Tuesday, 02 November 2021 12:48

Michigan Woodie Shop Destroyed in Fire

Written by Steven Symes, Motorious

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On the morning of Sept. 5, Nickels' Automotive Wood Restoration in Traverse City, MI, was destroyed, along with about a dozen cars, in a devastating fire.

Owner Michael Nickels received a phone call from his son, who was alerted to the fire by the security system. Nickels and his wife were camping out out of town, so they jumped in their car and quickly drove to the business, but it was engulfed by flames in just over half an hour.


Five fire departments responded to the blaze, which took 42,000 gallons of water to extinguish. Still, it wasn’t enough to save the successful business.


Nickels said he’s repaired the bodies on more than 100 classic woodies, including some pretty high-profile vehicles. Not only was his shop obliterated in the inferno, so were customer vehicles and Nickels family heirlooms.


Somehow, three vehicles survived and were saved. One is a 1983 Chrysler Town And Country we think Nickels would’ve gladly sacrificed to save one of the woodies. Another was a customer’s 1953 Buick. Finally, a 1942 military ambulance---which Nickels said is the only survivor out of 100 made---was also spared.


All of Nickels' tools were lost in the fire, and he doesn’t have a workshop at the moment.


Local news reports don’t indicate how the fire started and spread so quickly, or whether or not the shop had a fire suppression system.


To help get Nickels back on his feet, a fundraiser has been started by Octie Ham on GoFundMe. As of the writing of this article, $8,680 has been raised, with a goal of $200,000.


Note: we haven’t verified this GoFundMe campaign, so before you donate you might want to do some due diligence first. Really, you should do that every time someone asks for money.


We thank Motorious for reprint permission.