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During this year’s edition of Woodward Dream Cruise, a classic car event where worldwide aficionados display their four-wheeled oldies but goldies, a revamped 1927 Ford Model T refused to start off and caught fire.
Its owner Norman Zuellig took a few moments and commented on the damage and history of its refurbished deep purple beauty.
He recalls that when he first saw it rusting on a citizen’s front yard 15 years ago, it was love at first sight. Back then he had to have it and spared no money in the process. He purchased it from its owner for $5,000.
But the vehicle was just a pile of metal scrap before Zuellig managed to give it new life. He replaced the engine, added air conditioning, and restored its paint. It cost him more than $53,000 but at some point he decided to stop counting.
Yet, on Thursday, after running it 13 miles on Woodward, the old beauty became capricious despite its owner’s best efforts to shine it up in the early hours. At a red light, the car’s engine suddenly burst into flames. The blaze billowed about 4 feet above the engine before two guys from a nearby mall put the fire out with a small fire extinguisher.
Zuellig was not harmed, and his car only caught heat for 30 seconds. Now, it needs an engine repair and new paint. Luckily, the man has insurance on the car which is now worth more than $70,000. Plus, he even managed to win some contests with it.
Zuellig recalls that at the red light the vehicle stalled and when he tried to put it back on track it suddenly caught fire. He believes that a carburetor’s float may have been clogged and gas started to leak over the place. Yet, the car backfired long before it stopped but the driver had no idea what the problem might be.
He recalls he restored it himself and invested a lot of time and effort into the old Ford which he dubbs “baby.” But the overall experience was fun. Zuellig attended the WDC since its first edition and even won an Autorama with his “baby.”
The driver managed to get out of the car really fast. There was even a risk of explosion. Luckily, the baby caught fire just across the street from the Royal Oak Fire Department. But before fire crews arrived at the scene two men from a nearby plaza put the blaze out with a handheld fire extinguisher.
Image Source: MLive
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