On October 17, 1989, a magnitude 6.9 earthquake, which lasted around 15 seconds, hit the San Francisco Bay Area, killing 67 people with more than 3,000 others injured and causing more than $5 billion in damages. Despite the fact that the disaster was one of the most powerful and destructive quakes ever to hit a populated area of the United States, the death toll was relatively small. The earthquake is known as both the San Francisco-Oakland earthquake and the Loma Prieta earthquake because it was centered near Loma Prieta Peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains, approximately 60 miles south of San Francisco.




The destructive power unleashed across the San Francisco Bay Area by the earthquake of October 17, 1989 was etched into the memories of millions of people. But what will be remembered just as strongly will be the world-wide response to the needs of the victims of that earthquake. Volunteers, supplies and monetary donations arrived without hesitation from neighboring communities and from distant lands as well. The members of the S.F.B.B.C. were part of that response with a generous outpouring towards a fund-raising effort, in just four weeks, through advance sales of an "Earthquake Relief" special Brooklin model and through additional cash donations. The Earthquake Relief special is a Dodge Van, based on the Club’s first anniversary special, white in color with blue fenders, with the S.F.B.B.C. Golden Gate Bridge logo on the side panels. Simple modification of a design that had been used just several months earlier allowed the factory to produce these additional models essentially on a moment’s notice. The words "San Francisco Earthquake Relief 1989" in black were placed on the doors in place of the original first anniversary designation and a certificate was glued to the box. Sales of the special model were quite brisk, with a limited number of 200 models to divide amongst 174 Club members. The final sum realized from the Earthquake Relief effort was $9411.


Author: Gianluigi Cappi
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