New developments have emerged in the saga of the tuner cars that shut down highway traffic in Oakland last weekend so they could do some smoky donuts.
California Highway Patrol investigators and local media have tracked down the owner of the bumper-less purple and orange 240SX that can be seen in the video of the sideshow.
His excuse for what happened? "It wasn't me," according to this report from CBS 5.
Yeah. I'll let that sink in a bit before I continue.
The owner of the 240SX, 35-year-old Erik Dellafosse of Vallejo, claimed to the TV station that while the 240SX was his, he wasn't behind the wheel. So who was? A guy who was supposedly interested in buying the car and paid him $7,000 to test drive it, then within the space of 30 minutes, took it to Interstate 880 to do some traffic-halting donuts. Seriously.
Here's what Dellafosse told the TV station:
Delafosse said he was at a car meet in San Leandro on Saturday when a man gave him $7,000 to test drive his bright purple Nissan 240SX with orange rims.
He believes it was during the half-hour test drive that the man participated with several other vehicles in a sideshow on northbound Interstate 880 near the O.co Coliseum that stopped freeway traffic in both directions.
"He was gone for about 30 minutes," Dellafosse said. "Then he called his friend [who] told us where my car was, we loaded my car in the tow truck, we came home, and then I started getting hella videos about my car doing donuts on the freeway."
So wait — someone paid him $7,000 to test drive that thing? Seven grand? For a test drive? Who would pay that much for half an hour in an obnoxiously painted 20-year-old Nissan?
I gotta tell you, ladies and gentlemen, this old reporter's bullshit alarm is going off like a siren right now.
The story says that the CHPs have made no arrests so far. Presumably, investigators went after Dellafosse's car because out of all the vehicles involved, it was easily the most identifiable. A purple and orange 240SX doesn't exactly blend in, you know? Members of 4chan and even some of our commenters tracked the car back to Dellafosse through social media sites; clearly, the cops did the same.
Delafosse told the TV station that has car has since been repainted red. "Because my car is hot," he told them. "What can I do with it? I can't go nowhere with it." He got the car back, but no word on whether he returned the $7,000. I also wonder why he didn't tell the cops or the TV station who that driver supposedly was.
Let this be a lesson to all of you: Be careful who you loan your car to for $7,000. Or don't lie to the cops and the media. One of the two.
Hat tip to Chad!