Motorious Stories Of Fire And Water

Elizabeth Puckett Elizabeth Puckett - Aug 22, 21
Motorious Stories Of Fire And Water

These elements are not kind on collector cars!


In an ideal world, any car enthusiast would hope for perfect driving conditions with sunny skies, dry, optimal visibility, and so on, but most cars can handle a little heat, maybe a downpour or two... However, when the conditions become extreme, your beloved car tends to hold up very well. Here are some of the craziest stories of what happens when cars meet the extreme element of fire and water.

Seattle Fire Burns Classic Cars

A two-alarm fire broke out in Seattle, Washington on April 21, consuming a storage unit facility with multiple classic cars stored inside. After the fire broke out around noon, it took responding firefighters hours to get the blaze under control. While nobody was hurt, it looks like the classic cars stored inside, which were all owned by one man, might be a total loss.

The unnamed elderly man who owns the collection was captured on a local news crew’s footage looking like his whole world was falling apart. Undoubtedly, the cars were beloved to him and he likely had considerable sentimental value loaded into each one. Even if they were all insured and he receives a considerable payout from the blaze, that won’t even begin to make up for the loss.

See the full story here.

Tropical Storm Beta Has Cost Some Texans Their Dream Cars

While it appears that some Houston residence trying to drive through the storm have hopefully survived the floods, it seems that many of them did so at the expense of what were some very nice vehicles. Live Storms Media surveyed the Houston area with a drone shortly after parts of the city received a massive 10-inches or more of rain. Among the vehicles that fell victim to flash flooding are several F-Series trucks, a Dodge Challenger, and a Mustang. Many other vehicles can be seen as well, though these are either too far underwater to be identified or not as notable as America’s favorite pickup and some of the baddest modern muscle cars.

Although the tropical storm turned out to be weaker than initial projections had claimed that it would be, that weakness may have been a major contributor to the majority of the damage in Texas. The fact that the storm slowly made its way through the Houston area gave rain more time to gather, creating dangerous flash flood situations for homes, cars, and their owners.

See the full story here.

California Fire Takes Home And Lifelong Collection Of Restored Classic Chevys

Ken Albers, a 72-year-old retired land surveyor, and his wife Marci, 70, have lived in their house for 30 years on a five-acre property in Vacaville, California. That's three entire decades of memories made in a home that no longer exists after the LNU Lightning Complex Fire swept rapidly through the countryside on Wednesday, August 19th. The Albers were lifelong collectors, so not only did they lose their home, but the wildfire showed no mercy as it engulfed Ken's entire collection of restored classic Chevrolets.

Ken's collection included eight Corvettes ranging from 1957 to 2016, a 1954 Chevy Bel Air convertible, a 1936 Chevy standard coach that was restored to stock, a 1938 two-door Chevy sedan, and a 1970 Chevy Camaro that Ken purchased for Marci when it was brand new.

On top of that, Ken lost his 500-piece train collection and 200 plastic car models. Marci was a collector herself, and she lost 500 Ginny dolls, a stamp collection, and her antiques.

“It’s pretty devastating,” Ken Albers said. “There’s nothing left of the house but the chimney.”

See the full story here.

Fully Loaded Sunken Car Carrier Finally Recovered

December 5, 2012, just off the Dutch coast, the MV Baltic Ace collided with the Corvus J in one of the busiest shipping channels in the world. In 15 minutes the 500-ft long car carrier was resting on the floor of the North sea and nearly half of its crew was lost. The tragedy was far from over though, and a potential for even more loss was very real.

For two years, the shipwreck impeded traffic through the busy channel, threatening to drag more ships to its watery grave. Likewise, the fully loaded carrier threatened the environment with irreparable damage from the some odd 143,000-gallons of oil on board, not to mention the 1,400 cars worth of potentially harmful materials that would not otherwise be there. There was never a doubt that the bottom of this busy channel was not a good final resting place for the ship, but lifting a heavy ship filled with cars and water is not an easy task.

After much planning, a team started the recovery process with the removal of the oil in March of 2014. It took the crew two-weeks to heat the solidified oil and pump it all out. Upon further inspection of the ship's damage, the original plan for removal proved to be impossible and the team went back to the drawing board.

The plan that they came up with was to cut the ship into eight pieces with a wire cutting system passed under the wreck and between two barges. This plan was put into action at the beginning of April 2015. Many of the individual pieces of the ship were able to be removed in single pieces but some fell apart on the way up and a large salvage crane. In all, the recovery of the 13,000 tons of wreckage cost an estimated $73-million, involved 18 ships, and employed more than 150 people. Today, where there once was a dangerous shipwreck, there is now only a clean ocean bed.

See the full story here.

Gas Hoarding Leads To Car Fires

With the Colonial Pipeline hacked the majority of last month, disrupting the fuel supply to much of the eastern United States, some people decided hoarding gasoline in any way they can imagine was a good idea. Pictures of people filling up giant Tupperware containers and even plastic grocery bags with gasoline have circulated online, causing anyone who knows literally anything about gas to cringe. Well, the inevitable has happened in at least two cases and we fear more will be coming.

Easily the more dramatic out of the two situations happened in Pickens, South Carolina. According to a statement released by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy spotted a 2007 Pontiac G6 with a South Carolina license plate which had been reported as stolen. The deputy turned on his lights and tried stopping the Pontiac, but the other driver decided to make a run for it instead.

It didn’t take long for the G6 driver to lose control of the car, probably in part because of the several containers of gasoline stored in the trunk. The Pontiac drove off the road and flipped, then caught on fire. As the deputy approached, he reported hearing several explosions inside the Pontiac.

See the full story here.

Two Mystery Cars Found At Bottom Of North Carolina Lake

Cars and water: they don’t mix well, especially when there’s a high quantity of H2O. Perhaps that’s why so many people, including us, find it fascinating when an old car is found submerged in a body of water. There’s an inherent mystery around how the vehicle ended up there and why. That’s certainly the case with two cars accidentally discovered by a fisherman in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The unnamed fisherman was in his boat on Lake Wheeler on a Sunday, likely enjoying the nice weather and hoping to catch something worthy of telling a tale or two about. Using his fishfinder sonar, he spotted something completely unexpected: a car. That’s when he dialed 911 to alert authorities.

Divers were able to reach the submerged car, which was near the Lake Wheeler dam and found it wasn’t alone. A second car was nearby. Authorities say it looks like both have been in the water for quite some time. The divers searched for occupants in both cars and came up empty. They were also unsuccessful in locating any tags for a quick identification of the vehicles.

See the full story here.

Nebraska Fire Destroys Classic Cars

For six long hours on the night of February 20 firefighters in Auburn, Nebraska battled a blaze which destroyed at least 2 dozen cars at dealership Auburn Auto, many of them classics. And while those rides were either scorched or crushed as the building came apart in the inferno, not all were lost.

Roger Henderson was grateful his 1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass convertible was moved out of the building before it was destroyed along with the other cars. He told local reporters the Olds has considerable sentimental value since he’s owned it for 45 years and drove it to elope with his wife. That seems to be the only truly happy story of the incident since many other vehicles now either need a full restoration or are a complete loss.

According to Assistant Fire Chief Chris Jobe, the fire was literally fueled by about 1,500 gallons of oil on site, plus many tires and gasoline kept in the complex. When the first fire crews arrived, the roof of the building was already collapsing. The fire was so intense the cars’ windshields were melting, which only happens once temperatures reach 2,600 degrees or more. Those conditions made fighting the blaze a difficult 6 hours. Thankfully, other area fire departments responded and aided in efforts.

See the full story here.

Guy Claims To Save Another Man’s Mazda RX-7 From A Flood

Last week, a story of how a man named Austin A Owens who claimed to have saved a Mazda RX-7 FD from floodwaters came out. Owens said he did it because the Mazdawas a “dream car” of his. Naturally, people assumed he was just a great guy lending a helping hand to other car people, but apparently all isn’t as it seems with this story.

Owens posted his story on the Forza Horizon (Xbox One) Official Community. Not only did people praise his selfless actions, automotive websites lauded him for being an admirable good Samaritan and saving the rotary engine, some even going so far as to compare him to Superman. You just can’t make this stuff up.

See the full story here.

Florida Trans Am Shop Burns

Fire has claimed two classic cars at Trans Am Specialties of Florida during the final weekend of March. It broke out in the middle of the night, but thankfully the owner was able to push several Pontiac Trans Ams outside before they too were lost. Even better, nobody was hurt in the blaze.

Despite the good news, the loss of a Pontiac Trans Am which was personally owned by the late Burt Reynolds is tragic. With the Smokey and the Bandit actor gone, and the impact the actor had on the Trans Am community, having one of the few connections to him destroyed is too much.

The shop didn’t release information on the second Trans Am totaled in the fire, however a member of Facebook group Rotting Musclecars and Old Tin claimed it was the first 1977 Pontiac Trans Am SE Y82 Smokey and the Bandit Special Edition TA ever made. It also didn’t specify if any of the cars which were pushed out the shop suffered damage, although a photo shows two sitting in the shop with pretty serious damage from heat, smoke, and falling debris.

See the full story here.

NFL Player Crashes Chevy Camaro Into Lake Erie

Rookie wide receiver Jeremiah Lamont Braswell has been living the American dream. After playing for Youngstown State University he finally got a break into the NFL as an undrafted rookie for the Arizona Cardinals. Riding high in life, Braswell was driving his Chevrolet Camaro along the Lake Eerie shoreline in Put-In-Bay, Ohio when he veered off the road and into the water. According to local police, the driver of the muscle car was impaired.

ep, in a flash Braswell has put in jeopardy his future career in Arizona, not to mention likely totaled the muscle car. While there’s no official statement from the Cardinals at the moment, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the team release the wide receiver. The player’s page on the team’s website shows an error, so it seems a decision might have already been made. At that point he would need another team to sign him, which could be a difficult proposition, even in the best of circumstances.

According to witnesses, the Camaro was “traveling at a high rate of speed.” We interpret that as speeding, but that’s just a guess. It left the road, drove through a grassy area, then launched off an embankment and into the water below. When police arrived, they found Braswell still in the driver’s seat, trying to get the car moving forward. Officers said he seemed confused and mentioned being stuck, apparently unaware of his situation.

See the full story here.