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Tilting at Windmills

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April 17, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

ENZO UPDATE....For some reason the Great Enzo Saga hasn't gotten much play outside the Los Angeles area, but for all you interested onlookers it looks like it's finally wrapping up. The Ferrari Enzo that crashed into a power pole at 162 mph a couple of months ago wasn't being driven by a mysterious German named Dietrich after all. Police now say that Stefan Eriksson, who initially claimed he was just a passenger, was at the wheel after all. And he was drunk. And the car was stolen. And so were Eriksson's other $3 million worth of cars. And if that's still not enough to get you interested, how about Eriksson's supposed involvement with the "Swedish mafia"? Who knew the Swedes had their very own mafia?

Still no word on the identity of the "Homeland Security" guys who showed up at the scene of the crash, though. Stay tuned.

Kevin Drum 6:10 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (61)

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Comments

For some reason the Great Enzo Saga hasn't gotten much play outside the Los Angeles area.

Exactly how much crap and useless information do you expect Americans to keep up with, anyway?

Posted by: Ana on April 17, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

Some wonderful person recreated the accident scene in cake form:

http://www.engadget.com/media/2006/03/083.jpg

Here's a relationship-chart to help you understand this bizarre case:


http://www.gamerevolution.com/images/feature/gizmondo/flow_chart.gif

Posted by: Stefan Jones on April 17, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

he should be arrested, just for crashing that beautiful car.

Posted by: northzax on April 17, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

I bet he is charming at a hollywood party. Another story of the rich and stupid. Snore.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 17, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

Who knew the Swedes had their very own mafia?

That's a closely guarded secret, Kevin.

You want to sleep with the herring?

Posted by: frankly0 on April 17, 2006 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

He walked away from a 160mph crash. He must be an alien, from a solar system more distant than the one Dick Cheney is from.

Posted by: craigie on April 17, 2006 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

craigie:

this seems like a Ferrari ad in the making..."walk away from a 160 mile an hour crash"....seriously, it is a tribute to their engineering.

Posted by: Nathan on April 17, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

Reaffirms my long-held suspicions that ABBA was just a front for a global organized crime ring.

Posted by: Tom on April 17, 2006 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

seriously, it is a tribute to their engineering.

Oh, please. It's a tribute to more luck any one man has any right to have, least of all THIS man.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 17, 2006 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

Earth to Kevin: The Swedish Government, socialistic as it is, is the Mafia.

Posted by: lib on April 17, 2006 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

this seems like a Ferrari ad in the making..."walk away from a 160 mile an hour crash"....seriously, it is a tribute to their engineering.

Yeah, because I was seriously considering finally buying that Ferrari, but I was a little concerned about their safety record. Now I feel it's safe to lay down that extra million+ I had laying around on an Enzo.

Oh, please. It's a tribute to more luck any one man has any right to have, least of all THIS man.

I'm no car guy, but from everything I've read, it truly is a tribute to their engineering. The car performed exactly as it was supposed to. The engine is in the rear, and in the event of such an accident, it completely detaches from the car. I'm serious.

Posted by: Vladi G on April 17, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, lib, that Tony Soprano is a huge socialist. Socialists worldwide are well-known for their violent tendencies and kneecappings.

I dunno, I'm dumbfounded by the car's engineering. Seriously, the dude walked away from a 160MPH car crash.

If I were Sweden, I'd take away this man's citizenship and declare him traitor. He's dealt a greivous blow to the Volvo industry--apparently, cars can be safe and still look FABULOUS.

Posted by: theorajones on April 17, 2006 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

Do I understand correctly?

The guy is in possession of $3 mil in stolen property and decides to "keep a low profile" by getting drunk and driving an impossibly expensive car 162 mph?

I wasn't aware people that stupid could put on clothes, much less drive.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on April 17, 2006 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

You want to sleep with the herring?

Ha! Or doze with the gravlax?

I actually know the owner of one of these 400 cars. And yet here I am on a Monday afternoon, aimlessly posting crap on a blog.

Posted by: shortstop on April 17, 2006 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin - it doesn't make national attention because it:

1) Doesn't involve a threatened child
2) Doesn't involve a threatened attractive woman
3) Doesn't involve somebody that we recognize from movies
4) Doesn't confirm what we instinctively know to be true (Americans are sue crazy, there's always somebody to take advantage of the government, drugs are destroying America, etc.)

Posted by: Saam Barrager on April 17, 2006 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

Don't forget, this guy was behind a spectacularly failed handheld gaming startup called Gizmondo. It's ridiculed right up there with the Phantom (google them if you're interested).

Best part is though, his girlfriend or something was driving another car (BMW I think) that was seized as also being stolen.

Posted by: zed on April 17, 2006 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a perfect example of why Journalism is in so much trouble. There are at least 4 grammatical and spelling mistakes in that article. How do people get to be Journalists anyway? Is there a basic requirement for a grasp of the english language?

Or, dou you just have to put Word in your list of software skills?

Posted by: conscious1 on April 17, 2006 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

This is almost better than an episode of CHiPs, save the absence of a chimpanzee driving the car (or maybe he just *blames* the chimpanzee for crashing the car), and a mysterious airbrushed van driven by drifters, surfers, or punks.

Posted by: The Blue Nomad on April 17, 2006 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

I gotta say, that LA Times article is about the worst thing I've read in a long time. Three basic proofreading errors in the first few paragraphs, clumsy sentence structure, etc. Get these journalists a friggin remedial English textbook.

Posted by: Dr. Sniff on April 17, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

Whoops, conscious1 beat me to it.

Posted by: Dr. Sniff on April 17, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

How do people get to be Journalists anyway? Is there a basic requirement for a grasp of the english language?

You mean like capitalizing "English" and not capitalizing "journalism"?

Just teasing!

Now I have to go water the lawn of the Enzo owner. I hope he's in a good mood tonight.

Posted by: shortstop on April 17, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

The Swedish Mafia provides full health and pension benefits, including hospitalization after they break your kneecaps.

Posted by: alex on April 17, 2006 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

Trying to picture Don Corleone in a horned helm. There, got it!

Posted by: ferd on April 17, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Strange that no one here has blamed the accident on W. But the night is still young ;-P

Posted by: Old Coot on April 17, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, the "Homeland Security" guys are pretty clearly from this other guy's scam. Hell, this is the part I thought you'd be interested in since it's all about corruption and profiteering in DHS.

Basically, Erikkson is connected to the "San Gabriel Valley Transit Authority," which is apparently a charity that runs vans taking area seniors to their medical appointments and the like - and also, somehow, appears to have it's own police department. As I understand it, said "police department" was contracting to DHS, making big bucks working on some system to use onboard cameras to catch terrorists on the buses.

see here: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-ferrari3mar03,0,1423392.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Posted by: John on April 17, 2006 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

In addition to the basic proofreading skills of the L.A. times, wouldn't it be nice if occasionally a report such as this actually followed up on the 300-lb gorilla in the room --which in this report is: why is it a criminal offense to break what appear to be the terms of a U.K. car lease?

Assuming that the leases in question provide some sort of remedy to the leasing companies, why should our tax dollars pay to prosecute this guy?

Posted by: hank on April 17, 2006 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK
he should be arrested, just for crashing that beautiful car. northzaxat 6
He has another one, but in black. Posted by: Mike on April 17, 2006 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry make that "guy's other scam," not "other guy's scam." But anyway, this has gotten a lot of play in the videogame community because of his past w Gizmondo, which never made any sense and had a lot of people scratching their heads and wondering what it was really about. Fleecing investors as it turns out.

The real unanswered question is what happened to the gun. The first guy on the scene, who let Erikkson use his phone, later found a Glock magazine in the back of his car. As far as I know, the gun itself never turned up. If I had to guess, I'd say it left the scene along with the "homeland security agents," who were almost certainly such by virtue of being part of the San Gabriel Valley Transit Authority police force. In fact, according to at least one report, Erikkson himself initially identified himself to responding officers as a homeland security agent.

Ah, fun.

Posted by: John on April 17, 2006 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

The Swedish Mafia provides full health and pension benefits, including hospitalization after they break your kneecaps.

Yeah, but if you cross them TWICE, they make you watch an Ingmar Bergman movie -- through the end.

What can medicine do to remedy that?

Posted by: frankly0 on April 17, 2006 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

good thing he didn't crash it in Sweden actually--he'd lose his license for life.

Posted by: Bjorn Fjord on April 17, 2006 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

Strange that no one here has blamed the accident on W. But the night is still young ;-P

At his press briefing today, Scott McClellan did not deny that Bush was involved.

Posted by: Alf on April 17, 2006 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

. The engine is in the rear, and in the event of such an accident, it completely detaches from the car. I'm serious.

At a launch velocity of 160 mph? Something tells me that's not a tribute to their engineering prowess, but to their callousness.

Posted by: ogmb on April 17, 2006 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

Engineering maybe, but it helps to be drunk too. It relaxes the body and distributes the impact. Like the difference between dropping a cat off the 4th floor and the 44th. But that's another story.

Posted by: toast on April 17, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

I always knew Stefan was trouble.

Posted by: Red State Mike on April 17, 2006 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

Clueless Kevin really thinks a government official from Homeland Security showed up.

Sheesh, what a moron Drum is.

Posted by: BigRiver on April 17, 2006 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum >"...Who knew the Swedes had their very own mafia ?..."

EVERY group has its own mafia; the Italians just have had the "best" PR establishment

ogmb >"...that's not a tribute to their engineering prowess, but to their callousness."

You ARE are ignorant & an idiot to boot

And remember, ALL his autos are stolen

"...you cannot save your face and your ass at the same time..." - vachon@shadrach.net

Posted by: daCascadian on April 17, 2006 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

His other (stolen, or should we say, borrowed) car was a McLaren Mercedes. Initially, the story had him racing the Mercedes on PCH, but the other car or driver has not shown up.

Just another intriguing little plot twist in the story.

Posted by: gab on April 17, 2006 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

Leave the gun. Take the crispbread.

Posted by: Matt on April 17, 2006 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

Who knew the Swedes had their very own mafia?

Yeah, and they usually met at Sven's gravlax and meatball shop in Elbow Lake, MN, downing aquavit and listening to ABBA while Mrs. Olsen makes coffee.

I think I've covered all the stereotypes.

Posted by: Randy Paul on April 17, 2006 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

Homeland Security? LA Times has it covered:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-030206ferrari_lat,0,1020964.story?coll=la-home-headlines

I'm a car nut and this story has got a lot of play on sites like autoblog.com. That's where I first ran across it.

Yes, it's a very well-engineered car, but at 162 MPH luck probably had more to do with it. He hit that phone pole just right.

There are pictures on the net of the aftermath of an Enzo crash in Italy that appears to have hit a pole about a foot farther forward, about even with the driver's seat. In the words of Action Jackson, "There was enough left of that guy to spread on a pizza."

http://www.wreckedexotics.com/enzo/enzo_20051103_001.shtml

Posted by: schwag of tulsa on April 17, 2006 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

Actually "Olsen" is the Norwegian spelling. The Swedish Mrs. Olson would use an "o" as in Folgers.

Posted by: X9 on April 17, 2006 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

"I actually know the owner of one of these 400 cars"

Make that 399.
I'm skeptical of the claims that the Enzo was going at 160+ mph at the time of the crash. Vehicle structures are ill-equipped to deal with sideways impacts into vertically oriented objects such as poles or trees. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the actual speed was less than half of what was reported.

Posted by: Peter on April 17, 2006 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

Randy Paul: I think I've covered all the stereotypes.

No, you forgot to write something about yellow hair.

Posted by: alex on April 17, 2006 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK

You ARE are ignorant & an idiot to boot

I AM am?

Posted by: ogmb on April 17, 2006 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

How did cable news miss the story of the missing white driver?

Posted by: Brian Boru on April 18, 2006 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

162 mph -- cage-driving, latte-sipping wanker!

c.f.: 205 mph speeding ticket.

Posted by: Uli Kunkel on April 18, 2006 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

I bet he is charming at a hollywood party. Another story of the rich and stupid. Snore.


No No Its Not SNORE it's SNORT!

Posted by: silly rabbits on April 18, 2006 at 2:29 AM | PERMALINK

Dear shortstop,

Please, please, please start a blog!

(but don't abandon Kevin's Comments if you do)

God, you make me laff.

Thanks.

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on April 18, 2006 at 3:07 AM | PERMALINK

Right now, this story is on the top front of Washingtonpost.com, and is on the front page of the Style section in the print edition.

That's a hell of a lot more coverage than the WaPo gave to DeLay's campaign thugs shoving little old ladies at an appearance by Nick Lampson, who's running for DeLay's seat - and that had an obvious national-politics hook, while this one doesn't.

Posted by: RT on April 18, 2006 at 6:04 AM | PERMALINK

This story got play at the WashPo this a.m.

Says his charges include theft, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and DUI. There's a missing irish national - presumed to have fled by yacht - connected with the gun clip found in the back seat (these things have a back seat?).

I'm still puzzled as to how exactly you walk away from a $100M meltdown with the wherewithal to live in a $5M gated mansion.

Note to craigie: It would seem that the copy editors of the WashPo agree with us. A head line this morningin the Style Section: 'Who Put The Y'all In 'Idol'?'

Posted by: CFShep on April 18, 2006 at 7:23 AM | PERMALINK

I think I've covered all the stereotypes.

You betcha.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 18, 2006 at 7:57 AM | PERMALINK

Jeepers, Tilli, thanks so much for the kind words, but I don't have too much to offer in that arena. I wish several other people here would start blogs, though.

Posted by: shortstop on April 18, 2006 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

Tak!

Posted by: JOe on April 18, 2006 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

Randy Paul - you forgot about the lutefisk.

Posted by: James G on April 18, 2006 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

The whole thing sounds like a sequel to "The Big Lebowski".

Posted by: Steve Paradis on April 18, 2006 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

The whole thing sounds like a sequel to "The Big Lebowski".

Ha! Doesn't it?

Posted by: shortstop on April 18, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK
http://www.wreckedexotics.com/enzo/enzo_20051103_001.shtml

So I'm completely uninterested in cars, let alone reading about them on the internet, but I can still recognize the greatness (err?) of a website devoted to pictures of expensive wrecked cars. Something for everyone on the internets, that's fer sure.

Posted by: cdc on April 18, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Did anyone notice just how many grammatical mistakes were contained in that one article? I don't read the LA Times very often. I hope poor grammar isn't the reason why.

Posted by: Carl on April 19, 2006 at 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

here is my opinion
do you really think so?

Posted by: Old Lady on April 20, 2006 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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