Houston explosion collapses Corvette restoration buildings

Gordon Andrus says his company will restore damaged vehicles

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Editor’s note: Gordon Andrus finally regained access to his buildings on February 4 and with his employees began removing cars from them. He told ABC13 the 17 cars all could be repaired and were insured. “They’re all repairable,” he said, “that’s what we do… we can fix a Corvette.”

The explosion Saturday that took the lives of two employees of a manufacturing business in Houston also collapsed the roofs of two nearby buildings housing a Corvette restoration specialist. 

“Mine are flattened,” Gordon Andrus told Houston ABC television station KTRK. “It’s sitting there with about a million dollars in cars right now.”

Houston
This 1968 Safari Yellow Corvette is an example of the work done at Houston Corvette Service | Houston Corvette Service photos

He added that he was glad none of his employees were in the buildings when the early-morning disaster took place.

CNN reported that Andrus said 15 cars were in the two buildings that suffered damage. He also said he has two other buildings just down the street and will move his business operations there as soon as he’s allowed back into the area.

Houston Corvette Service specializes in restoring Corvettes. It has four buildings, two of which were directly across the street from the explosion at Watson Grinding & Manufacturing. Several homes and other nearby businesses also were damaged by the blast, believed to have been caused by a leak in a 2,000-gallon tank of propylene.

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Andrus told CNN he already had contacted the car owners.

“Every car is insured,” he said, “and we’re in the business of repairing and restoring cars. We will make it right one way or another.”

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the Web and becoming the author of more than 15 books. In addition to being Editorial Director at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times, writes a weekly automotive feature for The Detroit News and is an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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