The before-and-after photos from the set of an HBO miniseries in New York are heartbreaking for a Chevrolet enthusiast.
A used-car dealership in Ellenville had been carefully crafted to look just like a Chevrolet dealership from 1990, complete with more than 20 cars and trucks from 1990, including Corvettes, Camaros, and an SS454 pickup.
But then came a devastating fire early last Thursday that quickly reduced the once-pristine dealership building and vehicles to a pile of smoldering rubble.
The fire ruined the efforts of people like Jamie Kitman, who told automobile Magazine “One of the great things about running a film-car business is witnessing the look of joy on owners’ faces when they drop off their cars to appear in a big-budget movie or television production.”
Unfortunately, that joy turned into sadness for the owners of those vehicles supplied for the shooting of HBO’s “I Know This Much Is True,” a miniseries based on Wally Lamb’s 1998 best-selling novel of the same name, partially set in October 1990.
As Kitman said: “What of the bright yellow, super-low-miles 1990 Chevrolet Beretta Indy Pace Car edition? The row of wonderfully preserved Camaros in all models and hues? The Corvettes and the incredibly original C1500 pickup? Or the fellow who spent a week putting together genuine Chevrolet loose-leaf binders exactly as they appeared on sales desks in 1990 and ’91? I felt so badly for all of the people involved.”
The losses will be covered by insurance, but Kitman noted: “Still, there is no amount of money and nothing you can say about a total loss of a motor vehicle that makes it right, although everyone I called took comfort in the fact that no people were injured.”
Ellenville Mayor Jeff Kaplan says the early investigation into the blaze – eventually put out thanks to hours of effort by firefighters from 15 companies – seems to put the blame on an HBO battery-charging station used for on-set equipment.
“There is an ongoing investigation as to what caused (the fire),” Kaplan told recordonline.com. “The preliminary report is that some mechanism that was being used in the filming overheated and sparked, and that’s what caused the flame.”
An HBO security guard spotted the fire about 1 a.m. Thursday.
Production on the miniseries has been temporarily suspended, but in the true tradition of show business, it will resume.
As Kitman said: “…even while the rubble is being removed and wreckers cart off the steel, aluminum, and fiberglass carnage, the search for a new set on which to re-re-create the 1990 dealership, and the quest to locate more 1990 Chevrolets, has begun. This is showbiz and the show must go on.”
Would you loan your 1990 Corvette for use in a movie?
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