Auto Journalist Sued Over Classic Porsche Engine Blowup

3:09:00 PM

Photo: Peter Ellenbogen
by Michael Satterfield

Ex-Formula One driver David Piper is suing a automotive journalist Mark Hales, after his classic racing car's engine blew up during a test drive. The complex legal argument of "if you bend it, you mend it" was used by Piper, and apparently the court agreed. 

Piper had allowed Mr. Hales (an experienced driver in his own right) to take the 917 for a spin on a test track for a magazine article. But when the engine on the green-and-white vintage racer valued at nearly $2 million blew, the owner blamed Hales missing a shift and "over-revving" the engine. Therefore he expects the journalist to pay for the engine, around $79,000 plus legal fees.

Hales, claims the engine revs spiked due to the transmission slipping out of gear, and that the mechanical failure of the transmission is what caused the engine blow up, thus putting the burden on the owner David Piper. 

Hales a well known freelance automotive writer had taken the 917 around the track in April 2009, as part of an article for Auto Italia Magazine, comparing the 917 to the Ferrari 512S.

The court has ordered Mr. Hales to pay for the repairs as well as the Mr. Piper's legal fees.  I am sure all automotive journalists are going to be shifting lightly and getting agreements in writing... I know I will.

Source: The Telegraph

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