Some Rare Classic Cars Were Lost in a Michigan Shop Fire

Andrew Koole
· 3 min read
The autobody shop in Traverse City Michigan that burned down on September 5 wasn’t any restoration garage. Nickels’ Automotive Wood Restoration specialized in an autobody type long abandoned by the industry.
Mike Nickels’ specializes in restoring wood panels on classics from the first half of the 20th Century. The
took customer- and personally owned cars alike, some of which were one of a kind.
The garage was engulfed in flames in just over half an hour. Luckily, Mike and his son were able to save three models from the burning building and no one was injured.
A fast-spreading fire made quick work of a few classic cars.

Details of the classic car restoration shop fire

Nickels and his wife were camping when they got a call from the shop’s security system saying the fire alarms had gone off. Their son was at home and watched as the flames quickly overtook the building.
9 and 10 News
says it took 42,000 gallons of water to put out the fire. Customer cars and family heirlooms were lost, including Mike’s 1947 station wagon that resembled the vehicle his parents drove when he was young.
But with the help of his son, Mike managed to save three priceless cars—a customer’s 1953 Buick, Mike’s 1983 Chrysler, and his 1942 military ambulance, which he says was the last one in existence.
"They made less than 100 of them," he told 9 and 10 News.
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Would car insurance cover the Nickels’ losses?

Talking about insurance in a situation like this is tricky. Not only because so many policies could play a role in the situation, but also because of the nature of the items lost in the fire.
The fire is still under investigation, and the details of the Nickels’ insurance is unknown, but between a business policy, his customers’ classic car insurance, and Nickels’ own car insurance, destroyed items would likely be compensated for, at least financially.
But some things, like Mike’s mother’s nurse uniform from 1928 or his father’s military uniform, can’t be replaced. Still, it’s worth hoping that his coverage will allow him to get back on his feet, doing what he loves again, soon.

What car insurance covers fire?

Basic car insurance covers you in the case of an accident with another vehicle, but it doesn’t cover your car in instances of theft, vandalism, or fire. For that, you need
comprehensive coverage
If you lease your vehicle, your dealer might’ve made comprehensive coverage mandatory, but in other cases, you have to add it on yourself. Many people do so since it’s relatively cheap and protects you from a variety of scenarios.
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