Losses and Lessons: ’71 Chevelle weathers the storm, escapes with scratches

VEHICLE COVERED: 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle

WHAT WENT WRONG: Even if you’ve never seen a hurricane up close, you’re certainly familiar with its destructive power. After the storm, recovery and cleanup can last for months, even years. But debris is most problematic in the days immediately following, as the owner of a 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle found out. Driving home at night shortly after his area had been hit by a hurricane, the owner rounded a bend and found fallen tree branches protruding into the road. He had to quickly make a choice – swerve across the center line on a blind curve and risk his life or someone else’s, or stay the course and risk damaging his car. He stayed the course.

DAMAGE/LOSS: The tree branches scratched the side of the Chevelle from bumper to bumper, but it certainly beat the alternative. As the driver had anticipated, another car was coming in the opposite direction, so he avoided an even bigger accident. Cost to repair and repaint the side of the Chevelle was $3,200, which Hagerty paid.

LESSON: The Chevelle owner made a sensible choice. Always put your safety above your classic. If a major storm has recently passed through your area, dramatically reduce your speed and anticipate potential obstacles. This is even more important after dark.