17 March 2016

Losses and Lessons: ’66 Ford Galaxie burns rubber – along with everything else

VEHICLE INVOLVED: 1966 Ford Galaxie 500

WHAT WENT WRONG: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and that isn’t a good thing when it comes to your classic. One winter day, the owner of a two-door 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 planned to work on his car, which was stored in a garage separated from his house. He started the building’s wood-burning stove and went back into the house for his cell phone. When he returned, the garage was filled with smoke, and flames were visible in the rear of the building. He attempted to put out the fire but realized it was too much to handle alone and ran back into the house, shouting to his wife to dial 9-1-1. By the time he returned to the garage, it was too late to save the car.

DAMAGE/LOSS: The Galaxie was a total loss. With Guaranteed Value insurance, the owner was paid the agreed value of the car. He was also offered the opportunity to buy back the salvage vehicle, but he decided the Galaxie was too far gone to attempt a restoration.

LESSON: Never leave a fire unattended, even for a few minutes, when flammable materials are nearby. And if a fire starts in your home or garage, get your family and pets out safely before you consider removing a vehicle. In this case, the Galaxie owner’s smartest decision was to resist the temptation to save his car. Never run into a burning building for something that can be replaced; it isn’t worth injury or loss of life.

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