Owner Revives Classic 1956 Chevrolet Hot Rod That Burned in California Wildfire

This gasser is burned, melted, and mean as hell.

byJames Gilboy|
Chevrolet News photo

California's seemingly endless wildfires of late have claimed many a classic car, but one such machine survived the flames and emerged with personality anew.

Steve Johnson of Santa Rosa, California is a red-blooded General Motors enthusiast, as outlined by Wheelwell. His collection once included a Chevy 210, Chevelle, Corvette, and a Hot Wheels collection, presumably made up of more Chevrolets. But Johnson's home of Santa Rosa wasn't the perfect place to live in October of 2017 when the Tubbs Fire swept through on its way to killing at least 34 people and dealing $1.3 billion in damages. Much of Johnson's property was destroyed in the fire, including most of his car collection, his home, his tools, and his shop.

But at least one of his vehicles survived in salvageable condition.

1956 Chevrolet 210

, Wheelwell

Johnson's 1956 Chevrolet 210 was parked in the center of his driveway when the Tubbs Fire swept through, Johnson betting that the car might be safer outside than in. The flames didn't ignore this classic 210; heat popped its windows, melted the turn signals and windshield seal, and ruined its tires and interior.

But the body and chassis remained intact and offered Johnson the opportunity to rebuild the car. He replaced its ruined fuel lines, swapped in a new engine, and strapped on its old supercharger and intake cowl, both of which survived the fire. The result is a car inimitable, one both fire-breathing and fire-charred.

1956 Chevrolet 210

, Wheelwell

If anything that could add more to this car's story, it'd be a theft and recovery, not unlike a recent incident involving a Ferrari 288 GTO. Given that this car has more value to its owner than anyone else, however, the odds of that happening are about nil.

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