By on March 9, 2017


If you live in the Upper Midwest or in southern Ontario, this won’t come as news to you: one of the worst windstorms in the region’s history swept through on Wednesday. Wind gusts of up to 68 miles per hour were recorded in the Detroit area. In southeastern Michigan alone, over 800,000 households and businesses were without electrical power after winds tore down trees and utility lines.

Fortunately for Lincoln Russell, who lives in Detroit’s Westbridge neighborhood, he was in Montreal when the storm blew through town. Unfortunately for Mr. Russell, he also left his dearly beloved 2007 Fahrenheit Edition Volkswagen GTI parked on the street back home. Shortly after noon, the high winds apparently encouraged a large tree with a trunk about three feet in diameter to make like one of Tolkein’s Ents and try to cross the street. Unlike Middle Earth’s traveling topiary, Detroit’s trees are not supernatural and this one came tumbling down, crushing Russell’s GTI and nearly knocking down a utility pole in the process.


The metallic orange VW was Russell’s dream car. His roommate told the Detroit News that a year ago Russell traveled all the way to New Jersey to buy it. Volkswagen sold just 1,200 of them in 2007. In addition to the unique paint, the special edition came with “Fahrenheit” badging, a unique vehicle number displayed on the steering wheel, “European sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels, Fahrenheit orange interior accent trim, and Fahrenheit orange contrasting stitching on the floor mats, shifter boot, brake handle and steering wheel.”

The car is now completely destroyed.

Russell’s roommate, Brian Ambrozy, had the sad duty of telling his friend of the GTI’s demise. Then, since this is 2017, Ambrozy posted photos on his Twitter account, asking, “If a tree falls in #Detroit and there’s no one to answer any phones, did it really happen?” There’s no word yet on Russell’s reaction. I hope he had comprehensive coverage on his auto insurance, but it is a 10-year-old car…

Maybe someone could set up a GoFundMe page to help Mr. Russell replace his dream car. shows about a half dozen orange Farenheit GTIs for sale between five and ten thousand dollars.

[Image source: Brian Ambrozy/Twitter]

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29 Comments on “Orange Crushed: Farenheit Edition GTI Gets ‘Ented’ as Windstorm Sweeps Midwest...”

  • avatar

    Here in NY’s Finger Lakes region, a freight train was blown off the tracks.

    A train.

    • 0 avatar

      Several auto rack cars were blown over by high winds during a storm in Central Texas (near Thrall) a couple of weeks ago. There were a couple of tornadoes in the area, but it’s believed straight-line winds (maybe from a microburst) blew the train cars over.

      • 0 avatar

        It probably happens more than we realize. Freight trains are fairly top-heavy, but hooked together, train cars and engines help keep each other on the rails. 100 MPH gusts can knock-over a freight train, under “perfect” circumstances.

  • avatar

    I was thinking yesterday that Dieselgate means the TDI Cup Edition won’t exist anymore.

  • avatar

    Parked on the street, in Detroit, and it wasn’t stolen or stripped? But then, it is a Volkswagen.

    • 0 avatar

      Looks like no one is buying the Fahrenheit editions anyway, so I don’t think he’ll have a hard time replacing it with the same thing. There’s one in Raleigh, NC that’s apparently been on Cargurus for 494 days.

  • avatar
    Orangecar Blackheart

    Rest in Peace.

    Such a beautiful car… at least now God and his Angels are hooning it in auto heaven.

    I’ll do some donuts for you, my Orangecar brother.

  • avatar

    If he can afford to live in a Detroit neighborhood where a car like that hasn’t been boosted in short order, he can afford to replace it.

    it’s Woodbridge, by the way.

  • avatar

    I’ve got to say, I like it! But I’ll withhold judgement until Sajeev gives it the Vellum Venom treatment.

  • avatar

    Orange vest VW.. should have worn it’s ANSI helmet. There, that will teach it.

  • avatar

    Couldn’t you have waited until it was in the junkyard to report this breathtakingly relevant piece of news? Y’know, “one example of the world’s second-most-built car destroyed.” Had it been a rare vehicle, such as a Renault 14 or Simca 1309, I might’ve understood …

  • avatar

    That’ll buff out.

  • avatar

    Mother Nature weighs in on VW’s Emissions scandal ;)

  • avatar

    No, it should be if a tree falls on a VW and no one is around does the MAF sensor still fail?

  • avatar

    Sick stance bro! Love the subtle reverse rake! What bags you running in back?

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    It could be rebuilt as a Basket handle Cabrio. Or have the rear half of a Jetta grafted on as a Jetta coupe.

  • avatar

    Always thought the GTI would look better as a fastback…

  • avatar

    “Maybe someone could set up a GoFundMe page..”

    Or maybe he could just call his insurance company. He may actually get more from homeowners insurance than his auto coverage. The way that tree shattered it looked more dead than alive; should have had it taken down long before. Trees along curb strips never seem to develop proper root systems.

  • avatar

    I thought the back now looks just like a orange Porsche 914

  • avatar

    At least it didn’t hit that nice, gentrified house. I like those windows.

    Heh.. wish I could chisel a big “CAFE” into the tree.

  • avatar

    Jalopnik style Ronnie.

  • avatar

    Yesterday’s winds were definitely out of character so to speak. They produced a pretty significant amount of damage locally including a USPS truck meeting a similar fate as the VW above.
    We are on the tail end of a 5 day turn around at work with several large picks each day. Knowing the winds were coming we started at 3am to get a jump on the day and were wrapped up with 90% of the days lifts by the time things really started kicking up. The one job that was ongoing went through lunch and the asshat operator left without sucking his boom back in, mean while the winds went from a sustained 20+mph to 45+ mph gusts. I jumped up in it to suck everything in and watched in horror as the anemometer spiked 26 m/s. That particular crane is a pinned boom configuration with a single telescoping cylinder that individually extends/retracts all 6 boom sections.
    It takes approximately 8 minutes to fully retract all 197 ft of boom on that machine.
    My ass dam near swallowed the seat in those 8 minutes. Cranes have gone over with alot less.

  • avatar

    That’s not how you do wood grain paneling, too bad it was the Fahrenheit edition, if it had been the Celsius edition there would have been -32*5/9 as much damage?

    Seriously, at least he wasn’t in it. Cars can be replaced.

    We were pretty lucky that a large branch falling from our maple landed just right and missed both our vehicles and our neighbors car. The the pool cover was trying to escape so my son weighed down the edge with 8 summer wheels, so it stayed put. Good car guy solution.

  • avatar

    Ouch!! It shall never bestow its orange glow when one’s feeling low. Instead, it needs a tow, and onward, it shall go.

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