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Old 01-22-2013, 11:23 PM   #1
Jurgen OP
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Bummer Drive of a 917




Gorgeous car, I've always really liked the 917. I wonder how often auto-journalists go beyond agreed upon limits? Or did it mis-shift?

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The Porsche 917 Le Mans race cars weren't just stars on the track, where they led Porsche to its first wins at Le Mans; they also made Steve McQueen's film of the race a masterpiece. One of the drivers injured in that race let a journalist take his personal 917 back on the track and then sued him when the car engine failed. The journalist's new job: Finding a way to pay $174,000 in damages and legal costs.


British journalist Mark Hales arranged with retired racer and collector David Piper to drive his original Porsche 917 around a British race circuit against a similar vintage Ferrari car in April 2009 as part of a magazine photo shoot. Such events happen all the time; the old car's owner gets publicity for his ride, and the writer or magazine gets exclusive, and sometimes incredible, shots of antique machinery at full wail.

Despite the value of the machinery involved Piper's green 917 pictured above was worth $2 million deals like this one typically go off with nothing more than a handshake. Hales was an experienced race driver himself and familiar with older race cars, and every race of historic machines features pits full of mechanics wrenching away on parts that finally broke after a few decades of wear. He also paid Piper $3,200 for the use of the 917.

But Piper claimed in a British court that Hales had agreed to keep the finicky 12-cylinder boxer engine in the 917 under 7,000 revs, and that instead Hales over-revved the engine to 8,200 rpms, blowing it. Hales argued the gearbox in the 917 had mis-shifted, and that Piper had verbally agreed to cover any damages from the track session.

Last week, the court found for Piper, ordering Hales to pay not just the $74,000 in damages but some $100,000 in costs and fees as well. Hales now says he will probably lose his home and go into bankruptcy if the order stands up. British auto enthusiasts have set up a donation fund for Hales, and pressured Piper to throw the entire affair into reverse.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:56 PM   #2
tkitna
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That sucks for both parties. Reminds me of why I never rider anybody else's bike.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:58 AM   #3
Donkey Hotey
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I read this today and still don't get why the driver got stuck with this.

Bottom line? If the owner wants his car paraded around by a proper driver so everybody can admire it, he either needs to grab his balls and drive it himself or be willing to risk that a respectful professional driver might still have a mechanical malfunction. It's not just a race car, it's an OLD race car. What did he think might happen?

This is why I won't even swing a leg over somebody else's motorcycle. Damn kickstand folds, down it goes and it's either damaged or possibly totaled (if parts aren't available). No thanks.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:12 AM   #4
LuciferMutt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey Hotey View Post
I read this today and still don't get why the driver got stuck with this.

Bottom line? If the owner wants his car paraded around by a proper driver so everybody can admire it, he either needs to grab his balls and drive it himself or be willing to risk that a respectful professional driver might still have a mechanical malfunction. It's not just a race car, it's an OLD race car. What did he think might happen?

This is why I won't even swing a leg over somebody else's motorcycle. Damn kickstand folds, down it goes and it's either damaged or possibly totaled (if parts aren't available). No thanks.
Yep. The owner is out of line IMHO. Also agree about riding other peoples' bikes...
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:27 AM   #5
madeouttaglass
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also agree about riding other peoples' bikes...
+1
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:55 PM   #6
Lard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey Hotey View Post
If the owner wants his car paraded around by a proper driver so everybody can admire it, he either needs to grab his balls and drive it himself or be willing to risk that a respectful professional driver might still have a mechanical malfunction. It's not just a race car, it's an OLD race car. What did he think might happen?.
When I was asked to race other people's cars, it was always on the understanding that "you bend it, you mend it " : that's how I once ended up with two mortgages....

You're being a bit hard on Piper. Google him first, he ain't lacking in the balls department.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:08 PM   #7
bobobob
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A $2 million car isn't insured?
Wait till Ken hears.
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