HOPE FROM THE ASHES
Owner of destroyed wedding fleet vows to carry on
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.