In 1992, the Corvette factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky, produced the millionth Chevy Corvette sports car. It was a grand milestone. That car was on display at the National Corvette Museum last year when a sinkhole opened up underneath and swallowed eight cars. Some could not be salvaged, but GM wanted to save the millionth. That meant a painstaking restoration job, complicated by the fact that so many of the parts were autographed. Really. The car was signed by every person who had a hand in building it. That meant those parts needed to be repaired instead of replaced.
Only two signed components couldn’t be saved, so the team had the autographs scanned, reproduced as transfers and placed on the replacement parts.
“We went to great lengths to preserve every autograph,” said David Bolognino, director of GM Global Design Fabrication Operations. “In the end, we saved every one of them, which was an unexpected and important element to the restoration.”
One component with a single signature from Bowling Green Assembly employee Angela Lamb was too damaged to save or even accurately scan for her autograph. Chevrolet worked with the National Corvette Museum to secure a new signature from Lamb on the replacement part, so the 1-millionth Corvette will be historically accurate down to the last signature.
The Corvette has been returned to the museum. You can see before-and-after pictures, and read more on the restoration at Chevrolet. -via mental_floss