PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — While Emerald Coast Cruizin’ was a fun event for many on Saturday, for one classic car owner, the day did not go as planned.
His 1955 Chevrolet Pro Sport caught on fire when he started the engine down the street from the event, in a Pier Park parking lot.
The car was supposed to be on display at the show at Aaron Bessant park, but that quickly changed when the vehicle became fully engulfed in flames.
Panama City Beach Fire Rescue responded to the scene and was able to extinguish the blaze, but not before the vehicle became almost a total loss.
The owner of the car said it was absolutely heartbreaking to watch, as he has put years worth of work into it here locally, but he is glad no one was hurt.
Event organizers and car enthusiasts at Emerald Coast Cruizin’ said they sympathize with him.
“It’s a shame, somebody put a lot of time and effort into that car, a lot of money,” said Sam Memmolo, Host of Shadetree Mechanic and an auto expert at the event. “The hobby is all about the journey, not the destination. Building the car, spending the time with it, he had a lot of time and money in it and unfortunately due to a backfire he had a carburetor fire and it burnt the car up. The key is always to have good insurance when you’re doing these, specialty car insurance.”
The owner of the vehicle said he has a very good insurance policy on the car and he hopes to have it fully repaired.