The news coming out of Bowling Green, Kentucky on February 12, 2014, was unbelievable. A sinkhole had opened in the National Corvette Museum’s Skydome during the early morning hours, swallowing eight cars. The Corvettes plunged 30 feet into a previously undiscovered cave. In the following weeks and months, visitors would flock to the Museum to see the sinkhole for themselves. Meanwhile, staff pondered how to recover the damaged Corvettes and repair the gaping hole in the floor of the Skydome.

One thing that the Museum staff did not have to worry about was locating the keys to the eight Corvettes. Since the keys were stored separately from the cars, none were lost or damaged in the sinkhole. All eight keys will be on display in the Museum’s new exhibit Ground to Sky: The Sinkhole Reimagined. The exhibit looks back on a decade of progress at the Museum, a period of growth catalyzed by the staff’s response to the sinkhole. Along with several of the sinkhole Corvettes, Ground to Sky includes personal interviews with Museum employees, displays reflecting on the Museum’s history, and a peek into the possible future of Corvette.

Just like the automobiles they start, these keys provide a snapshot of the Corvette’s evolution. The oldest car, a 1962 Tuxedo Black Corvette, comes with a simple set of unadorned keys. Several of the later cars come with special keychains signifying their uniqueness, including the 1992 One Millionth Corvette and the 1984 PPG Indy Car pace car. The keys to the 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06, the last Corvette pulled out of the sinkhole, include a traditional metal key, multi-button fob, and a Corvette club keychain from its original owners. The 1.5 Millionth Corvette and the ZR1 Blue Devil, both from 2009, have sleeker key fobs with the sixth-generation Corvette crossed flags on the back.

All that remains of the sinkhole today is a floor hatch in the Skydome. The Blue Devil, One Millionth Corvette, and 1962 were all restored and are on display in Ground to Sky. Visitors can also see the 1.5 Millionth Corvette and the 1993 ZR-1 Spyder just as they came out of the sinkhole. These cars, and their keys, are symbols of resiliency in the history of Corvette and the Museum.