned a total of nine. The couple currently is on the waiting list for a Stingray.

Helmintoller said the Mallett Hammer that they donated had been on many racetracks and was so heavily modified that it was a little difficult to drive on the street. Donating it to the museum seemed like a good option.

"They would care about it as much as we do," Linda Helmintoller said.

Work to repair the Skydome, where the cars were located, should begin today, museum Executive Director Wendell Strode said. Stablizing the area so that the cars can be retrieved from the sinkhole could take from five to 10 days. The local fire department has estimated the hole is about 40 feet across and 25 to 30 feet deep.

General Motors Design in Warren, Mich., has said it will manage the painstaking work of repairing the eight prize vehicles.

But Kevin Helmintoller says he isn't sure there will be much left of his beloved Corvette if and when they do pull it out.

"It appears ours is by far the lowest" in the sinkhole, Helmintoller said. "There's no sign of it."

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Your comment has been submitted for approval
captcha dc88b0f768a847efa2eef1225ce44207
Top Classifieds
  • Labrador Pups $500 839-1198 Details
  • HAVANESE PUPS AKC Home Raised, Best H ... Details
  • House for SaleAurora, KY2 Bdr, Liv RM ... Details
  • Lower town Condo w/ garage, Leslie He ... Details
  • SEEING is believing! Don't buy p ... Details
  • Hill Crest SubdivisionCorner Lot180x ... Details
  • Beautifully &Totally Renovated Co ... Details
  • Details
  • AUTOMOVER SPECIAL6 lines - 14 dayson ... Details
  • Old Ford Backhoefixable or for parts2 ... Details
  • 2007 NissanAltima Hybrid147,000 miles ... Details
  • White 2013 Chevy Impala LT 70k mls $8 ... Details
  • 2011 Outback Keystone Super Lite 277- ... Details
  • Coachman Pop-Up Camper $1800 270-744- ... Details

Most Popular
  1. Forbes ranks Louisville No. 1 in manufacturing resurgence
  2. City to host fire training program
  3. Crowd turns out for commission meeting
  1. Preliminary autopsy: Wreck killed Ford
  2. Crowd turns out for commission meeting
  3. Fatal drug overdoses surge statewide, locally
  1. Forbes ranks Louisville No. 1 in manufacturing resurgence
  2. City to host fire training program
  3. Crowd turns out for commission meeting
Discussion

Check out these recently discussed stories and voice your opinion...