Losses and Lessons: Where there’s fire, there’s smoke

VEHICLE COVERED: 1938 Ford 4-Door Sedan

WHAT WENT WRONG: When wildfires swept across parts of Texas in September, word quickly spread about one collector car owner who lost 175 classics, including a Shelby Cobra and a dozen Corvettes. While that was an extreme case, a Hagerty client in a neighboring town also felt the wrath of the Texas fires – or, more accurately, the smoke. Realizing that their home had ignited like so many others caught in the fire’s path, the owners scrambled to save what they could, including a 1938 Ford 4-Door Sedan in the garage. No one in the family was injured by the fire, but their prized Ford suffered smoke damage.

DAMAGE/LOSS: Thanks to its fast-acting owner, the Ford escaped with only minor damage. After a thorough inspection, the car simply needed to be cleaned and deodorized for $200, which Hagerty paid.

LESSON: While this story had a happy ending, it could have been worse. When a fire has started in your home or, like those in Texas, wildfires are headed in your direction, get your family and pets out safely before you ever consider removing a vehicle. And even then, only attempt a rescue if you can do it safely. It’s always important to have an escape plan, and you can certainly take precautions to help ensure the safety of both your family and your most-treasured possessions. But never run into a burning building for something that can be replaced, like a collector car.


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