Motoring journalists are often offered expensive cars for drives. This way, the owner of the car, gets free publicity, while the publisher, gets some exclusive photos, videos and a drive experience. During one such event in 2009, Mark Hales, a British journalist, managed to get the original Porsche 917 race car owned by David Piper.
Mark, who himself is an experienced race car driver, wanted to compare the Porsche 917 with a Ferrari 512S vintage car on a British race track. He managed to get both the cars and for the Porsche, he paid Piper $3,200. All set for the comparo, it is during this drive, the Porsche race car’s engine blew up. Piper filed a lawsuit claiming damage for his rare Porsche. Piper claims around $74,000 in damages, to restore the engine back to its prime, which will need to be shipped to Germany for specialists to take care of repairs. Hales on the other hand states that he should not be held liable for engine failure as it was caused due to mechanical failure which caused the car to slip out of gear.
Yahoo now reports that a court has now given a decision in favor of Piper, leaving Mark with a bill of $174,000 (INR 93.85 lakhs), the additional $100,000 is for the fees and damages incurred by Piper. Hales has stated that he will have to sell his house and all his belongings in order to pay this huge bill. He might also file for bankruptcy. Auto enthusiasts have set up a fund for collecting donations, in order to help Mark pay the bill. They have also requested Piper to consider overturning the court order.