Electrical short burns classic Corvette

VEHICLE COVERED: 1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427/435 L89 Convertible

WHAT WENT WRONG: Classic car owners know that a charger prolongs the life of a battery that may sit unused for an extended period. A faulty charger, on the other hand, can end the life of the battery — and sometimes take the car and garage with it. Before going to bed one evening, the owner of a big block 1967 Corvette convertible turned on the battery charger and set the timer. The next day, the charger shorted out and ignited a fire.

DAMAGE/LOSS: The fire consumed the Corvette and caused damage to the family’s regular-use vehicles, garage and house. The ’Vette was a total loss. In fact, very little of its charred remains were recognizable. Hagerty paid the car’s Guaranteed Value, minus a $2,500 deductible.

LESSON: The fire was caused by an electrical short in the charger. The owner originally estimated that it was six or seven years old, but his wife recalled purchasing it more than 10 years prior. Whether your charger is new or old, check the wires regularly as sometimes they can become frayed, particularly when the charger is in a garage or storage building where rodents can gnaw on the protective coating. Most importantly, never leave a charger unattended or go to sleep with it on. Even if the charger has a timer, check it yourself — perhaps even set your own alarm — and turn it off and unplug it when the battery is fully charged.

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