Losses and Lessons: Play it safe before you get into wheel trouble

VEHICLE COVERED: 1941 Ford F-100 pickup

WHAT WENT WRONG: We stress the importance of inspecting your vehicle on a regular basis because unless your classic has undergone a recent restoration, chances are good that the older the car, the older the parts. That means as those parts wear out, odds are greater that something might break or fail to work properly. The owner of this 1941 Ford F-100 pickup can attest to that. While driving down a rural road in the state of Washington, one of the pickup’s wheels seized, pulling the truck off the road, through a fence, down an embankment and through a blackberry bush before crashing into a plum tree.

DAMAGE/LOSS: Fortunately, the driver of the F-100 wasn’t injured. But his unexpected detour through the countryside caused significant damage to the pickup’s front fenders, grille, hood and cowl, running boards and driver’s side door – so much so that the vehicle was determined a total loss. Hagerty paid the truck’s Guaranteed Value of $15,000, as well as $4,257 to repair the fence and replace the plum tree.

LESSON: At the risk of sounding like your mother, we can’t stress it enough: Check and re-check the safety features of your classic. Whether you live in the Midwest and make it a habit to inspect your brakes, tires, lug nuts and steering every spring before your first drive, or you live in a warmer climate and schedule this task annually, don’t take shortcuts when it comes to playing it safe on the road. It could save your life or someone else’s.

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