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 to grab 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. Because the owner had both Hagerty’s Guaranteed Value insurance and Cherished Salvage Coverage, he automatically received the Galaxie back in addition to the full agreed value payment.

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.