Country Classic Cars, a used classic car dealer located just off Route 66 in Staunton, Illinois suffered a massive loss two weeks ago when a fire tore through their central building, destroying as many as 150 cars. With more than a handful of buildings on the property, the dealership has storage room for more than 600 cars.
The fire was reported to 911 shortly before 8:00 p.m. on the 8th. It wasn’t long before the blaze grew to five alarms, with an estimated 15 departments from surrounding communities responding. A big factor that played a part of the quick growth of the massive fire was the lack of on-site water forcing firefighters to rely upon water tankers being brought in to extinguish the blaze. Thankfully it was declared under control at approximately 9:30 p.m. and no injuries were reported.
Chief Rick Haase of the Staunton Fire Department reported that the blaze began in the center of the building, but quickly spread to both ends. Shortly after firefighters arrived on scene, the roof of the building collapsed onto the cars below. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined but authorities are investigating. The source of the fire remains a mystery to company owner Russ Noel, who stated that all of the cars stored inside had their batteries disconnected to avoid such an accident. The property was insured but the vehicles will be hard to replace.
It’s not yet known which exact cars were damaged or destroyed as the staff is still sifting through the rubble, taking inventory. The company has over 60 Mopars listed in stock on their website, with years ranging from 1938 to 1998. While there weren’t any super rare or six figure Mopars in stock at Country Classic Cars, many are great drivers that the average car guy could afford. It’s unsure which Mopars were lost in the fire but we can confirm there was one 1971 Dodge Charger and a Jeep CJ lost for sure based on images we’ve seen. The company has since reopened and it does appear they have slightly modified their inventory online to take account of some of the lost cars.