Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 23, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

ENZO-GATE...I don't know if this has made the news in the rest of the country, but we have an entertaining story developing here in Southern California. Yesterday morning, police found a million dollar Ferrari Enzo completely wrecked on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, apparently after running into a pole at 120 miles per hour during a drag race with a Mercedes-Benz SLR.

Nobody was hurt (!), but the car's owner, Stefan Eriksson, provided police with the following alibi: he wasn't driving the car. He was only a passenger. The driver was a "German guy named Dietrich" who ran away right after the crash, leaving Eriksson to take the fall. Eriksson doesn't know anything more about the guy.

The official word is that "detectives are skeptical of that explanation." Ya think?

Kevin Drum 11:20 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (103)

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Comments

Nodoby was hurt after a 120 mph crash?

Posted by: BarrettBrown on February 23, 2006 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Boing Boing has a picture of the front half of the Ferrari.

Posted by: cleek on February 23, 2006 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

oops. nevermind. now i see the pics are on the right-side column of the story.

Posted by: cleek on February 23, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK


hoped he saved a bunch on his car insurance

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 23, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Nodoby was hurt after a 120 mph crash?

For $1 million, I'd expect a lot of safety features from my car, wouldn't you?

Posted by: Constantine on February 23, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Why was Stefan, our resident poster, in California?

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 23, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

So this is the big news in your neck of the world?

Gotta love L.A., Democrats are cooperating with Republicans to overturn Roe in South Dakota, Bush is selling off port management to friends of Osama bin Ladin, there is civil war in Iraq, the Federal Reserve reports that median wages fell 6.2 percent while household debt rose, and Kevin reports on an auto accident in Southern California.

All I have to say is wow.

Posted by: NYCBilly on February 23, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder if it's related to this bizarre crash in chicago yesterday...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/custom/newsroom/chi-060223stevensoncrash,1,4583319.story?coll=chi-news-hed

Posted by: jason on February 23, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

A tid bit I heard stated was that only the driver's side air bag had deployed, leading to abundant skepticism of the "just a passenger" story.

Posted by: bwise on February 23, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

There are a lot of German guys named Dietrich. I think we should trust Mr. Eriksson, and commence a search for the real (Ferrari) killers.

Posted by: adios on February 23, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

hoped he saved a bunch on his car insurance

I bet this won't be covered.

Posted by: POed Liberal on February 23, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

NYCBilly needs to get his own blog where he can write about all the important stories other people are trying to suppress.

Posted by: cureuil gant on February 23, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

...and Kevin reports on an auto accident in Southern California.

Heaven forbid he occasionally post about something other than politics.

I like the "German guy named Dietrich" who "ran away" after the accident. The guy blew a .09. You'd have to be crazy to race that kind of car on PCH drunk.

Posted by: La Brea on February 23, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Dietrich didn't run away, he was catapulted into Santa Barbara County?

"I only send them up, where they come down is not my department."

Posted by: Buce on February 23, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Where is Agent 86 when you need him?

Looks like KAOS got a little sloppy.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 23, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

"The driver was a "German guy named Dietrich" who ran away right after the crash, leaving Eriksson to take the fall."

Ok, running away after crashing a Ferrari Enzo that you don't own makes sense. But letting a guy you only know by his first name and don't even know where he is living drive your 1,000,000+$ sportscar? Not even checking if he's got a drivers license??
Come on! Dumbest. Excuse. Ever.

Posted by: Gray on February 23, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Both airbags deployed (as they should, the car doesn't know if there's a passenger or not), but Eriksson had a bloody lip and only the driver's side airbag had blood on it. You don't have to be Columbo to figure this one out.

I'm just amazed that he was able to tear the car right in half and escape with hardly any injury.

Posted by: Buckethead on February 23, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

The million dollar question is:

Where the heck was Dick Cheney yesterday?

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 23, 2006 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Hey. I've been following this, too.

Need a bit of comic relief now and again.

I just can't quite wrap my head around '$1M' for a car? A car?

Posted by: CFShep on February 23, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Apparently he was the head of some kind of video game console maker and was allegedly linked with the -- ahem -- Swedish mafia. (Actually, some kind of organized crime ring into forgery and counterfeiting, but I like the idea of a gang of pinstriped Lutherans who go around putting lutefisk in people's beds as a warning.)

Posted by: WatchfulBabbler on February 23, 2006 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

You'd have to be crazy to race that kind of car on PCH drunk.

What kinds of cars is it ok to race drunk on PCH?

Posted by: craigie on February 23, 2006 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Plus there was blood on the driver's side airbag. I have a feeling a DNA test is in Eriksson's future.

But hell, the guy had a blood alcohol level of .09. Could you come up with a better excuse than "some German guy named Dietrich" if you hit a pole at 120 mph after downing a six pack?

Posted by: Kevin Drum on February 23, 2006 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

"The million dollar question is:

Where the heck was Dick Cheney yesterday?"

Very good question! Instead of blaming some anonymous 'Dietrich", Eriksson should hire a CSI team to check his windshield for birdshot impact and pellets! :D

Posted by: Gray on February 23, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Stephan is a girly-man. Deitrich left in disgust.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on February 23, 2006 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

To build on Pale Rider's of 11:42, are "Stefan" and "Dietrich" the fake names Smirky and Growly use when they're out for a night with the plebes?

Posted by: shortstop on February 23, 2006 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Another interesting twist (from the gaming industry blogs) on this story: Apparently this guy is an executive for handheld gaming company Gizmondo. They released a D.O.A. portable gaming device (mocked and ridiculed like the N-gage, and with good reason). Sweden's local rag has the poop on their english site:

http://www.thelocal.se/article.php?ID=3108&date=20060222

Posted by: Q on February 23, 2006 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

The owner had a bloody nose that's all. Dietrich is certainly laughing his head off somewhere (in the owner's imagination if anywhere). I'd like to know who was driving the Mercedes that won that race.

Posted by: jerry on February 23, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

I who won the drag race. It would be a shame to spend $1,000,000 on a car that can be beaten by one that costs a mere $400,000.

Posted by: L'cureuil Gant on February 23, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

His name was actually "Dieter" and he walked away saying "Your Ferrari becomes tiresome."

Posted by: Robear on February 23, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

86 and 99 have always been able to foil Dietrich.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 23, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

I ^wonder^ who won the drag race.

My enormous furry paws make typing difficult.

Posted by: L'cureuil Gant on February 23, 2006 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

but I like the idea of a gang of pinstriped Lutherans who go around putting lutefisk in people's beds as a warning.)
Posted by: WatchfulBabbler

Rolling on the floor. Thank you for that amazing image.

Posted by: CFShep on February 23, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Apropos Dick: Eriksson's motivation to let an anonymous person drive his car would be more clear if his story involved an anonymous german girl called, say, "Diana". But on the other hand, maybe he is gay and seizing the opportunity to come out of the closet...

Posted by: Gray on February 23, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Serves him right for letting some guy he didn't know drive his car. :)

Posted by: Rob W on February 23, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

"For $1 million, I'd expect a lot of safety features from my car, wouldn't you?"

At least half of that is for the little prancing pony on the hood.

Posted by: CN on February 23, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

"I ^wonder^ who won the drag race."

Still wondering when the answer is plain to see?
The Ferrari didn't cross the finishing line, of course the incredible beautiful, fast, expensive and genuinely german Mercedes won!
:national pride:

And I guess that's the reason why Eriksson's imaginary friend isn't named "Harvey" but "Dietrich"...

Posted by: Gray on February 23, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

I call bullshit. Ferraris are expensive, but an Enzo isn't worth $1million.

Posted by: charlie don't surf on February 23, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

It'll be interesting to watch in the high-priced attoneys this guy will employ to get him off. The accident investigation team better be very careful. No viles of blood returned to the accident scene please, and for god sakes, get a warrant before entering the guy's house.

Actually, the guy already f-ed up by taking a sobrity test, never take a test, unless your sober, of course.

Posted by: the fake Fake Al on February 23, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

A perfect example of the TODDI ("The Other Dude Done It") defense, sometimes called the Bushy-Haired Stranger strategy.

Posted by: Mad Blogger on February 23, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Soon, this car will appear here! This pleases me.

Posted by: L'cureuil Gant on February 23, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

'viles of blood' ???

Vials.

Posted by: CFShep on February 23, 2006 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK
I call bullshit. Ferraris are expensive, but an Enzo isn't worth $1million.

Per wikipedia, the retail price of the limited production run was $643,330. Given the way resale tends to be with these limited runs that are sold to established customers only, I'd be surprised if the resale value on the open market was much less than $1 million, and wouldn't be surprised if they went for more than that.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 23, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

The initial reports said that the car was 10 to 15 feet in the air when it hit the power pole. Maybe it was the "flight capable" option that raised the cost to $1,000,000.

Posted by: arkie on February 23, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

"I call bullshit. Ferraris are expensive, but an Enzo isn't worth $1million."

There are only 399 of them, 398 now, I guess. Their original price tag was 650,000$. The company gave one to the late Pope as a gift, it was sold at an auction for about 1,200,000$. The worth of things is what people are willing to pay for them, right?

Posted by: Gray on February 23, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Wait, as Jalopnik.com has been following. The biggest news is that this guy is the former head of Gizmondo -- perhaps one of the shadiest tech companies to appear in the last couple years. Plus he's got (former) ties to the Swedish Mafia (who knew there was such a thing). There are investors in Europe that would love to sit down with Mr. Eriksson. And perhaps some members of organized crime, too.

Posted by: DC1974 on February 23, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Agents 86 and 99 were probably in the Mercedes.
They always foiled Dietrich.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 23, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Some details on the safety features of the Enzo:
http://www.seriouswheels.com/top-Ferrari-Enzo.htm

Posted by: arkie on February 23, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

I heard this guy was a victim of the TV show "Punk'd." They installed explosive bolts to sever the car at the midpoint, but forgot the car had front wheel drive, so the remaining torque lofted the front of the car twenty feet up a telephone pole.

And there was a JATO involved somehow, too.

Posted by: Tripp on February 23, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

The driver was extremely lucky in that the impact occurred just behind the seating area. If the Ferrari had hit the pole about 12 inches farther forward, the passenger compartment - and the driver - would have been obliterated.
I am somewhat skeptical of the 120 mph part. It can be very difficult to determine the speed of a car that's been involved in a crash. Usually it's done by analysis of skidmarks, but based on the description of this crash that probably wouldn't have worked.

Posted by: Peter on February 23, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Re: the Swedish mafia.

It's always the quiet ones you need to watch out for.

Posted by: Tripp on February 23, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider: Why was Stefan, our resident poster, in California?

To quote Scott McClellan, I'm not going to comment on an ongoing investigation.

Posted by: Stefan on February 23, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Peter,

I am somewhat skeptical of the 120 mph part.

Skept away, but TV clearly shows (Mythbusters) that a JATO unit can propel a car up to 150 MPH.

Posted by: Tripp on February 23, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Re: Stefan's location

It's always the quiet ones you need to watch out for.

Posted by: Tripp on February 23, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Plus he's got (former) ties to the Swedish Mafia (who knew there was such a thing).

It's one of the only organized crime rings that has its own very generous cradle to the grave socialized benefits system.

Posted by: Stefan on February 23, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan: "But who could have known the car might crash doing 120 MPH?"

Posted by: joeiscoffee on February 23, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

What did Stefan known and when did he know it?

And, as a former member of the Norwegian mafia, our benefits are slightly better but with fewer blondes.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 23, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan: "But who could have known the car might crash doing 120 MPH?"

No one could possibly have predicted that the car would crash. Any predictions of a crash were merely historical in nature.

What did Stefan known and when did he know it?

Precious little and not soon enough.

Posted by: Stefan on February 23, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Reminds me of a day at Nrburgring.

Posted by: Count von Trips on February 23, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin writes: "The driver was a "German guy named Dietrich" who ran away right after the crash, leaving Eriksson to take the fall."

An apt metaphor for Kevin's nervous stance on the port issue, don't you think?

Posted by: Rob on February 23, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

I know that guy named Dietrich and he's nothing but bad news. He's big into dragging other people's rides, especially down the canyon roads behind Mission Viejo.

I had a run in with him where he failed to renew the license plate tabs on my car and the police are trying to pin it on me.

All I remember about him is that he said he was a lawyer, enjoyed opera, and liked women who had "racehorse legs."

Posted by: Windhorse on February 23, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin writes: "The driver was a "German guy named Dietrich" who ran away right after the crash, leaving Eriksson to take the fall."

An apt metaphor for Kevin's nervous stance on the port issue, don't you think?

Posted by: Rob on February 23, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

You crash into a pole at 120 mph, survive with nary a scratch, and your first thought is to make shit up to excuse yourself?

Is EVERYTHING wasted on you? Man, show some fucking gratitude.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 23, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like an excuse Bush or Cheney would make about Iraq, shooting a fellow hunter, or any one of a hundred other f*ckups these two are responsible for.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 23, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

liked women who had "racehorse legs."

?? Bony and furry with two toes?

Posted by: frankly0 on February 23, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

If anyone outside of southern California harbors any doubts about the goofballs who live here, read the following paragraph. Even the lieutenant from the sheriffs dep't (Brooks) can't help using cartoon imagery when talking to the newspapers. The following is a quote from y'day's LA Times:

"Eriksson told authorities that "Dietrich" ran up a hill toward the canyon road and disappeared. Brooks said detectives are far from convinced they have the whole story.

Eriksson "had a .09 blood-alcohol level, but if he's a passenger, that's OK," Brooks said. "But he had a bloody lip, and only the air bag on the driver's side had blood on it. The passenger-side air bag did not. My Scooby-Doo detectives are looking closely into that.

"Maybe the 'driver' had a friend who picked him up. Maybe he thumbed a ride," the sergeant added. "Maybe he was a ghost."

Posted by: GAB on February 23, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

I am Dietrich.

This is the time on Sprockets when we dance.

Posted by: Ba`al on February 23, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

This blog is getting to be more fun than dealmac used to be.

How about a count of obstruction of justice on this guy. It seems to me that the argument that Fitz made about Libby works nicely on this story. The lutefisk-monger told the police some lies to distract from his own guilt. The fact that the authorities had to do a search for Dietrich should add some civil liabilities (or at least a heavy fine) to the penalties.

Posted by: Bob G on February 23, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Now I'm as happy as a little girl...

Posted by: Dieter on February 23, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

An apt metaphor for Kevin's nervous stance on the port issue, don't you think?

That would explain those new posts by "Dietrich Drum" we've been seeing....

Posted by: Stefan on February 23, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0: horses don't have two toes!

Posted by: EM on February 23, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0: horses don't have two toes!

Posted by: EM on February 23, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0: horses don't have two toes!

So it's one?

That makes it SO much more attractive.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 23, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

"The driver was a "German guy named Dietrich" who ran away right after the crash, leaving Eriksson to take the fall."

Wouldn't it have made more sense if this read "The driver was a 'fat older guy named Cheney' who ran away right after the crash, leaving Eriksson to take the fall"?

Posted by: Stefan on February 23, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Welcome to Sprockets. Welcome to Sprockets. I am your host, Dieter. First of all I would like to welcome our new affiliates in East Germany who are carrying Sprockets for the first time: LODR - Leipzig Auyste-Deutsch Runfunk. And FKMS Funzine Karl-Marx-Stadt. Welcome to the Sprockets family. This veek we have a special feature on Sprockets. It is called "Germanys Most Disturbing Home Videos".

Posted by: Ba`al on February 23, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0 said: "That makes it SO much more attractive."

you mean one toe and hairy legs isn't attractive? damn, i should probably go shave. not sure about what to do about getting more toes...

Posted by: EM on February 23, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Wait. Wasn't that the guy that invaded Iraq?

--PaTroll

Posted by: parrot on February 23, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

This is a wonderfiul testament to Italian engineering. Meanwhile, the value of each of the surviving 399 Enzos just went up.

Posted by: PetervE on February 23, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Looking at the wreckage now, I can only conclude that the "passenger" is VERY lucky to be alive. You can't chalk this up to some super-hi-tech passenger-safety system.

What it looks like happened is they went into a spin, and the back-end clipped the pole, which tore the car in half. The front end continued on, and apparently didn't hit anything else before it stopped.

Had they hit the pole head-on, I'm sure they'd be hamburger, no matter how good the safety cage or crumple zone is.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 23, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

"a dog ate my homework" didn't work when we were kids in school, but now CEOs use it to claim immunity from screwing billions out of people and a guy wrecks his car and claims some guy named Dietrich did it.

Who are we to believe?

120 mph and nobody was killed? Wow!

Posted by: MarkH on February 23, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

PS. The guy is not liable for more than Providing False Information to a Peace Officer. (and speeding, reckless driving, drunk driving, etc).

He didn't lie to a grand jury, or a judge (yet) nor under-oath. Not like Scooter Libby did.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 23, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

From the link to the LA Times article: "The investigation has also centered on exactly how the Enzo got into the United States."

HOW the got into the US? Is it illegal to own an Enzo in this country? Are they not street-legal or something? Did somebody in Customs get a bribe? Why would how the car got into the US be an issue?

Posted by: Catcher on February 23, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

I am somewhat skeptical of the 120 mph part.

Bah - 120 isn't much. Most cars over 60k can do it.

It can be very difficult to determine the speed of a car that's been involved in a crash. Usually it's done by analysis of skidmarks, but based on the description of this crash that probably wouldn't have worked.
Posted by: Peter on February 23, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Nowadays, it can be pretty easily done by dumping the buffer of the traction-managment system to the highway patrolman's laptop. (which will soon be a mandatory feature to qualify for insurance).

Now, I'm sort of skeptical about the "flying" story, because the Ferarri's shape generates an enormous amount of downforce at that speed. Unless he went into a spin (as I posited above) - because then the car's aerodynamic profile changes entirely, side-on. At 120, sideways, he could have been flying. And the real shame is, blowin .09, he was probably too wasted to remember the experience.

My VW (1972 Karmann Ghia) reportedly (according to legend) tends to go airborne at about 100, because of the shape of the nose. (luckily, the stock engine tops out at about 75 mph in 3rd gear).

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 23, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

The investigation has also centered on exactly how the Enzo got into the United States.

Why do I have the slightest hunch it's through Dubai?

Posted by: frankly0 on February 23, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

HOW the got into the US? Is it illegal to own an Enzo in this country? Are they not street-legal or something? Did somebody in Customs get a bribe? Why would how the car got into the US be an issue?
Posted by: Catcher on February 23, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, you can OWN any old car you want in the US.

You can't REGISTER cars in California that do not pass emissions. And you can't legally drive an unregistered car. And you especially can't legally drive an unregistered car at 120 mph on public roads. And you DEFINATELY can't legally do it while drunk.

There's a whole industry set up around importing high performance cars (like the Mazda RX-7 a few years ago, which you could only get in Australia or Japan), and fixing them up so they'll pass California Emissions, bumper height, 5mph crash safety inspeciton, etc.

If the Enzo wasn't street legal though, I have a hard time imagining someone dropping $1 mil, and then letting some guy hack it with a muffler and gasoline vapor recovery system. Cars like that, it's VERY important to retain their value as collectors items to not modify them from their original manufactured state.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 23, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

The whole "Dieter" thing, whose last name he didn't know, of course made no sense at all UNTIL the Swedish Mafia reference came up.

Maybe Dieter WAS driving real fast, thereby threatening passenger Stefan?

Posted by: Cal Gal on February 23, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK
Now, I'm sort of skeptical about the "flying" story, because the Ferarri's shape generates an enormous amount of downforce at that speed.

Its my understanding -- and I must admit its a very rough understanding -- that, on an ideal racing track that's very true of lots of high performance cars, which an Enzo Ferrari clearly is, but that this rather essential behavior is very easily and catastrophically disrupted on less-than-perfect road surfaces, which are fairly common outside of race tracks, which allow high pressure air pockets to form underneath the vehicle which can produce lift (tremendous lift at high speed.)

Posted by: cmdicely on February 23, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Dieter WAS driving real fast, thereby threatening passenger Stefan?

No one threatens me and lives to tell about it. *muttering darkly* No one.....

Posted by: Stefan on February 23, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

"Now, I'm sort of skeptical about the "flying" story, because the Ferarri's shape generates an enormous amount of downforce at that speed."

In addition to agreeing with cmdicely's hypothesis, let me add that if the car went over a hump at 120mph it could go airborne and the very aerodynamics that are designed to keep it planted on the road now turn the car into a wing.

Posted by: arkie on February 23, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

>In addition to agreeing with cmdicely's hypothesis,

Yeah and the pole was sheared where the pole was sheared, which wasn't exactly normal Ferrari height!!


Hmm, unless Dietrich very cleverly got some buddies to install a fake pole to cover up the real evidence... call Monk!!

Posted by: doesn't matter on February 23, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

"What kinds of cars is it ok to race drunk on PCH?
Posted by: craigie on February 23, 2006 at 11:50 AM |"

RENTED cars, of course, with a CDW paid in full.

(Can't take credit for this one; PJ O'Rourke said it years ago.)

Posted by: smartalek on February 23, 2006 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

Bah - 120 isn't much. Most cars over 60k can do it.

Bah - $60k is too much. I once took my old '65 Mustang GT convertible up to 135mph for a full HOUR while driving across Kansas. The car felt like it had another 15mph left in it, but 135 was already too fast for me. I only had $5k into that car. I wish I'd spent another $400 on tires and rims because they were unbalanced and the steering wheel shook like a bastard, maybe I could have gotten up to 150 with better balanced wheels.

Posted by: charlie don't surf on February 23, 2006 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

Oh.. whoops. I left my computer on and my friend Dietrich wrote that when I left the room for a minute.

Posted by: charlie don't surf on February 23, 2006 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

I'm skeptical of the 120-mph bit not because the Ferrari is incapable of such speeds, but because a much lower speed would have sufficed to cause the damage shown. A car's body structure has very little ability to withstand a sideways impact into a vertical object such as a pole or a tree.

Posted by: Peter on February 23, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

Dick is pretty close to Dietrich.

Posted by: Jimm on February 23, 2006 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

Oh.. BTW, after reading yet another article about the crash and Gizmondo, I recall another famous Ferrari crash. Back in the olden days of microcomputers, Eagle Computers had just done their IPO, they produced PC clones like a cheaper version of the Compaq Portable (the big suitcase-sized one, the first PC clone). The owner of the company celebrated by buying a new Ferrari, getting drunk, and crashing it and killing himself the day after the IPO. The company folded within days.

Posted by: charlie don't surf on February 23, 2006 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

"And the real shame is, blowin .09, he was probably too wasted to remember the experience."

.09 is not all that drunk. Until a couple of years ago, the legal limit was .10; now it's .08. A .09 is so close to the line I wouldn't expect that the guy would get prosecuted get prosecuted absent a serious accident.

Posted by: rea on February 23, 2006 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 23, 2006 at 3:46 PM

Oh, you can OWN any old car you want in the US.

But you can't import a car that doesn't pass federal standards (emissions, safety, whatever)...If you have enough money, though, you can have the car disassembled, imported as auto parts, and have it reassembled. I don't think you can drive it on a public road/street unless it's legal, however...

Posted by: grape_crush on February 23, 2006 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

Well, i still say this is some nefarious conspiracy involving Hillary, Jack Thompson, hookers and some hit and run shenanigans. The guy tried to sell the gizmondo. this:
http://www.shinyplastic.com/prodimg/gizmondo.jpg
NOT RIGHT AT ALL.


for the fun inclined:
http://www.gamersalliance.org/
hehe, they say stop hillary, and college football. nice :)

Posted by: Quenton Elliott on February 23, 2006 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

I'm skeptical of the 120-mph bit not because the Ferrari is incapable of such speeds, but because a much lower speed would have sufficed to cause the damage shown. A car's body structure has very little ability to withstand a sideways impact into a vertical object such as a pole or a tree.

Eh, the length of the debris field and a heavy object like the MOTOR flying down the highway will make it reasonably easy for the CHiPs to figure out how fast he was going.

It's true that it doesn't take 120mph to sever a car, but also bear in mind that like a true F1 car, the Ferrari was designed so that the passenger compartment survives and the rest of the car disintegrates, so that the kinetic energy is dissipated. Ever watch Indy or F1 cars when they wreck? The carbon fiber bits go into a million pieces, but the energy is absorbed and the driver lives.

People in the right vehicles survive higher speed crashes all the time. However, five point harnesses, helmets, and rollbars sure do help. No doubt dude got lucky.

An Enzo at 120mph is just as stable as your Toyota on the way to work at 80mph. He was just drunk and stupid, and lost control of the vehicle. Fucker.

Posted by: Sebastian on February 24, 2006 at 5:36 AM | PERMALINK

I'm reeling from the LATimes piece on this guy's "other crash'.

You resign from a company days before it crashes leaving more than $100,000,000 in losses and yet you can somehow contrive to drive a $1M car and live in a gated mansion in Belaire with a private security guard.

Is this a great country or what?

Posted by: CFShep on February 24, 2006 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Sebastian, Osama_been, and Cmdicely,

I thought I already explained the explosive bolts and JATO.

Sheesh.

Posted by: Tripp on February 24, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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