Tom C 1956 Oldsmobile Super 88 4dr Sedan

Olds on FIRE!

My dad had a 56 Olds. It was the first new car he ever bought. It was two tone green. Big ol' car.

When I was 9 or 10 years old, ('61 or '62) I was a model builder. I built everything, cars, boats, planes, an aircraft carrier, monsters....the gamut.

One summer morning, I took the carrier and planes out to the back yard to play WWII. Pop was a grunt in the Pacific theater but never shared any war stories.

The car was up the driveway, I was the down the driveway towards the yard playing in water puddles with the models. I had taken a can of lighter fluid from the house to make the war 'real'. As I was strafing the carrier, I squirted a tiny shot on the carrier and took a match to it. FOOM!!! She's on fire, just like in real battles!

Unbeknownst to me, the Olds had a leaking fuel pump. To my horror, the flames went snaking up the driveway towards the car! Foom! It's on fire too! (I can still see those flames in my minds eye!).

I panicked, I don't recall how, but I got the models extinguished and tossed them in the box along with the other evidence (lighter fluid, matches). Then I took off running and ditched the evidence in an alley several blocks away! I was so scared I didn't come back for an hour or more. He'd gotten the fire out, but was sadly looking at the car. I had pulled off the innocent act / look and I got off scott free. The car had some damage, hood, fender and all. Pop repaired it where it sat and drove it away when the divorce was final from Mom in '63.

Fast forward years.......when Mom was in hospice, dying of cancer, not even conscious I told the story to my older sister who was on vigil. You can imagine the looks we got from the people on that hospital floor as we both laughed till we cried. According to her, he never knew how the fire started. And I never got to tell him, as we didn't stay in touch much after the divorce and he has since passed away.

1 Reader Comment

  • 1
    Ross Michigan October 24, 2014 at 13:09
    Great story, He probably knows now.

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