Mark Hales, a veteran racing driver, and freelance motoring journalist, has been sued by David Piper, the owner of a rare and super expensive Porsche 917 that was lent to him for a review, after the car’s engine blew up in the middle of the test.
Porsche 917 is among the most sought-after classic racing cars, which means it is hugely expensive, and quite difficult, to repair. Sadly, Hales did not insure the car before taking it out, assuming that first, nothing would happen – after all, he’s been doing this for years, and seconds, car collectors are usually kind people and a verbal agreement on potential consequences would suffice.
But everything that could go wrong did go wrong, and Hales is now facing a $174,000 bill for the 917’s engine repair costs, and another $79,000 in legal fees. That means he is going to have to sell his house to cover them.
Now, who said motoring journalists have the best job in the world? Stuff like this happens all he time, but with big car companies, they usually take care of the insurance, so the journalists can test the car with peace of mind. But when they borrow valuable cars form civilians, they need to be more careful with the paperwork; or it falls into the “you bend, you mend” category.
It is sad to see that Mark Hales facing such trouble trying to create a fine piece of motoring journalism that many people would enjoy for years. We wish him the best of luck.