[ACCIDENT] Fire Burns Down HBO Set Destroying Over 20 Rare 1990 Chevrolet Vehicles


[ACCIDENT] Fire Burns Down HBO Set Destroying over 20 Rare 1990 Chevrolet Vehicles

Photo Credits: Amberly Jane Campbell/Shawangunk Journal

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.”

[ACCIDENT] Fire Burns Down HBO Set Destroying over 20 Rare 1990 Chevrolet Vehicles

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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  1. The Chevy dealership is certainly dated way before 1990. The Chevrolet sign would never look like the one pictured. However, you are right about that Beretta Pace Car. In 1990 they were offered in only two colors. Aqua and yellow. There were only 4500 built and there were 1500 yellows and the aqua was 3000. They were hardly collectible but if it were mine I would be heartbroken.

  2. A damned shame. Ellenville is a nice little town. I remember that dealership from when I was there in the mid-’80s.
    I can help, as I have a ’90 Corvette convertible (58,000 miles, white/red) that I would sell to them if they’re interested.
    Just trying to help.

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