Antique car aficionado loses multi-million dollar collection to fire outside Olds
A central Alberta resident is heartbroken after his uninsured collection of antique cars, truck and tractors, with an estimated value exceeding $3 million, was destroyed by fire.
“It is what is,” said Bert Curtiss. “I guess I’ve lost 45 years of work.”
Curtiss had stored his collection within his 27,000 square foot dairy barn outside of Olds. On Thursday afternoon, the building, and the valuable contents within, went up in flames, reduced to a heap of charred frames and debris.
“This was actually a museum quality 1927 international truck,” said Cutiss of a section of the wreckage. “The cab was mostly made out of wood on those old trucks so there’s nothing left of it.”
“Some of these cars I’ve had for 40 years. (I’ve spent) hundreds of thousands of hours working on them.”
Curtiss says he had lost an exact count of the contents of his collection but guesses there were more than 40 classic cars and 40 antique tractors in the barn at the time of the fire. The barn also harboured two bailers, a back hoe, a skid steer and a number of OHVs.
The Olds resident says he did not have insurance coverage for the building or any of his vehicles.
The exact cause of the fire has not been determined but fire officials say the blaze is not considered suspicious. Investigators believe the fire started in a nearby garage.
Curtiss says he’s unlikely to return to restoring classic vehicles.
With files from CTV’s Taylor Oseen