By on December 1, 2013

Image courtesy Autoblog

Fast and Furious star Paul Walker lost his life last night While riding passenger in a Porsche Carrera GT driven by fellow gentleman racer Roger Rodas. The car struck a tree and burned; both Mr. Walker and Mr. Rodas failed to survive.


The autoblogosphere’s been busy mining the accident for clicks and as a result there’s already some detailed coverage. From AutoWeek‘s Steven Cole Smith, there are two pieces. One covers the driving career of Roger Rodas, Mr. Walker’s partner in “Always Evolving”, a West Coast tuner whose “ae” logo appears in several of the Fast and Furious films. His other piece covers the Carrera GT itself, which had six owners and changed hands at prices ranging from $450,000 to $339,000.

Other articles have covered a variety of the salient points that come up any time the Carrera GT is discussed:

  • Walter Rohrl crashed the Carrera GT twice during testing, noting that he had serious concerns about the car’s on-the-limit behavior
  • “Internet Entrepreneur” Corey Rudl crashed a Carrera GT during an FCA trackday at Fontana Speedway, resulting in a lawsuit which was settled for $4.5m.
  • EVO magazine recently claimed that changing the tires on the Carrera GT absolutely “transformed the behavior” of the Carrera GT, changing it from terrifying to brilliant, or something like that.
  • Former PCNA employee and TTAC contributor Doug DeMuro has declared that the Carrera GT is the most dangerous car on the road.

There are very few details about the crash — and given that the car burned to the ground and the witnesses appear to have been late to the scene, there may not be any more. It could have been a mistake on the part of the driver or a mechanical failure — or it’s possible, that while driving around an office park, Mr. Rodas managed to reach those terrifying limits of which we’re all read so much. Regardless of that, the fact are this: Paul Walker was a racer, he was a car guy, he was one of us, he’ll be missed. RIP.

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100 Comments on “NASA Racer and Film Star Paul Walker Killed In Carrera GT Crash...”


  • avatar
    jeffzekas

    Gotta wonder: was it the driver, or the car? so sad…

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    As both a car and movie enthusiast it’s a sad day. RIP Paul and Roger. Apart from being a real gearhead, Paul Walker also seemed to be a genuine ‘good guy’ and down to earth compared to many other Hollywood celebrities. As I was involved in a pretty serious collision myself (not my fault, and whole family is OK, but car was totaled) just last night, I know how fast these things can happen.

  • avatar
    Ishwa

    Yikes Zykotec! Glad to hear everyone is ok after that.

    RIP Roger Rodas & Paul Walker.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    We wish you Godspeed, Mister Walker.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    An important note on the trackday settlement is that Porsche was only liable for 8% of it. It is an interesting example of what can happen, legally, when a trackday goes bad.

    Since SCM has a paywall I’ll post this article, still referring back to it, that I found:

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2007/10/porsche-pays-360k-to-settle-carrera-gt-lawsuit/

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    Just finished watching Paul in a Sundance movie production and open my mail to this report.

    I understand the feelings his loved ones are feeling when word comes of the untimely tragic death of someone they love and care for, someone so young and full of life.

    The possibility of life changing in a millisecond is always there in a performance car when its potential is tapped. Doesn’t matter your skills, use a car at or near its limits, and it can bite anyone.

    After many years of appliance ownership, my brother just picked up a Miata I found for him. With our families history and our own early escapades together in sports cars, we didn’t take a first ride in it together before he took it home. We are both still marked by that fateful day so many years ago and don’t want to revisit the painful past by tempting fate, again. A repeat of that day would kill my sainted Mother.

    And I still worry that pushing him to get, and helping him get back into a sports car after all these years, may not have been the best idea, but then sitting in a lounger in front of a damn TV isn’t living…

    Rest, knowing you lived, Paul.

    Hell, must be knowing that there could have been so much more… and so it goes.

  • avatar

    Rest In Peace.

  • avatar
    imag

    I would be curious if the GT was wearing the new Michelins. They apparently cure the knife-edge handling.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    It seems pretty clear that the lack of effective electronic intervention to help save one’s ass in this car given its tendency to run off leash was a poor judgment call on Porsche’s part…

    …tires, etc. notwithstanding.

    There may be such a thing as too high a power-to-weight ratio, especially for a car driven on public roads.

    Jeremy Clarkson calls out the GT for lack of electronic intervention saying make a mistake “and it will kill you:”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghYb-MK0pG4&feature=player_detailpage#t=276

    p.s. – Didn’t Ryan Dunn & his friend & production director from ‘Jackass,’ Zachary Hartwell, die in a Porsche GT in a similar manner (i.e. catastrophic crash with fiery wreckage post-collision)? Yes, I do realize Dunn was driving under the influence of alcohol, with a high BAC, and that it was estimated his vehicle was traveling at speeds between 132 mph and 140 mph at the point of impact.

    • 0 avatar
      tooloud10

      I believe Dunn’s accident was in a Porsche 997GT3, not a Carrera GT. Either way, every brand of car ever made will kill you if you force it past its limit, which is still possible to do in a car with electronic driving aids.

      It worries me to know that so many people seem to think there should be some kind of guarantee or something that you won’t get hurt when pushing a supercar to the extreme.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    Here we have a Porsche with 600HP, and a professional driver could not control it.

    Now we have new Camaros, Mustangs, and Challengers, some models with excessive levels of horsepower ( 500ish ), that will be low cost high mileage used cars which land up in the hands of high school kids in about 5 or so years. Imagine the horrific crashes. This is a moral issue.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      “that will be low cost high mileage used cars which land up in the hands of high school kids in about 5 or so years.”

      Due to the cost of insurance rates for bigh school kids and the lackluster economic picture for 16-20 year olds in North America at least, this isn’t likely. It isn’t the 1970s when a kid could buy a used musclecar with absolutely no modern safety equipment and pay for it with a part time job.

      • 0 avatar

        While you have reality in mind, there are still going to be those lucky kids who can (and will) have such cars as soon as they have a license, and not only might they be new and not used, but they might even be higher end. There’s also the odd chance that junior will grab the keys to the family Porsche and hoon it. It happens around here from time to time. Heck, one of my old bosses took her dads “quickest in the county” muscle car out with her friends when she was a teen back in the early ’70’s.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          A few years back, wasn’t there a group of friends who were out in the kid’s brand new M5 (provided by Daddy, of course), and who were all killed when the car went out of control at God-knows-how-far-into-triple-digits, launched into the air for the better distance of a football field, then was shredded in a grove of trees?

          Pennsylvania, I think.

          • 0 avatar
            sportsuburbangt

            It was in Ocala Florida at the airport.
            Sad story, too much car for the kids.

          • 0 avatar
            AlternateReality

            More accurately, at Jumbolair – the same place Travolta parks his 707.

            And it wasn’t all-that sad, from an evolutionary perspective.

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        Well, with a bunch of cheap minivans and SUV’s with around 300 horsepower getting in the hands of teens already, musclecars will not be our biggest problem…

      • 0 avatar
        doctorv8

        “It isn’t the 1970s when a kid could buy a used musclecar with absolutely no modern safety equipment and pay for it with a part time job.”

        Well, if you look at the number of modded 5 liter Mustangs, L98/LT1 Camarobirds, and C4 Corvettes for sale for well under $15k, cheap speed is highly accessible to those with income levels to match their driving skill.

        The 70s musclecars were nowhere near as fast. Scary.

    • 0 avatar
      3Deuce27

      Reg; “This is a moral issue.” Really? How about a common sense issue.

      Reg; “used cars which land up in the hands of high school kids” Here they get them new, while still in HS or for graduation, and that contributes to the annual carnage in early June. We have a barely recognizable Black Mustang sitting since Spring at a local service station with a big ‘MADD’ sign on it. Despite the grisly evidence of tragedy on display and the efforts of MADD, it still won’t stop the annual cycle of mayhem.

      Common sense dictates that you don’t tempt fate by buying your kid a hiperformance car when they have little experience driving anything.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I think Pandora has already dealt with that particular box.

      An ’86 Corvette might only have 230hp, but it can still go 140 and you’ll be just as dead when you hit a tree.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Worse for cars like Vettes and the like is the very high limits of adhesion, that once exceeded means leaving the road sideways at very high velocities…more or less a recipe for death. However, this is not a moral issue; today cars like jimmyyy’s precious Camry are awfully fast in top spec, and can keep up or exceed the speed of the old school musclecars. The better handling and braking might not save the rookie driver either.

        • 0 avatar
          TonyJZX

          it isnt a ‘moral issue’ at all

          there have always been high powered cars and stupidity

          people will be people and they will crash in all kinds of cars

          once we move to all electric, you can bet people will STILL kill themselves

  • avatar

    “Walter Rohrl crashed the Carrera GT twice during testing, noting that he had serious concerns about the car’s on-the-limit behavior”

    Should anyone be driving anywhere near the limit on public roads?

    Every time I hear about someone putting a car like this into a tree or similarly manage to exceed the car’s limits (like when hockey player Sergio Federov put his Ferrari, possibly an Enzo, into a tree), I have to assume they were driving in a manner not suitable for public roads. The “limit” of a Carrera GT is probably north of 1.0g. Even without electronic nannies you have to do something stupid to lose enough grip to go off the road. We’re not talking a fender bender here, an “accident”. We’re talking about driving in a race-like manner on public streets.

    I’ve been fortunate to be able to test drive some cars with serious horsepower, supercharged Jaguars, Hemi powered Chryslers, and I’d be lying if I said that I never tried to break the rear end lose on a public road (hell, I did it with a FWD Fiat 500 on one of my favorite corners near my house), but there’s a difference between getting a little wheelslip and putting a car with a Carrera GT or Enzo’s mechanical grip off of the road.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I haven’t driven a Porsche GT (or any TRUE exotics, for that matter), but from what I glean from the credible & competent drivers who have is that it’s not that the GT is incredibly fast or has a ridiculously high power-to-weight ratio that makes it dangerous (at least relative to other such cars), but that it serves little if any fair warning that it’s about to lose its composure.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      Why are overpowered cars on the road in the first place? I certainly don’t want to be driving alongside an overpowered vehicle … it is a threat to my life. The blame the driver of the high horsepower vehicle does nothing for my well being.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        Because freedom. Love it or leave it.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        What do you think is “overpowered”?

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          jimmyy, I can be just as much of a menace in a slow car as a fast one. The problem is that a responsible parent should not be buying their teen a high performance car. But I certainly should not be prevented from buying one.

          Behavior is a tricky thing when you are talking about young and inexperienced. As an example, I mention my nephew. He liked cars as a youngster, and I often would take him for fast drives, stressing why it was ok at some times, but not at others. He also learned that belts were not optional like his father told him. When he was a bit older, I taught him how to shift. I thought I did a good job of doing what his father did not. He even wrote a paper for his college admissions about the most influential person in his life – me. Yet, when he bought his first new car, a Mazdaspeed 3, he totaled it in under a year by swerving around a late braking Volvo, and clipping the Volvo with the right front of his car. No injuries, but a big financial hit which he had to absorb himself.

        • 0 avatar
          luvmyv8

          My Wrangler has 285 hp. That’s quite a bit for it’s small size.

          However I too enjoy my freedom to able to purchase anything I see fit. It’s having the common sense to not ‘hoon’ the car like an asshole. My Jeep is fast in a straight line, but I know damn well the thing will kill me if I drive like an asshole, especially in turns. I hate Porsches, couldn’t pay me to drive one. Evil handling pieces of shit in my opinion. If you have the means to buy one and that’s what you like, then you should have the freedom to buy it, just not my cup of tea and prefer vehicles that are less deadly.

          I’m not sure what happened in Paul Walker’s case, but seeing that the car was pretty much cut in half and exploded, a great deal of speed is suggested. Can’t say for certain until all the facts are accounted for.

          Either way, I grew up on the Fast and Furious movies and for the most part enjoyed them and Paul Walker did help the Nissan Skyline GT-R come into the mainstream when it was only known to Gran Turismo players and absolute hardcore JDM fans…. he was an avid GT-R fan… he personally owned a R34 GT-R and Brian O’Connor’s vehicle preference was GT-R’s; 2 R34’s, a Hakusaka 2000 GT-R (’69-’72) and the R35.

          RIP Paul Walker.

      • 0 avatar
        Loser

        Jimmyy, the only legitimate threat to your life is the Camry you drive that scored so poorly in crash tests.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        Your probably more at risk by the shoddily recapped tractor trailer tires or clapped out minivan with classic vehicle plates than most “overpowered” vehicles (with overpowered being a moving target, in 1994 a state police officer told me to slow it down with my powerful car – then a bone stock 91 LX 5.0 with a staggering 225hp from the factory).

    • 0 avatar
      Travis

      Talk like this reminds me of a video where a young man with a turbocharged MK2 MR2 is doing a normal burnout on the street. As transitions from wheelspin into forward movement, the tires grip up, he launches forward, he lifts the gas which only increases traction and induces oversteer. He plows straight up the curb into a group of people at a car meet. He was doing well under the speed limit.

      I’m not going to make any assumptions about what happened, but there are plenty of things that can go wrong that don’t have to do with excessive speed or pretending you’re at a track.

      edit – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fw92qH0PlVE

      Not reediting what I said, but was kind of correct.

      • 0 avatar
        Elena

        I really know what you mean. I never owned a Porsche but moved a 911 once(1998). Just moved it. Not showing off: needed to make room to park a limo. I knew it was expensive and I was very careful. Covered parking lot, full of columns… I was letting the clutch go while giving some gas, slowly and smoothly. The thing jumped forward at a speed I could not believe and was barely able to react before hitting concrete. No damage to vehicles or structures and no one was watching. Still I refuse to even start a Porsche to this date. Owner claims clutch was defective but he got used to it (guess he was being nice). I know you can lose control at any speed.

        • 0 avatar
          mnm4ever

          so 15 yrs ago you had trouble with a “defective” clutch and you refuse to even start a Porsche because of it?? Don’t you think that’s a little extreme? How is it even the fault of the car? Do you think Porsche designs all their cars to ferociously launch off the line regardless of how little throttle you give it? What if the Porsche is an automatic?

          • 0 avatar
            Elena

            Extreme it is, I admit. I’m not saying it’s the car’s fault: I never even believed the clutch needed repairs. They’re just too quick for me. What I was trying to say is I could have crashed the thing without going too fast, showing off… all assumptions prevailing so far. I never drove an auto until I entered the States but even here have yet to see an automatic Porsche. Funny: I drive a Ford Explorer 2001, two door… They are supposed to roll over if you sneeze. I turn too fast, my passengers told me, still I know it’s safe. My boss drove a Porsche daily and was always smooth. OK being his passenger. Given the keys? No, thanks, I’ll unload my truck. Still scared, I guess.

          • 0 avatar
            mnm4ever

            That is funny because you are probably more likely to crash your Explorer than a Porsche, even with a stick! I wouldn’t assume its safe any more than I would assume a Porsche is dangerously overpowered.

            At low speeds most of them are pretty docile actually, the power comes on gradually, they are fairly easy to drive around town, even with a manual. Back in 1998 most were not all that powerful. Maybe you were in a turbo?? Perhaps an older 930 Turbo? They were scary.

            But I get your point, you can get in trouble even at low speeds. Honestly, I still will occasionally scare myself a little in my GTI when I get on it and it accelerates faster than I am ready for… objects can come up very quickly.

            As for seeing an automatic Porsche, probably half the ones you see for sale are “Tiptronic”, which is an automatic. Many of the sellers will advertise them as manuals with paddle shifters but they are really autos.

          • 0 avatar
            Elena

            Owner referred to it as Turbo 911. Rear spoiler matches the 930 you mentioned (google images) . Automatic transmissions listed as manual: had more than my fair share while looking at RX-8s. I heard plenty of good things about Tiptronic (shifting faster than all auto boxes around) but needless to say never experienced one. You are also right about the likelihood of crashing Explorers: In 2006 my truck was totaled after someone ran stop sign at a blind intersection. I swerved to avoid direct impact to front seat passenger (turned out to be unbelted 3 y/o boy, very low car), 2 of my tires on grass. She hit me anyway sending truck against utility pole. Cops and wrecker were amazed I didn’t flip over but I wasn’t. I knew it would climb gracefully at that steering angle. Long before the accident I tried a lot of weird maneuvers on deserted roads and parking lots in the middle of the night. I drove 200 miles to buy another identical Explorer. My boss can’t understand how I turn so fast considering truck’s height while I wonder how to start moving a Porsche without the beast lurching forward.

          • 0 avatar
            mnm4ever

            Turbo 911/930… that would explain the snap nature. They were the scary ones.

            The Porsche Tiptronic is not the fast shifting ones, the ones you are thinking of are the dual clutch transmissions, Porsche calls theirs the PDK, VW has the DSG, there are others. The old Tiptronic from Porsche shifted slower than my grandma. So did the auto with paddles in the RX8, they even de-tune the engine in the auto RX8s.

          • 0 avatar
            Elena

            I found a trick: if the picture doesn’t show the shifter it’s an auto. Why the misleading ads I don’t know. If you’re looking for a rotary engine (used!) most likely you can tell manual from auto. No matter how fast shifting I don’t want auto. When they fail no one wants to fix them. Already lost a 93 Maxima that way. Way too complicated to do it myself. And thank you! I’ll repeat every night until I fall asleep “If not a 930 I’ll be fine”

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      “like when hockey player Sergio Fedorov put his Ferrari, possibly an Enzo, into a tree”

      Tim Horton and his Pantera did a lot worse than that about forty years ago. (While on the topic of driving in a manner not suitable for public roads…)

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Damn, just damn.

    RIP

  • avatar
    Travis

    Too soon, junior.

  • avatar
    jco

    this is extraordinarily sad

    not just because of the film series. but because he was one of ‘us’. it seems like his enthusiasm and knowledge played a large part in shaping the cars used in the series. and he didn’t seem to fall into the Hollywood trap. or if he did, he kept it to himself, but he always seemed more genuine than that.

    i think this is a huge loss :(

  • avatar
    AJ

    I would assume that the driver had visited business parks before? Probably fairly common being that their empty of people and cars. It’s a shame that Walker didn’t get out of the car.

    • 0 avatar
      LeeK

      The driver owned the performance shop that he and Paul were driving to, which was located in the business park, so he was very familiar with the roads there. His eight-year-old son was at the shop awaiting his father’s return and ran to the accident to watch his father burn to death. Paul has a fifteen-year-old daughter. This is a very, very sad day for everyone, from automobile enthusiasts to the families of the two men to the fans of the Fast and Furious films. I am truly saddened by this news.

  • avatar

    This is the Top Gear (2008) piece on the car. With Clarkson warning us, “One mistake and it will bite your head off…”

    http://youtu.be/vE_WqdKbTvY

    The Stig had a rough time keeping it under control.

    That being said, what the hell is wrong with this car?

    Lastly, very much reminds me of James Dean’s death.

  • avatar
    Ben

    You can add Anthony Hamilton, Lewis Hamilton’s father, to the list of Carrera GT accidents.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2077344/Lewis-Hamiltons-father-crashes-Porsche.html

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOC1lrI1Ccs (apologies for the music)

  • avatar
    mypoint02

    Way too early to speculate, but these words from Robert Farago are pretty haunting…

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2007/10/porsche-pays-360k-to-settle-carrera-gt-lawsuit/#comment-81932

    RIP Mr. Walker and Rodas. My condolences to their friends and family.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I read Mr Farago’s comments, I think they should be skywritten above Wolfsburg. My condolences to the victim’s families, I hope they turn this occurrence into an international litigation.

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        To those commenting about the need for mandatory safety ‘requirement’ regulations and Porsche liability. My comment to Farago’s old article and comments on the tragic track incident involving a Porsche in 2007. The settlement on that was abominable, but what can we expect in a society where its always somebody else fault coupled with an at any cost, lottery mentality. We are lucky that settlement didn’t kill track days and performance cars.

        “Robert, are you trying to put a nail in the coffin of performance vehicles?

        I covet edged Tools/Weapons, I don’t have to read a warning label to know that they will cut me right out of the box. I also don’t want it shipped to me blunted and dull. Like wise I don’t want mandated nanny controls on my performance vehicles. All the dynamic vehicle controls won’t deny physics at the extreme limits and only encourage driving beyond the limits, because of the supposed safety net(and those fun, but unrealistic driving video games don’t help, either).

        Porsche’s only responsibility, is to build a car that won’t have critical parts breaking at its performance limits when new. And, I don’t have to buy them, one reason I have never owned a 911, is because of its inherent characteristics in certain situations, and because I have no confidence I can catch it when it instantly lets go. It is the same reason I don’t own the last iteration of the MR2, because of it tendency for snap polar rotation. It’s the same reason I don’t own a twin engine light plane, sudden asymmetrical power on take off, kills, because you can’t practice it safely and in some types is unrecoverable.

        But, I sure do agree with you on the performance of the Mustang live straight axle in a less then smooth corner. But, I don’t agree that Ford should be required to build it with IRS for what little safety might be enabled.

        Regards … Tre”

        • 0 avatar
          Shawnski

          I have driven IRS and LRA, and IRS has always struck me as more “tricky” at the limit. Mustangs tend to slide off the road nose first.

          RIP Paul.

        • 0 avatar
          imag

          Absolutely. The suggestion that Porsche engineers should feel responsible for this is sickening to me.

          For god’s sake – it’s a 600 horsepower performance car that does 200 mph. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that it’s not appropriate to fully deploy it on the street.

          If you take the line that Porsche is at fault, then it means they should just install speed and accelerator limiters on every vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            raph

            imag it seems like Porsche may have been chasing the numbers to hard with the GT and the tire they spec’d for the car while great for magazine articles and pulling great numbers looks to be entirely inappropriate for the public at large as from what I’m reading really contributed to the cars sketchy handling at the limit.

            This is something tire manufacturers learned back in the 80’s and early 90’s when they were essentially taking competition tires and branding them as high performance street tires. The tires had very high limits of adhesion but when you approached those limits the tire gave no warning and the would fail in spectacular fashion.

            After which tire manufacturers started designing more forgiving tires that would let the driver know when they were approaching the limit, albeit at the cost of some ultimate grip and steering response.

          • 0 avatar
            carlisimo

            “If you take the line that Porsche is at fault, then it means they should just install speed and accelerator limiters on every vehicle.”

            I don’t think Farago’s post implies that at all. He singled out the Carrera GT as particularly unpredictable. There’s a line to be drawn somewhere – for an audience used to ’50s landships, the early Corvair crossed it. For experienced sports car drivers, the Carrera GT seems to cross it too. Very few cars get called out in this way, which should demonstrate that hardly anyone is out to install limiters on every car.

          • 0 avatar
            michal1980

            Did you read farago’s post? I mean really read it.

            To me what stood out were this section.

            “I mean, I have NEVER driven a street legal car with a more difficult clutch. As for the CGT’s high speed handling, I had the rear end come out on me at 40mph. I was cornering on a dry road, going slightly downhill. I TAPPED the brakes. I was shocked. The incident occurred on part my usual test drive loop. I never had any oversteer issues on this segment at any speed. Cold tires? Small patch of grease? Nope. Just a completely unexpected tail slide. Without endangering life or limb, I soon discovered that the CGT’s back end would snap out of line without much warning. ”

            40mph and a spin out? Thats stupid. Thats what gets a manufacture in trouble.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    A sad thing to be sure , worse that his children were there .

    so now it’s accepted that Porsches , not people , kill people ? .

    That’s sarcasim there for the flamers .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    mikey

    Its a sad day for all of us “car people” be it the car, or be it the driver, doesn’t really make a whole lot of difference at this point eh?….

    May Paul rest in peace.

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    I’ll refrain from making a Tesla snark.

    RIP, Mr. Walker.

  • avatar
    GoFaster58

    I understand that there were some donuts and figure 8 marks on the pavement near the crash. Don’t know if they were related to the crash. Too many of these super cars are crashed by showing off. This one unfortunately had very tragic consequences.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    Sad sad. I couldn’t believe it when I started checking my FB feed yesterday.

    RIP Mr Walker.

  • avatar
    johnny ro

    There are worse ways to go than in a turbo Porsche. Although I’d rather die in one on the Ring than on the street, risking others illegally.

  • avatar

    In the early days of the high boost turbo 911 there was a fatal crash on Rodeo Drive, I believe. The woman at the wheel was killed. The family litigated saying the car was dangerous. I think they lost. Anyone else remember this case? It was covered pretty extensively in the enthusiast press at the time, usually with a “how dare they sue Porsche?” spin.

    Ah, found it. The woman wasn’t killed, it was her passenger and it was in La Jolla, not Beverly Hills. The case is Garisson v. Porsche. $2.5 million award from a jury that said the 930 was not safe for public streets. Upheld on appeal. Porsche subsequently started offering specialized driver’s training to buyers of the 930.

    Interestingly, I found the info in a forum thread about a Carrera GT being totaled in a 2006 crash:

    http://forums.pelicanparts.com/porsche-911-technical-forum/260986-carrera-gt-totalled-1-2-mile-my-home.html

    • 0 avatar
      ExPatBrit

      Not exactly canyon racing, gotta wonder what on earth happened? Did something malfunction with that car?

      Experienced driver, dry fairly flat modern wide side street, no traffic, no other vehicles late weekend afternoon?

      RIP guys.

  • avatar
    Adam

    I am an auto enthusiast and total mark for “The Fast & The Furious” franchise. In 2001 I had the girl I was dating at the time take me to see “The Fast & The Furious” for my birthday.

    RIP Paul Walker. Thanks for the many entertaining films, being a real auto enthusiast, your charity work, and most of all for being a genuine, down-to-earth guy.

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      “In 2001 I had the girl I was dating at the time take me to see “The Fast & The Furious” for my birthday.”

      And you DIDN’T MARRY HER?

      Wow.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      The first date I went on with my wife (then girlfriend) was to see The Fast & The Furious. She loves the movies almost as much as I do, seen the entire series multiple times and we are both total marks for the movies as well. Although I suspect she likes them more because of Paul Walker than for the cars, but whatever. And yes I did marry her partially because of this… LOL

  • avatar
    Matt Fink

    Looks like the car used to be owned by Graham Rahal. Here’s what he had to say about it:
    “I get bored with cars pretty quickly,” “The Carrera GT is just harder to drive, and I drive my cars a lot.”

    Rahal compared the Carrera GT to a 2010 Ferrari 599 GTO. Some of his observations and his descriptions of how difficult the Carrera was to drive are chilling in light of the crash.

    “It says it has traction control, but that traction control on that car is not going to do a thing to save you,” Rahal said. “And that’s what I love about it. Part of me is very happy about it and part of me regrets it. It was a great, great car.

    Very sad.

  • avatar
    mcs

    Powerful cars can be like owning a pet tiger. Beautiful, powerful, sleek, expensive to maintain, and they impress the hell out of your friends – but one mistake and the thing will rip your face off.

  • avatar

    Has the world gone mad?

    Two guys die in a modern, high performance car on the road (a business park!!) and most people assume the car was at fault? This would appear to be most unlikely. If you crash so hard on the road that you die and car is engulfed in flames almost certainly the fault lies with an excess of speed over talent.

    Oh and what’s with the clumsy “failed to survive”?

    • 0 avatar
      Adub

      I am sure that improper driving was a factor, whether speeding or doing a burnout that got away from them, but it actually doesn’t take that much speed in a collision with a tree to kill the occupants. Trees don’t crumple like cars, and because the force is concentrated over such a narrow area, cars really will wrap around a tree (light poles are designed to break off in an accident). However, hitting a light pole and jumping a curb probably ripped open the fuel tank. Maybe onboard fire suppression systems will be the next mandate???

      • 0 avatar
        mk4turbo

        I wrecked a 1987 Porsche 944 turbo into 7 trees and a fence sideways and didn’t have my car cut in 2. I bounced off them like a ping pong ball. I wrecked my car because I was 17 and driving it way harder than I should have when not on a track. I’m fairly sure that’s the exact same thing that happened to them.

        Vehicles don’t magically hop off a road into a tree and light on fire. Almost always a driver issue.

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      Completely agreed.

  • avatar
    84Cressida

    It’s very sad that he died, as I am a fan of the F&F franchise. RIP.

    That said, it’s pretty evident why this car crashed, and it seems many here are either in denial or want to find another scape goat.

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      I think it’s premature to make a definitive conclusion as to the cause of the crash until it is investigated by professionals.

      Have you been to the scene and investigated it in a professional manner?

      • 0 avatar
        OldandSlow

        It is undeniable that driver error was what caused the car to leave the roadway. The light pole and the tree being in the way was by chance.

        It was a tragic combination. I drive a stretch of road daily which is much more dangerous than this one and do so with the up most caution. Numerous hundred year old oaks are inches from the curb.

        Even at 40 mph, no motor vehicle could hold up to striking a telephone pole, tree or both simultaneously at midships while sliding sideways like this Porsche did. Was a 40 mph collision enough to split the car into two pieces? Possibly.

        • 0 avatar
          Firestorm 500

          Your conclusions are not valid for several reasons.

        • 0 avatar
          Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

          “Even at 40 mph, no motor vehicle could hold up to striking a telephone pole, tree or both simultaneously at midships while sliding sideways like this Porsche did. Was a 40 mph collision enough to split the car into two pieces? Possibly.”

          If any could, it’d probably be a Tesla. The battery would knock a pole down, and probably do a number on a tree.

          http://wgnsradio.com/one-car-crash-downs-utility-pole-and-closes-thompson-lane-cms-14372

  • avatar
    doug-g

    The infamous “fiery death”. Oh, well. I’m not in the will; sucks to be them.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    The comments here remind me of some things I read in Car and Driver decades ago. The first was on what race car drivers drove when not on the track. For most, it was either some kind of standard Mercedes or rental sedan. These guys’ ‘need for speed’ were satiated more than enough on the track and didn’t need or want to drive the same way (or the same type of vehicles) while in the civilian world.

    In that regard, there was an article on Jackie Stewart in which his civilian driving was observed. When on the street, he never drove above the speed limit (and this was when it was 55mph on the highway). The thing was, all his actions were extremely smooth and coordinated. On the track, he drove exactly the same way, just at much higher speeds.

    Likewise, it was also interesting to read stories by the race mechanics who had to tear down transmissions of the cars driven by specific Formula drivers after a race. Stewart’s transmissions would be in good shape, while those of, say, Mario Andretti, would be torn up pretty well.

  • avatar
    The Soul of Wit

    Porsches don’t kill people. Stupid people in Porsche’s kill people.

  • avatar
    The Soul of Wit

    I object to the characterization of Roger Rodas as ‘gentleman racer.’

    Gentleman racers don’t push cars to the edge anywhere but the appropriate venue…i.e., a track day.

    To quote Stephen King, “Go out yourself and you are a hero. Take anyone else with you and you’re dogpiss.”

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      “Gentleman racer” means “somebody who pays to drive” in this case :)

      And he was on his own property, with nobody around.

      • 0 avatar
        Firestorm 500

        Except his 8-year old son, who was waiting at the shop for him. The boy saw the fire, and the aftermath.

        Sad.

      • 0 avatar
        The Soul of Wit

        Sorry, I missed the part where he was on his own property. I thought I had read where he was in a ‘business park’ where other people were on the roads. If I was incorrect in my assumption, and he WAS on his own property or otherwise in a venue deemed safe, i.e., not likely to hurt other people, then I retract my comment.

  • avatar
    RRocket

    How soon until the conspiracy theorist jump on this one?

    I remember when Michael Hastings car hit a tree and burst into flames we were told over and over this just doesn’t happen! Even a speeding car doesn’t burst into flames when it hits a tree!

    Anyways..RIP. Walker sounded like a good guy.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    http://www.nbcnews.com/entertainment/paul-walker-was-real-hero-daughter-heart-soul-his-charity-2D11683842

    New details: police say Rodas lost control at 40-45mph in a curve with a 15mph posted limit (possibly a yellow ‘suggested speed’ sign, not clear). I think that lends some credence to Farago’s comments about the Carrera GT’s suspension being rather unsorted.

    • 0 avatar
      mk4turbo

      There’s no reason to push a car that hard on the street. Not all variables are controlled. On a track if you push hard wreck and light on fire there is a truck to extinguish it. That’s a driver error and not an issue with the car. Know your cars limits and follow the posted signs and you won’t wreck.

  • avatar
    vaujot

    Well, it’s all over the news today that the widow of Walker’s driver is suing Porsche.
    https://news.search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A0LEV0dRKXJTaCsAPhBXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0Z3BhbHZyBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1ZJUDQxNF8x?p=Paul+Walker&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-658&fr2=newsdd

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