By on January 26, 2012

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:

Gustav,

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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70 Comments on “Kimble, We Hardly Knew Ye...”


  • avatar
    dejal1

    Sounds like a narcissistic douchebag.

    “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.”

    So, it wasn’t the autobohn(does Germany have 3 lane autobahns?) . It was wet and late. The VW is 3 american football fields away and you are doing 150 MPH and it is the VWs fault? Amazing.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Damn right it’s the VW driver’s fault. Lane discipline means something.

      • 0 avatar
        tkewley

        You would have a point – except for the other dozen cars he crashed…

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        “… moving into my lane for no reason…”

        He has no idea why the VW moved? At 300 meters distance, at night, in rain, with a curve? Of *course* the VW driver can see things that Kimble can’t see. Kimble should *expect* that the VW can see things he can’t see and, more importantly, might do something about these things.

        But Kimble presumes there’s no good reason for it. What an ass.

        Lane discipline is an important thing but it’s not the only thing.

      • 0 avatar
        ihatetrees

        VW driver is the asshat.

        Most autobahns, and especially those 3 lanes wide, have very long visibility lines. No tree, utility pole, or elephant corpse was mentioned blocking the VW’s way. No mention of the VW braking…

        You move as the VW did, you are at fault (in Germany).

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I assume he means three on that side… every unrestricted Autobahn I’ve driven in Germany was three or four on a side most of the time with an Armco center barrier.

      • 0 avatar
        Bayley

        Meh, plenty of two-lane (per direction) unlimited autobahns in Germany.

        The drive from Frankfurt to Paderborn via the A45 and A44 had many stretches of two lane autobahn with no restrictions.

    • 0 avatar

      Money does not buy happiness. It only allows a person to be more of the person they actually are.

      Kimdotcom was the coolest fat boy around.

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      Autobahn or not, how can anyone blowing past slower traffic at 250 km/h – on a curve in the rain no less – blame anyone else but himself? Sure, the VW driver made a bonehead move. But he was not the one who created a situation in which 300 meters (that’s over 1,000 feet, or roughly two city blocks) was not enough space to avoid a collision.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Exactly. ‘Fault’ is rarely owned by a single party; accidents often occur when multiple parties do something wrong. Conversely, doing something right can prevent someone else’s wrong actions from escalating into an incident.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Funny thing is that this dip-scheit thinks hes so cool… And to document it he proves his ultra-lameness as a driver….

    “There are no mistakes, only lessons.”. What a load of self-serving krapov, which by saying does not make it true or justify it as a path to learning. Further, in his book, what then constitutes a mistake, running-over and killing a kid coming out of the rest-stop crapper?

    Glad he got busted, if only to keep him, and his sociopathic ego, off the road.

    Re IP protection, I bet Jack wouldn’t be so ok with IP piracy if it had to do with somebody posting his forthcoming album to Megaupload…

  • avatar
    tkewley

    How would Oscar Wilde have put it? “To crash one car may be regarded as a misfortune; to crash thirteen looks like carelessness.”

  • avatar
    threeer

    You know…I was attracted to TTAC for the intelligent discussion revolving around cars…and this certainly qualified…right up until the political snark jumped in. Can’t we keep the story on track regarding the idiocy of Herr Dotcom, who as apparently wrecked more vehicles (and more value) than I’ll ever have a snowball’s chance of ever owning?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      That’s a fair rebuke. I’m personally disturbed that the United States, as a country, seems to be so obsessed with protecting the perceived rights of a few extremely wealthy corporations. Speaking as someone whose brother was a professional musician and who has personally known a lot of content creators, I can attest to the fact that these “creative” companies exercise their creative faculties primarily in the screwing of their artists and the creation of lobbyist-paid new law.

      • 0 avatar
        scroggzilla

        Don’t forget, the “major” record labels were found guilty of collusion and price fixing back in the 1980’s…….when the Government still enforced those quaint laws.

      • 0 avatar
        Felis Concolor

        “I don’t pretend to be an expert on intellectual property law, but I do know one thing. If a music industry executive claims I should agree with their agenda because it will make me more money, I put my hand on my wallet…and check it after they leave, just to make sure nothing’s missing.” – Janis Ian, May 2002

      • 0 avatar
        Detroit-Iron

        I am disturbed that “our” government would not hardly lift a finger to catch a known child-molesting ass-rapist but if you accidentally download a crappy song they will send Homeland Security after you.

      • 0 avatar
        toxicroach

        As a high end IP lawyer once told me, the only thing America exports anymore is IP.

        It’s not like the US is the only country with copyright laws, and Kimble was douchebag conman. It’s easy to make a lot of money boosting stolen goods. Pure profit. I’m against SOPA and all that, but if you can’t bust a guy whose whole business model is wholesale copyright violation, wtf are they supposed to do?

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        People are going to share music and movies and just about everything else stored on a copyable medium, but his site was making money specifically off of copied materials and laundering money. Plus it wasn’t just music, for instance over 167k downloads of Nero 10 which retails for $99. Add in the money laundering and everything else, it is more than just hosting pirated music and movies.

        That said, I do think there is a better way to get music from the artist to the listener but the old way traditions are hard to break and the corporations have a lot of money to make life miserable for those that break the “rules”.

        This is also a good example of why I like to have physical media instead of keeping everything on the cloud or purchasing anything and having it streamed from the cloud. Your peer based cloud can go away at any time and the corporate owned cloud can change the rules at any time as you don’t really own anything any more, you license it.

      • 0 avatar
        Jellodyne

        The recording and movie industries have forgotten more about stealing from artists than any dotcom ever knew. They’re just mad that people are bypassing them and ripping off the artists directly.

  • avatar

    Supposedly the bust of Megaupload had more to do with the iTunes-like site (partnered with companies like Amazon) they were about to launch than IP theft.

    I’m all for IP enforcement but in recent years the Feds have acted more like agents of large corporations intent on criminalizing the competition than as impartial enforcers of the law. When the World Series comes to town, so do Dept of Justice agents looking for trademark infringers and counterfeits, basically protecting the interest of Major League Baseball. I’m uncomfortable turning a civil tort into a criminal case.

  • avatar

    This clown is a car guy in the same sense that demolition derby drivers are car guys-only he wrecks more expensive cars. His
    ‘lessons’ may result in a new adventure within the penal system where new lessons can be learned with new friends.

  • avatar
    wsn

    “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…”

    Why God didn’t kill him at that spot is beyond me.

  • avatar
    mzr

    I really doubt his car death rap sheet. He has been mostly full of shit over the years. Or more accurately I should say, they didn’t happen where he cheated death.

  • avatar
    JohnTheDriver

    When Kim finally kills himself I will laugh so hard I actually pee in my own pants.

  • avatar
    JMII

    This guy is down right wacky…

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/01/kim-dotcom

    I personally can’t wait for the movie to come out!

  • avatar
    skor

    “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.”

    Life has always been like that.

    “men forget the death of a father more quickly than the loss of a patrimony”.

    –Machiavelli

    Think wars are fought for “principles”? BLAHAAHAHAHAH. Almost all wars are about loot. There are some examples where people fight over principles. There is a name for people like that, “LOSERS”.

    The American Revolution? Colonists were getting tired of being financially screwed by the mother country….and a mother it was.

    American Civil War? This was about determining America’s future economic system….was it to be based on chattel slavery or wage slavery? Wage slavery won.

    WWI? Britain and France wanted to loot Germany.

    WWII? Britain, France, Russia and America wanted to loot Germany.

    The endless Mideastern wars? America wants the oil. It goes on and on and on……

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      I was with you until you began re-imagining history.

      Germany fired the first shots in both world wars, and it’s tough to argue that Britain, France, Russia, and America emerged richer for it.

      As for the Middle East, if America wanted the oil, we’d have it. It may surprise you that America actually buys it.

      • 0 avatar
        skor

        Um, right. I’m re-imagining history.

        I guess that America really didn’t confiscate billions of dollars worth of German(enemy alien) property here in US during the first World War. Yeah, I know, they were eventually compensated for it, for pennies on the dollar.

        As for the oil. Yeah, we “buy” it. I’d like to know how much that oil would cost if the sellers actually asked to pay paid in something other than dollars, because if you want to get technical about it, they have no choice but to take those dollars.

      • 0 avatar
        ruckover

        Not sure you can blame WWI on the Germans. It was bound to happen with all the colonialism and expansionist policies imbued into the European nations at the time.

  • avatar
    Manic

    You guys did notice that last time he wrecked a car was probably 10 years ago? When he was 27. I think he might have learned something from his mistakes.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      When the cops came to his house to arrest him, he activated electronic security measures and locked himself into his safe room with a shotgun. Whether or not he’s learned anything about high-speed handling, he certainly hasn’t learned anything about life.

      • 0 avatar
        ihatetrees

        You can read “Survivalist Nut” into his actions. On the other hand, a person can delete / destroy a lot of information (that might be used against them) as cops are cut into his safe room…

  • avatar
    replica

    Why does anyone care that he crashed a bunch of cars? He paid for them. If he wanted to buy an entire dealership just to destroy every car on it, bravo. It’s his money.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    I may have missed the part where he was found guilty and all his world wide assets were handed over to various parties, including governments. If a jury finds him not guilty, hardly an impossibility, will the loot be returned with a smile?
    At least he spent his money and supported someone’s economy with it. How many billions were dumped down the rat hole of screwed up car corporations with no hope of repayment?

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Here’s more on the mega-lomania of Mudd the First, Sir Kim Von Korpulenz:

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/01/mega-man-the-bizarre-rise-and-sudden-downfall-of-kim-dotcom.ars?comments=1#comments-bar

  • avatar

    “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.”
    Yes he sounds like a careless, narcissist d-bag, and he probably is, but his surprise on what the driver in the Passat was doing is somewhat warranted.
    Over here in NA you would never try this due to so many variables – dumb drivers doing dumb things- but it’s not like that in Germany.
    There’s almost never that kind of driving there, it’s hard to explain but after a while your confidence with German motorists is sky high and should something happen you know they’ll make the right decision without the crunching of metal.
    I’m not defending him and IMHO his hubris is dangerous, but I can relate to his incredulity at the Passat’s actions, to see that would truly be a shock, over here, not so much.
    This is strictly anecdotal but in my 10000 km’s of driving on German roads I can count examples of stupid driving with my one hand.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Been driving in Germany since 1985, and living here since 1998, and each time on the Autobahn, I remember one early lesson … “Know that many of the hi-speed lane accidents are caused by the little ‘toilet cars’ and trucks which spontaneously, and without signaling, decide to leave the right lane for those on the left. You must always watch them as you approach them, and always be prepared to react to save your life if they do.”

      Lane discipline is much better here, but there are still enough inexperienced drivers (many visiting from E. Europe) to ruin your whole life. (And there is the occasional wild boar which tries to do the same … I know both from experience.)

      • 0 avatar

        Very astute RW, I remember exiting off the A7 – admittedly a little fast – and backing up towards me was a battered mid 90’s blue Vectra with Polish plates. I still have no idea why he/she was doing this, where they going to back out onto the Autobahn?
        The other times was transport trucks from Bulgaria and Poland pulling out from the right lane without regard to who’s coming up from behind, but again these instances were rare.
        Despite these I look forward to visiting the relatives in Hannover and getting the chance to drive the Autobahn.

  • avatar
    dvp cars

    ……notwithstanding his recent internet hi-jinks, it’s hard for carguys not to have mixed feelings about this former (self described) megahoon. If we take this braggart at his word, he’s obviously a relentless sociopath. highway menace, and lousy (albeit brave) driver to boot. Assuming he’s not fabricating most of these tales, he’s lucky and lousy. On the other hand, my inner hoon can’t help but give a reluctant thumbs-up to any former Gumballer, let alone a winner……BTW, I notice JB italicized “winner”…….I never followed the event very carefully, is there a story there?

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    skor fails history. dotcom fails driving

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    I like the Cessna story best. I mean, if that’s what happens during a “controlled high speed spinning manouver”, then I wonder what would have become of our hero in an uncontrolled “manouver”?
    BTW – manouver sounds like something that could happen in prison.

  • avatar
    nrcote

    That AMG E50 crash got me thinking. That guy was driving at 250 km/h when he was about to pass a car 300 meters away.

    At 250 km/h, that’s 250,000 meters in 3600 seconds, or 69 meters/second. That’s about 4 seconds to go 300 meters. Without ESP, in wet conditions, in a slight curve, no wonder that he went sideways. Or am I to believe he should have been able to slow down, say, at 100 km/h in a straight line, without sliding, all in 4 seconds, in order to pass the VW on the right? He should have been driving at 100 km/h. On the Autobahn. Yeah, right.

    Moreover, he also said he drove about 500,000 kilometers at very high speeds, during which he crashed 13 cars. That’s 1 crash per 38,000 kilometers (or about 24,000 miles), at high speed. Do F1, NASCAR drivers do better? Sure.

    So, that guy may be narcissistic, weird, idiot, whatever, but please spare me the political correctness. And, frankly, any guy that succeeds, at least for a while, in scr*wing the record labels will always get my vote.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    Death Race 3, here we come, starring Kim Dotcom.

  • avatar
    MattPete

    What a douche.

  • avatar
    WRohrl

    “The car went off the runway during a controlled high speed spinning manouver and slid on ice until it crashed into a parked Cessna airplane.”

    Nothing about that controlled spinning maneuver sounds controlled…unless the intent was to crash into a Cessna.

    Moron. Pretty much the same as I thought of Baruth after his early writings on this site. Jack has significantly improved (or has learned what not to brag about) but this clown? I don’t know.

  • avatar
    Bryce

    Even if Kim.com gets bail the NZ police impounded his fleet so hes on foot mow.

  • avatar
    korvetkeith

    Remember when he was hyping a gumball style race with a $1 million prize and feature length movie? I wonder if anyone forked over the $50k fee?

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    If he’s on foot- I feel safer already.

  • avatar
    onthercks07

    Well well, crashing at 100+ mph probably is the ONLY scenario where being a pompous, morbidly obese buffoon is actually a good prognostic factor. It’s a blessing to have this moron off the streets. Also, while no one wants the internet to be a corporate-dominated store, there’s also something to be said where you have to be stupid to be as blatant of an internet pirate as this fat cat was. If I was a musician or actor, I’d probably want to make money off my product as well…

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    Really interesting to see Kim Jong .com’s written English – he writes like a native speaker with poor spelling, not like your average German with correctly spelled words arranged weirdly.

  • avatar
    grzydj

    If SOPA had passed, that MB Forum could have shut this site down for swiping that text about his lack of driving skillz.

    I’m sure his next post there will be about pushing a book cart around prison if he ever earns that privilege.

    Kim was here.

  • avatar
    JJ

    Apparently he ratted out some of his hacker buddies to the popo in his earlier endeavours. I can excuse the hoontastic behaviour as he hasn’t made any victims but the ratting out part…not so much.

    The guy is clearly a douchebag. That said I’m interested to see how the court case will play out for him and his closest minions (just read the Dutch guy is already out on bail for now…).


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