Pontiac Fiero museum destroyed in Michigan flooding was labor of love

Cars, documents, collector items were washed away or heavily damaged

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A few of the Fieros pushed by the rushing water far from the museum, in the background | Detroit News photo

There are so many sad stories of loss coming out of the recent dam collapse and flooding in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, with many homes ruined and lifetimes of possessions destroyed, and adding to the overall misery in the midst of a deadly pandemic.

One of the more-painful stories, at least for car people, is that of Tim Evans and his Fieros Forever museum, which was brutally destroyed by the flood waters rushing through.  Located in Sanford, just a quarter mile down from one of the two dams that failed during several days of rain, the museum focusing on the mid-engine Pontiac two-seat sports cars was a labor of love for Evans.  He pretty much lost it all.

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A Fiero buried in muck left by the flood | Detroit Free Presss

“The building got 8 or 9 feet of water,” Evans said in an interview with Autoweek magazine. “The garage door blew out and everything got washed away. We had a car up on the hoist; it’s now upside down in the back yard.”

More than a dozen Fieros – several of them rare special-edition models – were scattered and badly damaged by the floodwater, as were engines and parts stored in the facility, including a $15,000 racing engine that was ready for installation in a rare T-top model. 

The Fieros Forever museum before the flood | Fieros Forever on Facebook

The flooding washed away a horde of Fiero collector items, pictures and documents, including about 500 scale-model Fieros that were on display in the museum. The building, which Evans owns, also was heavily damaged, as was his repair shop.

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His wife, Linda Evans, took a number of photos of the devastation.  The place and the contents were insured, he told Autoweek, but not at the collector values for which he believes they are, or were, worth. 

Evans opened his shop and museum in 2009 dedicated to the 1984-88 models of Fiero.  

Passersby examine the flood damage | Motortrend.com photo

Just to add to the pain was the unfortunate timing; Evans was in the process of closing the museum with preparations under way to sell several of the Fieros at auction, among them a 1984 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car that was on display.  The coronavirus shutdown had delayed his shutdown work and the auction, and then this.

In the vast scale of misery wrought by the pandemic and the Michigan flooding, the loss of Evans’ Fiero museum and its contents might seem like a small matter.  But any piece that’s lost might seem small when taken in the bird’s eye view, yet it matters greatly to those on the ground who are affected.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Fiero? Was it the shape? Was it knowing that GM would allow this car, but would let it flounder as they have all others that didn’t meet their meat and potato auto menu…………so one had to grab on and promote it knowing it would be cast aside…… becasue GM STILL CAN’T FIGURE THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY OUT.

  2. So sad to see a man’s dreams destroyed. I don’t think Tim Evans will let this tragedy define his life.

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