A Quebec man's modified Lamborghini Gallardo got thrashed last week by a mechanic during a "test drive." Now the foot-dragging dealership that's responsible is learning a lesson: Don't wreck the exotic of an internet-savvy owner, because payback's a bitch.
Maybe across the world a few men and women buy high-end sports cars purely as investments, locking them in dust-free clean rooms for the day when such assets need to be liquidated.
But most people who buy expensive exotics like showing off their cars. And talking about their cars. And going online in forums to chat and swap and trade pics of their cars. And when those cars get into wrecks, lots of people notice — as we've seen from examples as varied as BMW M5s to Ford GTs.
The Lamborghini Gallardo above was being driven by a mechanic after an alignment from a Porsche/Audi dealer in Laval, Quebec, when it ended up sideways, knocking over a streetlight. Almost immediately, people were snapping photos of the aftermath — from a couple of angles — including capturing the driver of the vehicle, standing in the rain, reporting the crash just after it happened.
Within two hours of the pictures of the crash hitting the local hot-rod forum, the owner had spoken up about what happened, and to clear up any confusion that he might have been behind the wheel.
He also filled in details about the car's upgrades, putting its power at close to 570 hp and noting this was the first time he'd left the service to someone else. He also shared the initial damage estimates of $35,000 Canadian to fix not just bodywork, but snapped driveshafts and joints.
The trouble? It's not just the repair costs that the owner wants covered:
A Lambo dealer who's also a certified appraiser told me AFTER it's been repaired my car will have lost about 38k in value and he mentioned an additional 7.5 to 10k in "residual loss" which is basically costs/losses incurred trying to sell the car even at that price since NO ONE will touch a crashed exotic, no matter how it's been priced. You have to pretty much give it away. So basically they reduced my car's value by over 45k in one day, lost me the use of the car for god knows how long the parts will take to arrive, and are causing me anguish (hence I can't even sleep with this going on) and then talking down to me and telling me I should be happy they'll put it back together.
The lack of concern about the Gallardo's lost value spurred the owner to pursue several other lines of legal and public relations work against the dealership. And the forum members were glad to pitch in, including an eyewitness:
I heard a loud car come in...and then a REALLY REALLY loud engine acceleration. ( The guy definatly floored the car ) I looked out right away and as i looked i saw the lambo do a 180 and he did about 20 meters backwards, jumped the curb and stoped ( The back wheel that hit the curb was at 45 degree angle looked pretty bad ) . Not sure he hit the post or not ( they tend to fall easely ). The post fell REALLY slowly right in the middle of the street. ( Took maybe 3-4 seconds to fall ).
The owner hasn't filed suit yet, but even if he doesn't, the dealership's cost in lost reputation along with damage to the Gallardo may make this one of the most expensive alignment jobs ever.