Fire Destroys Local Hotrods

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By Mark Weisseg

Disaster has struck at home and it goes deep.

Over the weekend I was away and a bit out of touch with what was going on in my world at home. I got home and flipped on the tube only to see a fire had raged at a local repair shop. I looked up from what I was doing and saw a hot rod destroyed by fire. I thought, that looks like Tom’s hot rod. Gadzooks. I instantly sent him a text asking if this was his hoping all along it wasn’t. Turns out it was. In fact, he had two of his cars at the shop when the fire started.

He also had his ’70 Challenger parked inside. He informed me that the Dodge only received minor damage. The vinyl roof got torn by a falling heat duct. Obviously it was filthy dirty but sustained no other damage he can find. The ’33 Ford is a loss. The aluminum wheels in the rear actually melted from the intense heat. He also told me a GTO and a Fox body were ruined. But, the good news was all the other cars in there just had smoke or water damage.

How did this happen? The shop is a very highly respected shop that has been in business for many years. They do great work and treat their customers with kid glove care. Tom told me ( the fire dept) believe the fire started from his battery that was mounted in the trunk. Tom and this shop just finished dropping in a huge crate engine with a blower.

The shop will reopen later this week and the insurance parties will sort out the mess. In the meantime Tom feels fortunate his Challenger really came through this with only minor issues. But, the 33 is a total loss as are a couple of other cars in the shop.

This article is not about pointing fingers but was written to have you examine your insurance policy as well as where you take your classic for repairs. Only you and your insurance company will know what is right for you. I offered my sincere condolences to Tom and offered any immediate assistance to him. He said there was not much that could be done at this point other than to wait for the so called dust to clear. A better way of saying waiting for the insurance adjusters I guess.

I feel so bad for him and the owners of the other cars and shop. It’s after the fact now but what a mess. I put myself in his shoes that evening and tried to sort out how I would feel if it where one of mine. That is the point of the article. It’s a bell ringer reminder to all of us to protect what we have correctly. In the meantime I expect to see Tom this weekend and get an update on the entire bad situation.

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