When you lose a rare million dollar hypercar in a ball of flames, someone’s gotta pay.
At around 7:30 in the evening on Sunday, September 28, 2014, the world lost one of the only Porsche 918 Spyders to ever exist. Consumed in a not-so-glorious blaze, the rare open-top hybrid hypercar sat at a gas station in Caledon, northwest of Toronto, engulfed in flames.
The car was owned by Canadian millionaire investor, and then CEO of Difference Capital Financial - a merchant bank he founded in 2012 - Michael Wekerle. He’s best known to Canadians for his role as the lively investor and panel member on popular CBC show Dragon's Den.
When the car went up in flames that evening in 2014, Wekerle had owned it for less than a month.
In a 2014 interview with the CBC he said he paid $998,623.23 for the car which was purchased from Pfaff Motors in Woodbridge, Ontario (just north of Toronto).
According to a report from The Globe and Mail earlier this week, Wekerle is now suing Porsche AG, Porsche Cars Canada Ltd., Porsche Cars North America Inc., the car dealership Pfaff Motors Inc., fuelling equipment manufacturers OPW Fueling Components Inc. and Dover Canada ULC, and fuel services contractor Royal Petroleum Maintenance Ltd. in a civil suit filed with the Ontario Superior Court.
The suit, filed this September, claims Wekerle suffered “permanent scarring and disfigurement to his face,” “emotional and behavioural changes,” and a “loss of earning capacity,” to the tune of $9.4 million.
In an interview he did on the Todd Shapiro Show after the incident in 2014, Wekerle said: “The gas station and neighbouring restaurant was packed with people, and thank God I put the nozzle in the holster and then it just blew, and the gentleman behind the register was smart enough to turn off the pumps right at the point in time or we would have had a very serious accident.”
“He (the driver) was pumping gas and it overfilled and caught fire,” said Suren Thanearajah, talking to the Hamilton Spectator, he was working at the Esso gas station that Sunday.
The Porsche 918 Spyder, powered by a 4.6-litre V8 and a 6.8 kilowatt hour lithium battery pack mated to two electric motors, can run hot as most supercars and hypercars do. Porsche does have a recall that began in July 2015 warning of “the wiring harness for the left rear radiator fan may contact an engine heat insulation plate.” Which states “if the harness contacts the insulation plate, the harness may chafe and result in an electrical short which could increase the risk of a fire.” It is noted that the recall affects 918 Spyders manufactured between February 25, 2014, to April 29, 2015.
Full video of the 918 Spyder burning from a passerby:
Photo: Tom Freda via Flickr