Devastating LOSS for Classic Car Community: Rare restoration shop burns | Barn Find Hunter - Ep. 107 - Hagerty Media

Tom Cotter and the Barn Find Hunter crew have had their fair share of highs, but that means a low has to crash the party eventually. This week, Tom is back in northern Michigan to continue his search for forgotten cars, and while he’s there he decides to stop at an old friend’s house. Unfortunately, they’re meeting under less-than-ideal circumstances.

Mike Nickels is the woody wagon guy, and he took Tom on a tour of the shop a few years ago (episode #76) while his Tom’s yellow Ford woody wagon sat in his driveway. Sadly, just a week before Tom’s most recent visit, Mike suffered a devastating loss  when his shop caught fire. Only a tiny portion of his workspace was left untouched by flames, and that too was damaged by water and smoke. It’s truly a sad sight to see, and it serves as a reality check that misfortune does not discriminate.

Mike and a few freinds worked feverishly alongside the fire department to save a few cars and minimize the damage. The fire chief said that almost 40,000 gallons of water were dumped on the blaze, but there was still only so much that could be done. More than cars were lost; the shop contained historical objects and personal items that meant a lot to Mike, along with templates and patterns that may have only existed in this shop.

It’s not going to keep Mike down though. He has a positive outlook on it all and is already planning his rebuild. A GoFundMe was started to assist in the rebuilding process, and Mike will soon begin searching through the rubble to salvage what he can.

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