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Amsterdam fire destroys classic WWII vehicles

DutchAmsterdam.nl — A fire in two storage sheds behind the Haarlemmermeerstation has destroyed all fifteen classic vehicles collected and maintained by the Amsterdam department of Keep Them Rolling — a club that restores and maintains military vehicles from the WWII era.

Harley Davidson
A Canadian Harley Davidson, like this one photographed at Dam Square during the West Holland Liberation Tour, was heavily damaged in the fire but can possibly be restored.
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Among the destroyed vehicles are four allied jeeps and a number of extraordinary German vehicles, including two amphibious Schwimmwagen made by Porsche and an Opel Blitz truck, Amsterdam daily Het Parool reports.

Reportedly police was only able to forklift a Canadian Harley Davidson to safety. The motorbike is heavily damaged, but can possibly be restored.

The vehicles, along with a large collection of original uniforms, have featured in various WWII-themed movies.

The classic cars have also participated in various parades and events, such as those organized during the annual Liberation Day celebrations in the Netherlands.

In May, 2005 the vehicles took part in the West Holland Liberation Tour designed to honor Holland’s Canadian liberators.

The 1.500 members of the Keep Them Rolling association together own more than 3.000 WWII-era vehicles, ranging from a Folding Paratroopers ‘Airborn Bicycle’ to tanks and planes.

The cause of the fire, which was discovered yesterday at 9 am, has not yet been determined. The fire department says some of the sheds on the site contained fireworks and bottled gas. Some of the fireworks and one bottle of gas exploded in the fire.

Kuuk Griep, of Keep Them Rolling’s Amsterdam department, says he has used the storage shed for some 35 years, and that no fireworks were stored there.

The site does include an ammunitions bunker, used for storing war-time weapons available for rent by filmmarkers. The bunker was not involved in the fire.

Griep has a fire insurance, but it covers only the ‘dagwaarde‘ (day value) of the vehicles — instead of the replacement value. — © Copyright DutchAmsterdam.nl

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An Amsterdammer last updated this post on CET (Central European Time)

   
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