Thursday, March 12, 2009

If This Don't Make Your Sick Nothing Will

Most of the post I make here are about stories that I believe everyone would enjoy or learn from but sadly there are times when we get reports like this one that just make a grown man want to toss his cookies. The only good news is that nobody was seriously injured. Unless you take into account a few broken hearts.

One of the nicest couple of guys I ever met that had anything to do with La Carrera Panamericana are Piloto Richard Morrison and Co-Piloto Richard "Rick" Hamlin The car they competed in on more than one ocassion is one of the more well know "regulars" that has competed in La Carrera Panamericana Origanal Pan Am Class. I am speaking of the yellow and red #422 Mercedes. California's Best Racing team have many awesome memories of moments we spent time together with them. Speaking from personal experience there just isn't anyone friendlier or more willing to go the extra mile to be of help or willing to offer a smile under any given circumstance. For these reasons it saddens me more than you know to make this post.

Here is a letter I just received from Richard Morrison, one that will make you feel his pain.

Hi Gary,

The bad news is that my Mercedes was in a shop that burned down 10 days ago.

Attached are more pictures than you would like to see, I’m sure. The fire appears to have started in the building’s electrical breaker box, Ignited a wood column then spread in the rafters. It was a wood framed “pole barn” type building. The center of the roof collapsed but the wall at the rear of my car stayed up with the roof attached so it formed a low roof over the car that probably shielded it from some of the heat/ The front of the car got much hotter than the back and upper part much hotter than the bottom. I’m hoping the radiator shielded the engine and wiring in the engine compartment. I completely rewired it last year. It was a one man shop behind his home. All was well when he went in for lunch and had smoke pouring out at 12:30. The rural fire department is literally across the street. It took 20 minutes for them to arrive and another 20 to 30 minutes to pump any water. They wouldn't open the door to try to drag the car out so that more air would not be admitted. That is confusing to me though as the windows were all broken out. The car was up on 4 jack stands with wheels removed to check the brakes, so it would have been literally dragged out.

The fire was weird. It looks like it didn't get hot below the top of the wheel wells. Some newspapers on shelves next to the car weren't scorched.

Here the #422 hauls the mail up Pikes Peak.

EDIT POST: Here is a very nice post from Marcia Blas Blog.


stmon said...

omg, that is so sad....I'm just heartsick for them ;(

carson said...

caThis classic mercedes ,with Richard + Rick ,has been tough competitors every year in the Original PanAm class. Gerie Bledoe filled in for Rick when he got sick halfway thru the race last year.This car has always been a crowd favorite. I know it will rise up from the ashes like the great Phoenix and run La Carrera once again .

Francisco Ortiz said...

What terrible and sad new :(, is a great carrera car, run the panam to many times , please restore it...

Control HidrĂ¡ulico y Automatizacion said...

This is bad news, I hope you can rebuild it and make it better than it was. I remember seen it here in Queretaro many years.