Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Classic 1951 Dodge Coronet damaged by Alabama tornado sold to junk car buyer

A tornado ripped the roof off the house but the 1951 Dodge stayed glued to the driveway. David Reddell, a Concord, Alabama resident at 82 years young, is a veteran of three wars — World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and recently survived a horrifying tornado that tore through his home on April 27, 2011. Reddell and his wife lost many keepsakes and valuables and were forced to move into a camper in their front yard. Four of their vehicles were severely damaged, including a 1987 Chevrolet Silverado and a 1980 Ford Granada, that once belonged to Reddell’s mother. The Granada had only 16,000 miles and was totally destroyed in the 200-MPH winds full of swirling debris and falling trees. Somehow Reddell’s 1951 Dodge Coronet, with 39,000 miles on the odometer, suffered only a broken rear glass.   

David Reddell poses with his 1951 Dodge that was bound for the junk car buyer.
Built to last... but
  They don’t make cars or men like Reddell anymore. The tough, former Air Force fighter pilot who has seen his share of brutal war zones had to make a difficult decision concerning his damaged vehicles. More important matters required his attention, like food, water and shelter, as he struggles to live in the aftermath of the tornado. Reddell sold his damaged cars to a junk car buyer. He stood his ground and forced them to raise their first offer. The low mile Dodge was among Reddell's vehicles that were loaded up and carried away the day after I took these photos. 

This 1951 Dodge's rear glass was all that was damaged during the tornado that damaged the Reddell's property.
  More than 240 people died in Alabama from injuries sustained during the April 27, 2011 tornadoes. Miles of houses were demolished and thousands of vehicles were crushed. Some of those cars will continue to provide transportation in the form of engine and transmission transplants. Determined gearheads will locate salvageable parts from these tornado-stricken vehicles and find a way to use them on future project cars.

– Jody Potter, junkyardlife

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Reddell's 1951 Dodge was parked just outside his garage that suffered a partially collapsed roof.

Dodge's 3.8 liter flat head engine circa 1951.

This '51 Dodge Coronet had optional rear foot rests. 

39K miles on the Dodge's odometer.

1951 Dodge Coronet featured a fluid-drive or 'Gyro-Matic' transmission.

Dodge Coronet was introduced in 1949.

1951 Dodge 230-cubic inch straight six engine.

1951 Dodge Ram hood ornament.

David Reddell checks under the hood of his 1951 Dodge.

This giant tree fell onto Reddell's Granada but the stump stood upright when the top of the tree was cut off.

Reddell's tornado-damaged Silverado was purchased by a junk car buyer.

Reddell's Concord, Alabama neighborhood was destroyed by tornadoes.

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