Over the weekend, the indispensable Boston news site Universal Hub posted this photo of a 1958 Ford Retractable engulfed in flame on Rt. 93 in Stoneham, 20 minutes north of the city. The owner responded to the story and he’s got a lot to say about what caused it.
“I am the owner of that once beautiful ’58 Ford Retractable Hardtop,” writes commenter Fire Man ’58.
“A little background,” he writes. “A few years ago our U.S. Government, the EPA mandated all gasolines be oxygenated. In other words, a gallon of gas is cut 10% with [Ethanol]. Good news for corn farmers bad news for older cars and small engines.”
The owner continues: “For newer computer controlled cars, no problem. For classic and antiques big problems. The gasahol attacks and destroys rubber parts and gaskets, fuel lines, carburetors and fuel pumps. The alcohol attracts moisture and causes rust in fuel tanks and fuel systems. Another “benefit” of the new gas is a gallon of gas is only 90% gasoline. It is more expensive and uses more energy to produce, costing more at the pump than real gas and oh yes, your new car gets LESS MPG. More money at the pump and lower gas mileage. There is much more to be said but I’ll let it rest for now. I always have a fire extinguisher at my right hand under the front seat.”
Unfortunately, the fire extinguisher wasn’t enough to keep this gorgeous ’58 from bursting into flames. No word yet on whether there’s been any official word on what caused the fire.