HOPE FROM THE ASHES

Owner of de­stroyed wed­ding fleet vows to carry on

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News -

A clas­sic en­thu­si­ast whose wed­ding car busi­ness, along with all of his cars, was de­stroyed in a fire is look­ing to get his life back on track – and is ap­peal­ing for peo­ple to help him re­place his fleet.

Melvin Dolby (in­set), who had built up the Clas­sic Wed­ding Cars Peter­bor­ough busi­ness with his wife Sue, had his en­tire col­lec­tion of wed­ding cars wiped out af­ter a fire broke out at his home in Thor­ney, Cam­bridgeshire, on 8 Fe­bru­ary.

He was taken to hos­pi­tal af­ter suf­fer­ing from the ef­fects of smoke in­hala­tion fol­low­ing the fire, hav­ing en­tered the blaze to save his dogs. One died later.

Now Melvin is out of hos­pi­tal and on the mend, he’s look­ing to re­open his busi­ness – and he needs your help.

He lost 12 cars in the fire, in­clud­ing a 1937 Stude­baker sedan and sev­eral Rolls-Royces and Bent­leys worth a to­tal of close to £500,000.

‘Now I’m out of hos­pi­tal I just want to get on with my life and I can do this by get­ting the busi­ness back up and run­ning. The only prob­lem is that good wed­ding cars are re­ally hard to come by. We started nine years ago with an Austin 10, and we grew it to 12 cars over that time,’ says Melvin.

Wish list He adds: ‘I’m re­ally look­ing for Bent­leys, Ford As and Daim­ler 420s. I’d love a Stude­baker again but I know there just aren’t any around. If any­one is sell­ing any of th­ese cars I’d re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate them get­ting in touch with me.’

Melvin, whio is cur­rently liv­ing in a car­a­van on site with his wife still has cus­tomers back­ing him, even though he has no wed­ding cars. De­spite that, he man­aged to pro­vide trans­port ser­vices for a lo­cal wed­ding on 5 March thanks to a friend who lent him a Rolls-Royce.

David Glyn Jones, chair­man of the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Wed­ding Car Pro­fes­sion­als, says: ‘Sadly that Stude­baker is very hard to come by – there are not many in the UK. But some of our mem­bers have con­tacted Melvin and we’re all try­ing our hard­est to help him.’ In­ves­ti­ga­tions into the fire are on­go­ing. To con­tact Melvin email edi­to­rial@ clas­s­ic­car­weekly.co.uk

Pride of the Dolby fleet: 1937 Stude­baker.

The Dol­bys’ tem­po­rary home, on site.

The fire de­stroyed house, garage and cars.

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