on November 20, 2013 - 9:40 AM
At least 15 antique, classic cars that were part of collection begun in the 1950s were destroyed Wednesday morning when flames consumed a barn in the Town of Boston where they were stored.
Vehicles lost in the fire include a rare Playboy car, built by the former Playboy Automobile Co. of Buffalo in the 1940s; a restored 1966 Cadillac limousine; a 1931 Essex; and a 1935 Chevy fire truck, according to Warren Rauch, a son of the owner.
“It looks like almost all of them are a total loss,” he said.
Also destroyed were a 1953 Packard and a 1950 Studebaker.
The fire was in a 60- by 100-foot barn on a nonworking farm on Boston State Road. It was reported at about 7:20 a.m. by passers-by who called 911, said Mary Murray, a spokeswoman for the Erie County Sheriff’s Office.
The cars are owned by Leroy Rauch, his sons said at the scene. Bill Rauch said he broke the news about the fire to his father.
“We don’t know much about how it happened or exactly when it happened,” said Warren Rauch.
“We have been collecting cars since the ’50s,” Warren Rauch said. “It puts a big dent in the collection.”
Bill Rauch said the Essex was the first car his father bought, back in 1956. When asked about ownership of the collection, he quickly replied: “It’s still my dad’s.”
According to Boston Fire Chief Dan Thiel, the building is a total loss. Eleven or 12 fire companies responded to the fire, which went to three alarms.
“The property was an old dairy farm, just currently being used for car storage,” Thiel said.