Classic car collection destroyed by fire revived one year later

Gary Cassidy lost his 40-strong classic car collection to a huge fire just over a year ago. One year later and his collection is back to full strength

Just over a year ago, a classic car collector in British Columbia, Canda saw his 40-strong collection burn to the ground in a completely unrecoverable state, due to a warehouse fire. Thankfully, his motors, many that were rare or had unique stories, were all insured and he’s built a brand new collection of stunning machinery.

Gary Cassidy had built the warehouse specifically for his collection back in 2015, and two years later on October 25, a fire destroyed it all, leaving nothing of salvageable quality. With practically his life’s work gone, Cassidy and his wife spent a solid three weeks crying over their lost cars.

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During this time they were visited by Global News, a Canadian current affairs and news outlet. It revisited recently, where Cassidy discussed his new collection, having previously spoken about the vehicles he had lost.

There’s a Champ Car chassis on view, as well as a 1953 Pontiac ‘woody wagon’, a ‘56 Chevrolet Nomad, and ‘62 Chevy Bel Air. Cassidy previously had a ‘61 Bel Air convertible.

‘We bought this car [the ‘61 Bel Air], then found out how famous it is, because nobody knows the story of the Bel Air Convertible. It’s the only one in the world,’ Cassidy told Global News when his first collection burnt down. Despite being happy he now has a new collection, which already has some 20 cars and was started as soon as he’d stopped crying over the first, it isn’t all smiles.

‘I’m finding the enthusiasm’s maybe not quite what it was before, because I don’t think you can replace what I had. Money can’t buy you what some of these cars were in here,’ he said.

Over C$3 million of automotive history was destroyed, with the Bel Air convertible being joined by the likes of a ‘59 Chevy utility sedan.

‘It had no back seat. It was built for salesmen to haul all their merchandise in, and most of them came with six cylinders and three-speeds. That car has a 348ci tri-power four-speed. So it was really unique,’ explained Cassidy.

Other rarities to be lost includes a one in ten black Ferrari, a 1931 Ford Model T adored by his wife which now lives as a burned out shell in the garden, and a trio of Chevy Camaros, one of which was an award winner in Cassidy’s hands.

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