Wrecked Vette Wednesday: ZR1 Mystery Fire

Photos: IAAI

If you have a strong stomach for automotive carnage, browsing the IAAI insurance auction website can be a guilty pleasure. You’ll find cars and trucks of all descriptions from across the country, in various conditions ranging from “cosmetic damage only, but bad enough to total it out” to “nothing left but scrap metal.” Sometimes the photos tell a straightforward story – fender meets tree, rearended by another vehicle, and so on – but more often than not, it’s a mystery as to how a once-nice car met its untimely end.

zr1-4Today’s find, a burned-to-a-crisp 2009 ZR1 Corvette, scores high on both the damage and mystery scales. The only clear indication that it actually is a ZR1 (besides the VIN) are the rear wheels, as the supercharger that once sat atop the LS9 is completely melted.

What’s particularly mysterious is the other, non-car items piled in the wreckage. Look closely at where the passenger compartment was, and you’ll see a couple of pieces of what looks like Unistrut metal framing, which is often used in industrial, warehouse, and parking garage settings to hang plumbing and conduit from the ceiling. That could just be collateral damage from the fire if it happened indoors, of course.

But then you see the other foreign object. A giant commercial-style ring burner, like restaurants use to heat enormous stock pots. What it has to do with the fire that consumed this ZR1, we will never know, but there’s definitely a story there. Ironically, with as badly damaged as the Corvette is, that ring burner might just be the one thing salvageable in this auction lot…

About the author

Paul Huizenga

After some close calls on the street in his late teens and early twenties, Paul Huizenga discovered organized drag racing and never looked back, becoming a SFI-Certified tech inspector and avid bracket racer. Formerly the editor of OverRev and Race Pages magazines, Huizenga set out on his own in 2009 to become a freelance writer and editor.
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