A fire that incinerated a used-car store in upstate New York that HBO was using as a set for a miniseries destroyed dozens of vintage Chevrolets that were being used to re-create a 1990s-era dealership.
Vintage Chevys lost to fire at HBO ‘dealership'
HBO had been using the 613 Automotive showroom to film "I Know This Much Is True," a 2020 miniseries starring Mark Ruffalo, Melissa Leo and Juliette Lewis.
The charred vehicles included a "bright yellow, super-low-miles" 1990 Chevrolet Beretta Indy Pace Car edition, a row of "wonderfully preserved Camaros in all models and hues," a number of Corvettes and an "incredibly original C1500 pickup," said Jamie Kitman, who had borrowed the cars from private owners and supplied them to HBO. Kitman, who owns a film-car business in addition to being Automobile magazine's New York bureau chief, said he also had to break the news of the fire to "the fellow who spent a week putting together genuine Chevrolet loose-leaf binders exactly as they appeared on sales desks in 1990 and '91." A Chevy Lumina APV minivan "survived completely unscathed, ironically enough," Kitman noted.
The fire might have been started by a battery charger that HBO was using for some on-set equipment, the mayor of Ellenville, N.Y., told the Times Herald Record. Investigators last week ruled it accidental.
"There's nothing left," Chris Busby, general manager at 613 Automotive Group, told the Poughkeepsie Journal. "It's a huge loss for us and HBO. They are just as heartbroken over this as we are."
The store had moved to a temporary location during the filming and remained open there after the fire. Busby said HBO and the store had each lost about 35 cars in the fire, and some mechanics lost personal equipment.
Kitman said the cars' owners would be reimbursed by the HBO production's insurance.