The Walkie Talkie building’s car melting escapade in London may be the most recent example of bizarre damage being done to a car, but it is certainly not the first. In fact, since the very first motorcar rolled off the forecourt we have found ways to get them into scrapes far weirder than the usual fender bender. Here are a few examples insurance companies have had to deal with over the years:
Walkie Talkie vs Jaguar
The Walkie Talkie building, despite not yet completed, managed to reflect and concentrate the sun’s rays enough to melt parts of Martin Lindsay’s Jaguar, which was parked a few roads away on Eastcheap in the City of London. Speaking to the BBC, he said, “It’s absolutely ruined. I’ve been told the damage is about £1,000.” Luckily for him the owners of the Walkie Talkie have agreed to pay for the repairs, while the City of London have decided to erect a temporary scaffold screen at street level to stop the building from inflicting any more damage.
Veyron vs Pelican
The Bugatti Veyron, one of the world’s fastest road cars as well as one of the most expensive, was the victim of a seriously costly crash in 2009, when Andy House managed to drive his very rare car into a Texas lagoon. He claimed a low flying pelican had run him off the road and into the lagoon, although motives for why a pelican might cause such an event is not quite clear. A bystander managed to film the whole event unbeknown to House, and has a video which suggests that the plucky Bugatti-hating bird never actually existed. Why make it up? His insurance company thought it might be that he might have simply been after the $2m insurance check.
Goats v Police
Proving that there’s no way of escaping the long arm of the law, three goats were detain in India in June 2013 when they were caught vandalising a brand new police car. Although only three were captured, it is reported that 12 were actually responsible for the damage after they climbed on top of the car, denting its roof and damaging the windscreen. The owner of the car, Ganesh Babu, filed a complaint against the goat’s owners, saying that they had ‘crossed the line’. The three goats in question where later handed over to the Society for the Protection of Animals for preventive detention. The other nine however, remain at large.
Mattress causes 3-car pile up
In 2011 a mattress managed to cause a 3 car pile up and an attempted theft in Seattle, USA. A man and a woman were transporting a mattress tied to the top of their SUV along the highway when it became loose and fell off into the road behind them, causing a three-way crash. The SUV driver pulled over to retrieve the mattress, but quickly sped off again, leaving her passenger to deal with the aftermath. The stranded passenger quickly changed his mind however, and jumped into the back of a good Samaritan’s car who had stopped to help the crash victims, and then proceeded to try and steal it. Suffice to say, he was caught and duly punished. The moral of the story here is clear: if you’re going to transport a mattress, do it properly. Also, don’t run away from a crash. Or attempt to steal cars.
Hail storm hi-jinks
Like the act of God (with a considerate helping hand from a man-made structure) which caused the Walkie Talkie building mishap, a hail storm in Kentucky in the 90s caused a range of damage and resulted in a number of car insurance claims. One involved a driver who claimed his car was wrecked by the falling hail, but closer inspection revealed the damage to be perfectly symmetrical divots across the car; as if caused by a hammer. The insurance company rejected the claim – expecting the matter to be dropped – but were surprised by the same man returning in order to claim that his car had been beaten by an unknown assailant with a ball-peen hammer. Not being able to prove he had done it himself, the insurance company ended up having to pay the claim!