Former California fire chief admits he’s 'crazy' for collecting

  • Source: Easy Reader & Peninsula
  • Published: 07/28/2021 12:00 AM

VIDEO/PHOTOS: People have called Pat Aust crazy, and he’s fine with that. The retired Redondo Beach Fire Chief’s passion for collecting has him living atop a custom built 2,400 square foot garage in his Redondo Beach home. It’s crammed with 13 vehicles from mostly another place and era, like a vintage Fire Chief’s 1938 red Ford from Pomona. His 4,000 square foot home has over 35,000 collectibles, mostly related to fire fighting, classic cars, gas stations, soda pop signs and other relics of another era. Aust also has a separate facility in Gardena for the rest of his vehicle collection, including a 1921 American LaFrance fire truck and 17 vintage cars. “Yeah, people call me crazy,” says the 72-year-old former fire chief. “It’s insanity to a degree, but my children and grandchildren will be happy that I’m crazy.” The collection “is worth a lot of money,” and it will all go to them one day.


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