Car Collector’s Rare Cars Burn Away in California Wildfires

October 21, 2017 16:34, Last Updated: October 21, 2017 16:34

A man showed before and after pictures of his rare car collection that burned as the wildfire passed through his neighborhood.

After residents were allowed to return home, Gary Dower was able to access the results of the fire that burned his pricey collection of rare cars. He returned to the Oct. 20 devastation and posted photos of the charred metal remains online, the Daily Mail reported. He contrasted the car remains with the pre-fire car photos still on his cellphone.

Car collector Gary Dower holds up a photo showing his classic Camaro before it burned at his home in Santa Rosa, Calif. on Oct. 20, 2017. (Josh Edekson/AFP/Getty Images)

The most expensive of the vehicles was a 1967 Chevrolet Camaro, valued at over $70,000. The other cars include a 1992 Dodge Stealth, a 2010 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Limited Edition, and a 1973 MGB Roadster.

The multiple wildfires that started this month and are still burning in California have killed 42 people. They also caused over $1 billion in damage to uninsured property. Some people are still on missing persons lists, although most are just people that lost contact with their families or didn’t alert police they were evacuating, according to the Daily Mail.

Car collector Gary Dower holds up a photo showing his 2010 Dodge Challenger Limited Edition SRT8 before it burned at his home in Santa Rosa, Calif. on Oct. 20, 2017. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

Another car collector was more fortunate to have saved a collection of vintage BMWs, some that couldn’t even drive anymore. Members from the BMW Car Club of America helped him move the collection from his vineyard to safer territory before fires moved in. The cars that were still able to drive were driven, and the ones too old to move on their own were put on tractors and driven to safety, Road & Track reported.

Car collector Gary Dower displays a photo showing his 1973 MGB Roadster before it burned at his home in Santa Rosa, Calif., on Oct. 20, 2017. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

Jeff Hecox, a car restorer that helped with the rescue, described the intense scene.

“We were sitting there loading cars when five firetrucks drove to the end of the street and were staging 400 feet away,” Hecox said to Road & Track. “You could hear the aircraft flying by, the helicopters carrying water. When I first got there, you couldn’t see the sky. You look at that, it’s your worst nightmare happening.”

Car collector Gary Dower holds up a photo showing his 1992 Dodge Stealth before it burned at his home in Santa Rosa, Calif., on Oct. 20, 2017. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

From NTD.tv