Tornado strikes America's unluckiest classic car dealer

A classic car dealership in Illinois, USA was hit by a tornado that has damaged an estimated 100 cars, one year on from a fire that 147 vehicles at the same dealership

What’s that saying? ‘It never rains, but it pours…’ That’s certainly how the owners of a classic car business in Illinois, USA must feel as they’ve had a serious run of bad luck. Last year a fire almost burned the Noel family business to the ground and now, after working hard to rebuild what they had lost, tornadoes struck the state last weekend, causing plenty of damage. With just nine months between reaping and this fresh disaster, we really feel for these people.

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On Saturday the state of Illinois experienced a rare barrage of tornadoes, with reports of up to 22 making landfall in just one day. Thankfully there were no deaths reported in connection with the extreme weather, with a handful of people being treated for serious injury at local hospitals.

When one of the tornadoes crossed paths with the Country Classic Cars dealership, it destroyed two buildings and damaged around 100 classic cars. Images have surfaced of some cars now resting on their roofs or flipped onto neighbouring vehicles - including a Ford Falcon Futura.

Speaking to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, owner Russ Noel said ‘The good thing is, nobody got hurt,’ he continued ‘We're still trying to look at the cars and see how much damage there is. Went over the main building here that we built last year, and it came down and hit two of the other buildings.’

Back in August 2017 a huge fire roared through the local business destroying 147 vintage cars. It took 9 months to repair buildings and replace valuable stock, but the Noel family were determined to reopen. It is a tragedy that nature has been so destructive once again — one of the buildings destroyed by the tornado had only just been renovated.

These two disasters would be enough to put anyone off, but Russ Noel simply said ‘We're going to rebuild, we're starting in the morning.’

We wish the Noel family good luck and everyone in hospital a speedy recovery. It’s worth checking out the River Bender interview with Russ Noel to see just how destructive the Tornado was.

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