Kimble, We Hardly Knew Ye
I grew up in Germany during a time without speed limits on our highways. I probably drove 500.000 kilometers, always at the maximum, and thats the kind of school required to win Gumball. But even with all of this experience I felt that I could hurt someone if I made a mistake. And after 10 years of extreme driving I decided to quit street racing. Most Gumball participants don’t know the limits of their cars and fail to avoid obvious dangers.
Thus spake Kim Schmitz, later known as “Kimble”, and then finally as “Kim Dotcom”, regarding his decision to stop participating in the Gumball Rally. As many TTAC readers know, Mr. Dotcom recently found out the hard way that there is one thing more consistently dangerous than “500,000 kilometers at the maximum”: endangering the fiscal interests of the corporations which own the United States Government lock, stock, and barrel. It’s one thing to be Roman Polanski yucking it up in Paris for three decades after he sodomized a child and fled the country. Quite another to allow someone to download Katy Perry’s newest CD without paying for it. That’s Justice, American Style.
It’s a shame, because Kimble was a car guy, even if he wasn’t quite the kind of “car guy” we normally get here at TTAC… and when it came to wrecking hyper-expensive vehicles, nobody did it better.
A Gumball Rally “winner”, Kim supported several tuning firms and was an early
owner crasher of the Brabus E V12, a hand-built monstrosity featuring a jumped-up S-Class V-12 dropped into the famously troubled W210 E-Class. (Of course, the modern E63 has far more power, but at the time it was considered to be quite the big deal.)
Queried about his ownership and crashing history on M5Board, Kim replied with a fascinating narrative.
Before we get to it, I’d like to pick a bone with the M5Board people. This is their logo:
Notice anything? Hmm… could it be that the original E28 M5, the all-black, kick-ass machine which was so popular that BMW brought in three times as many as they’d planned to and were sued by the first group of owners as a result, is missing? Did the M5Board people really kick the best of the bunch off their banner so they could feature the new twin-turbo dipshit-mobile?
Alright, rant over. This is the thread, and here is the meat of it, from Mr. Dotcom himself:
I wrecked the following cars:
Mercedes Benz S500 (4)
Mercedes Benz S320 (3)
BMW 750iL (1)
AMG E50 (2) + (1, which I wasnt driving at the Gumball 2001)
Brabus EV12 (1)
Brabus S58 (Megacar) (2)
The unmodified S classes and the 750iL were rentals and when I was really young & stupid me and my friends used to go “airbagging” and highspeed driving on gravel roads in the bavarian alps. The 750iL (brand new) was totalled after a 20 meter jump on a highway construction road.
My first E50 crash was in one of the first AMG E50 sold in Germany. The car still had some flaws. Weak stability and no ESP. I drove 250kmh on a 3 lane highway from Berlin to Munich. It was just after midnight with very light rain and wet conditions. I am in a slight left curve and about to pass a white VW Passat still 300 meters away. All of the sudden the VW is moving onto my lane for no reason. From the very right lane onto the very left lane. I still believe he was falling asleep. I had no choice but to brake. The car was out of control immediately and slided sideways into an EXIT sign. From that moment on i know nothing. The friends who were driving behind me in an Audi A8 told me later that the car flipped over several times. I wasnt wearing a seatbelt and got away with a broken left arm and some minor injuries…
I totalled my second E50 when driving at night on a snowy private air field close to munich. The car went of the runway during a controlled high speed spinning manouver and slided on ice until it crashed into a parked Chessna airplane. I always loved driving on air fields and managed to get on major airports in europe several times (always late at night)…
Bodo Buschmann (Mr. Brabus) and me were driving the first EV12 on a highway near Bottrop. 330kmh without problems. Bodo, who is a very good driver teached me whats possible with his car and I learned a lot from him. I was so amazed by the performance of the worlds fastest sedan that I wanted to buy one. But Bodo said it wasnt a good idea to buy it yet, because my driving style was to aggressive and his car, a true monster, wasnt really stable because of the extra weight of the V12 engine, causing the back to be unstable. He adviced me to start with a Brabus S-Class and switch to the EV12 later. This is where the idea for the megacar was born. One year later someone wanted to sell a used EV12. We met for a test ride at the Hockenheim Ring. After 2 laps at the maximum the left rear tire exploded on a long streight. The EV12 went into the wall, bounced off into the other wall and the car was history. The owner was lucky, his insurance paid for the damage.
The megacar was first totalled in an underground street racing event in the south of France (close to Monaco). Some of my car enthusiast friends, including 2 former Formula 1 drivers, met once a month to drive for money. 6-8 cars, 50 miles, the winner got 10K from each loser. The second time was on the way from Monaco back to Munich when a truck decided to takeover another truck. It took forever so I decided to use a highway carpark to pass the trucks. Unfortunatly the carpark was very wet and I hit a metal seperator before i got back on the highway. The car made it back to Munich, but it needed some major fixing.
And to answer your question, I would always chose a Brabus. They are going a bit closer to the edge without ******* up. They have great engineers who make the impossible possible. But i would consider a Kleeman Turbo modification over the Brabus Turbos.
There are no mistakes, only lessons.
In the case of Kim, a man who has yet to reach his fortieth birthday, the rest of the lessons are likely to be learned somewhere where the shower, not the open road, is the obvious danger.
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