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Neil's 1959 Fleetwood

On 3rd October 1998 north of Coff's Harbour, NSW Neil was driving a bride to church when suddenly a rear tyre blew taking the spat and cap off with it. A small fire broke out around the wheel, so Neil got his extinguisher out of the trunk and put the fire out. It reignited almost instantly it was put out again. This happened five times until the extinguisher was dry.

Neil stood in the middle of the highway holding his now empty extinguisher beckoning any motorist to help with another one. They kept shaking their heads to say they didn't have one. Eventually a guy pulled up - he was carrying a large amount of water. Neil went at it as hard as he could until two policemen dragged him away.

The Toyo tyres were near new, with only about 2,000 miles on them, so when one of them blew, it seems that the brake line came off and fluid was feeding the fire. Eventually the short rubber hose to the petrol tank melted and nothing more could be done. Fortunately no-one was hurt and a passing Jaguar got the bride to the church on time.

Mark Bean

Always carry at least one fire extinguisher in your classic car!

Read our fire prevention advice here