CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) — Like all too many public service organizations, Williamsport Fire and EMS in Maryland is cash crunched by COVID.
“COVID really messed with things this year,” Michael Nokes, the Deputy Chief, said.
Not only were funds down, but expenses went way up.
“We just purchased a ladder truck, we have a ladder truck that’s over thirty years old, it was well overdue for a replacement,” Nokes said.
They also need new equipment for the truck. The company accepts car donations, but most of the vehicles they receive are definitely end-of-life. “We use them for the purpose of vehicle stabilization and extrication, which is really great for our members to practice on.”
So when a couple approached the company about donating a vehicle, they were expecting another dying clunker. So you can imagine their surprise when they were presented with a 1964 Caddilac Eldorado, which had been sitting in storage for over three decades, in beautiful condition.
“As soon as I saw it, I told them there was no way we were going to cut this up,” Nokes said.
The car was turned over to company Vice President Jimmy Kimble, who owns a car repair shop. He set to work restoring the car to a functional condition. Turns out, there wasn’t much to do.
“The tires were dry-rotted, we replaced the tires,” Kimble says, “Put a new fuel tank in it, cleaned the fuel system, fuel pump, tuneup, cover gaskets, basically get it roadworthy again.”
They say it runs great, with the smooth ride one expects of a 1960s “land yacht.”
Now, what to do with it? Kimble got in touch with Carlisle Auctions, and today the Caddy went on the block at their annual spring sale.
“I really hope our bidders are passionate enough, not only about the car, but about the cause,” Michael Garland of Carlisle Auctions said. “Our first responders, fire, rescue, have worked so hard, the frontline heroes if you will, over the last year, and they’ve lost so many fundraising opportunities.”
At around six in the afternoon, the Caddy went up for bid.
And the best part? Since it’s a charity consignment, which means no fees or commissions, the company will get 100% of the proceeds.