Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) - On February 12, Lynda Patterson began getting phone calls and texts from friends and family about a sinkhole that opened up at the National Corvette Museum.
She watched on television as the news broke showing video and still images of the cars that had fallen. Her heart sank as she locked right in on the 40th Anniversary Corvette sticking tail up from the debris.
As the owner of a 40th Anniversary Corvette herself, it was almost like looking at her own car.
“It was quite a shock,” Patterson said. “Seeing that other Ruby in the hole made me think that maybe I should give ours to the museum soon. Almost twenty years ago my husband Mike and I designated that our Ruby would go to the National Corvette Museum anyway. He died in 2012 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor a year earlier.”
Thinking that he’d approve of giving the car to the museum earlier instead of later, she made the call and asked if they wanted it.
“The people at the Museum were very excited about having her. It made me feel good that the people there would be taking care of her.”
This wasn’t easy to do. When she showed up on April 17 to make it official, she had to fight back happy tears, often losing as she was overcome with emotion.
“This is bitter-sweet. I’m so glad she’s coming here and will be enjoyed by so many.”
The Patterson’s bought the car 22 years ago. They had seen it in the showroom of Bob Smith Chevrolet and Lynda Patterson instantly fell in love with it.
“I asked Mike what he thought about it it and he said, ‘If you want it, get it and take it home.’”
They had a 1991 black Corvette at the time that Mike called his “Batmobile,” but he was fine with trading it in on the beautiful new 'Vette.
They enjoyed Corvette events in it, including a gathering of 40th Anniversary Corvettes a few years ago at the National Corvette Museum. Getting teary eyed, Patterson said, “Some people may not get why I’d be so emotional about it, but it is more than a car… it is memories.”
The National Corvette Museum is a nonprofit foundation and is open daily, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. It is located at 350 Corvette Drive in Bowling Green. For more information about the museum, visit www.corvettemuseum.org or call 800-538-3883.