This weekend's wreck of a polished aluminum Cobra left many wondering how someone could smash such an expensive car in a parking lot. Here's the amazing on-scene explanation with pictures showing how the car landed upside down in a creek.
Every year the University of Texas at Arlington Formula SAE team invites budding mechanical/automotive engineers from other colleges to a big parking lot for a shakedown they call the Texas Autocross Weekend. The event always draws a crowd of automotive enthusiasts, including one gentleman in his custom polished aluminum Cobra.
We'll let UT Arlington student, SAE Member, and Jalopnik reader Trent Strunk take it from here:
I was there and he was actually showing up to the event. I spoke to one guy who worked for him once and he reported that it was a $300k car. He apparently is also building a copper cobra.
The apparent story is that the throttle stuck which from my point of view is correct. We watched him come from a main road onto the campus street. I believe he was just going to do a fly by sort of thing, but the car came around and did several spins (during the whole time the engine was at full bore) before hitting a curb and flipping over eventually landing upside down in the creek (the engine finally stopped lolz).
I believe this proves the good old saying, "In the event of a spin, both feet in."
They decided to attach the straps to the billet lower a-arms. Being the bunch of mechanical engineers that we are, we started taking bets on when they would fail. Water poured out of it for a long time (imagine that)
Even though the car hit the curb hard enough to send it into the air, there was surprisingly little damage. Of course that is relative to what it could have been, considering we estimated he hit the curb at 40-50mph.
Finally. they tipped the car as seen and unhooked the front straps then proceeded to back a flat bed up to it and set it down on it. I don't have pictures of that because I had an FSAE car to drive. :D
Thanks to Tyler for the story and pictures!