Auto Journalist Blows Porsche Engine—Owes Damages!

While being a motoring journalist certainly has its perks, it can also have its pits! Auto journalist Mark Hales, 62, has been ordered to shell out damages and costs totaling $175,000 after burning up the motor in a rare Porsche! Our Porsche rentals are not a challenge to operate like the classics often are. The drivability difference is often a shock for even experienced drivers when they get their hands on a classic car.

Journalist Blows Porsche Engine

Journalist blows Porsche engine, is found responsible for repairs. 

Hales borrowed the Porsche 917 replica owned by former F1 driver David Piper. Hales intended to pit the Porsche against a classic Ferrari owned by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason. Instead of an awesome glossy magazine feature, Hales has ended up in financial chaos. Judge Simon Brown agreed with Piper that the Porsche had been over-revved, hitting 8,200 rpms when it should not exceed 7,000, causing the engine damage.

Journalist Blows Porsche Engine

According to Judge Brown, Hales failed to “properly engage gear having been expressly told to do so and specifically warned about the risk of serious damage to the car if this was not done.”

Hales is an experienced race driver and auto journalist, and disputes the courts findings. Hales claims he entered into a ‘Gentlemen’s agreement’ with Piper, wherein any mechanical damage was to be absorbed by the owner and any crash damage by the driver. Piper insisted such an agreement did not exist and Hales lacked proof to back up his claim.

David Piper cars

Racing legend Piper owns an impressive exotic car collection, and maintains his stance that he loans out his vehicles with the understanding that if you bend it, you mend it. Solid logic?

The incident occurred a couple of years ago, and the Porsche has since been repaired and sold. Now that the verdict is in, Hales faces bankruptcy and has certainly learned an important lesson regarding written agreements. Check out our fleet of luxury rental cars on your way out!


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