Founding president of Corvette museum reacts to sinkhole

Posted at: 02/17/2014 6:19 PM
Updated at: 02/17/2014 8:21 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It’s a video that has gone viral around the world.

A sinkhole swallowing several prized cars at the National Corvette Museum.

Security camera footage from inside the museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky last week shows the floor buckle, then eight one-of-a-kind vehicles fall in.

While crews in Kentucky are working to rescue the Corvettes from the sinkhole, one person in New Mexico is watching closely.

The museum’s founding president lives in Hobbs.

Ray Battaglini founded the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky 20 years ago.

He said he’s never questioned the museum’s location.

“We did test holes throughout the property and no sink holes showed up,” said Battaglini.

But no one could predict what happened Wednesday.

"It's just an act of god, mother nature," said Battaglini.  “It shocked me.”

A massive sinkhole swallowed eight one-of-a-kind Corvettes, shocking the nation and hitting close to home for a New Mexican.

Battaglini said he doesn't know what happened in the past 20 years, but he does know those eight Corvettes were priceless.

“One of them was the millionth car, okay, it was one of.  The other one was a million and a half car, a one of," said Battaglini.

Battaglini said hearing the news is devastating.

“It’s just one of those things; it breaks your heart first of all," said Battaglini.  “I went to breakfast with a bunch of old timers the other day and they all had crying towels because they know my love for the vehicles."

He let KOB cameras inside his rare garage in Hobbs where he keeps two Corvettes along with two others in another garage.

Battaglini said he will always have a love for the car and a connection to the museum.

“Those that enjoy driving Corvettes or owning Corvettes or just having them around know that this is not a friendly or happy thing to go through," said Battaglini.

Engineers are currently evaluating the sinkhole and working to get those cars out.

General Motors will refurbish the cars.