John Hollansworth, a Great Race veteran of more than 20 years, lost all of his collector cars and memorabilia in an early morning fire on April 7 at his shop in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. Fortunately, no one was injured. Called Gasoline Alley after the famed pit area at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Johns shop hosted tens of thousands of visitors over the last 19 years. John said the fire apparently started around 4 a.m. and by the time he and the fire department arrived it was a total loss.
While several of the cars melted to the ground and are a total loss, two of the most special cars to John the original sprint car he raced around the country in the early 1960s and the Indy car his son qualified in for the 1999 Indianapolis 500 were badly burned but can be salvaged.
The biggest loss was the lifetime of memorabilia, John said.
Three of Johns rarest cars had been sold in the past few years. One was the 1917 Peerless Green Dragon John campaigned in more than 15 Great Races. The other two were a 1933 Marmon Indy race car and an Ab Jenkins 1937 Pierce Arrow Bonneville Salt Flats race car.