Cars Vs. The California Wild Fires
California is currently facing several deadly fires burning their way through residential and nature areas alike. The fires have caused unprecedented levels of death and destruction, leaving an apocalyptic scene in their wake. More than 55 people have lost their lives, and millions of dollars in property has been wiped off the map including hundreds of cars. Here's a look at some of the rarest and most important automotive losses that these fires have caused.
The first and arguably most important loss, was this Toyota Tundra. No there is not much special about this truck, but the purpose it served was extremely important. Allyn Pierce is a nurse from Paradise, California who, along with being big into modifying his truck, was big on taking care of people. Pierce drove his Tundra through the fire to get to a hospital and help take care of patients and get them evacuated. On the way, he had a few close calls, and his truck came out worse for wear with scorched paint and melted body panels and lights.
"I was like, 'I think I'm done,'" Pierce told the Times. "I just kept thinking, 'I'm going to die in melting plastic.'" Stuck in the fire in his truck, with Paradise burning all around him, he held his coat against the truck window as insulation against the heat and recorded a goodbye message to his family on his phone, before a bulldozer came out of nowhere and cleared the path for him. He got to the hospital and helped care for and evacuate his patients. Toyota commented on Pierces post on social media, and have pledged to replace his Tundra for him, so that he can continue to help people.
On the rare side of things, the fires have claimed this concours winning 1948 Norman Timbs Special. Owned in a private collection, it along with 30+ other rare cars were all destroyed. The collection ranged from the 1948 Norman Timbs to a 1997 Dodge Viper to a 1950 Chrysler Woodie Wagon to a crop of postwar IndyCar racers and experimental drag cars; all lost. You can see the whole collection in this Hot Rod Magazine feature.
Famed Actor Gerard Butler also fell victim to the destructive fires. His entire house was reduced to nothing but ash, taking with it his classic first generation Ford Bronco.
One feel good automotive story has emerged from all this destruction however. In Malibu a crew of Fire Fighters pushed this rare 1966 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 to safety removing it from the burning home.
Seeing so much death and destruction is heartbreaking. If you would like to donate to help the relief effort here are two good options.
California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund: For 15 years, the foundation has offered aid to those affected by wildfires. Grants have gone to rebuilding homes, providing financial and mental health assistance and helping those affected to get medical treatment.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been impacted by these deadly fires.