There’s more to this story than you’ve heard…
A rare Plymouth Superbird and Dodge Charger Daytona were torn out of a garage in Bonita Springs, Florida as Hurricane Ian ravaged the area. Quickly, photos of the Mopar wing cars spread on social media as enthusiasts were outraged they were left to such a fate. In any natural disaster the primary concern is for human life. That said, we’re always saddened to see rare cars damaged, especially irreparably, by the elements.
See disasters which destroyed thousands of cars here.
Immediately, people wondered what kind of irresponsible monster wouldn’t have loaded the Superbird and Daytona Charger on a trailer and got out of dodge at the first sign of trouble. It’s a legitimate question, but a commenter on Facebook by the name of Neil Walton claimed to have the answer.
Supposedly, Walton is the nephew of the Mopar owner. He claims the man had four in his garage. Two were left on hoists with the hope they would stay out of the floodwaters while the other two which were at ground level were trailered away. A local story from Tampa Bay Times says the owner of the vehicles is Mike Walton, so the last names match up at least. The story also confirmed there were four classic Mopars in the garage, two on lifts, so it appears the Facebook comment was indeed legitimate.
In hindsight Walton’s plan was flawed, although we can hardly blame the man. Obviously, the water did reach the other two Mopar wing cars, blowing out the garage doors and pulling the precious rides outside, damaging them. But with little time to spare, Walton had to make a split-second decision, not knowing how bad things would get.
That Tampa Bay Times article makes it clear people in the area had little warning the hurricane was headed in their direction. This meant Walton had to make a quick decision and only had space for 2 of his 4 precious Mopar wing cars on a trailer. That’s the kind of decision which would keep a gearhead up at night.
Interestingly, Mike Walton and his wife, Natiri, not only stayed in the upper levels of their home to ride out the storm, they had their children and grandchildren stay there. In other words, they were extremely confident their house would weather the storm.
While the body damage on the two Mopar wing cars doesn’t look too bad considering, the water damage is going to be the real problem. Reportedly, the Dodge and Plymouth are worth over $600,000 combined. As bad as the damage is, Walton was lucky the muscle cars weren’t washed into the ocean as many of his neighbors’ belongings were.
Source: Tampa Bay Times
Photos via Facebook