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The Villages
Friday, January 27, 2023

Villager bails out of vintage 1947 Ford pickup moments before it erupts in flames

A Villager’s lovingly restored vintage 1947 Ford pickup erupted in flames Friday morning on Buena Vista Boulevard.

Garry Stephenson of the Village of Sunset Pointe had wrapped up an interview with The Villages Daily Sun earlier that morning and was on his way home. His classic pickup was to be featured in the newspaper’s Saturday “Wheels” section.

A member of The Villages Public Safety Department used a hose to put out the fire in the engine compartment of the 1947 Ford pickup
A member of The Villages Public Safety Department used a hose to put out the fire in the engine compartment of the 1947 Ford pickup.
Garry Stephensonjpg
Garry Stephenson

Stephenson was southbound shortly before 11 a.m. on Buena Vista Boulevard near the entrance to the Village of Tall Trees when it became clear that something was amiss.

“It was driving fine and then it started smoking. I got out,” he said

Within moments, flames could be seen shooting from the truck’s engine compartment.

The Villages Public Safety Department quickly descended on the scene, firefighters pulled out a hose and extinguished the blaze, although the heavy smoke and acidic odor of burned valves, oil and hoses remained thick in the air.

The 1947 Ford pickup sustained heavy damage in the blaze
The 1947 Ford pickup sustained heavy damage in the blaze.

Southbound traffic on Buena Vista Boulevard was backed up to the entrance to the Village of Bonnybook.

Stephenson escaped without injury, but a little bit of his heart went up in smoke, too.

“I had just gotten it restored,” he said.

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