By on June 13, 2018

A Dodge Charger burst into flames after an impromptu drift exhibition for a crowd of people in a California parking lot on Monday morning. The local news, of course, framed the situation as an escalating threat to the community backed by hoards of street racers who just love illegal shenanigans — a half truth.

According to KTLA, the incident occurred shortly after midnight near the Walmart located in the Anaheim Plaza. Jaime Guzman, who works security for the area, said he was making his rounds when he saw a crowd gathered in the parking lot to watch vehicles perform a ludicrous amount of donuts. This claim was backed up by video footage 

Guzman claimed only three or four cars were showing off, one of which he said struck a tree. The other casualty was the aforementioned Dodge Charger. After finishing its run, smoke started billowing from beneath the hood until the front end was engulfed in flames.

Anaheim Fire Department firefighters responded to the scene and managed to put out the fire, but the police were unable to catch the driver. In fact, Officer Heinzel of the Anaheim Police Department said no arrests have been made in relation to the incident.

While this definitely wasn’t the safest idea in the world, we’re glad to see these Ken Block wannabes kept their automotive hijinks off public roads. If you’re going to accidentally hit someone, it might as well be somebody that chose to be there.

[Image: KTLA]

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29 Comments on “Late Night Car Meet Ends In Dodge Charger Flambé...”

  • avatar

    I hope he didn’t void his warranty.

  • avatar

    a 50-66% failure rate- not good. I weep for the poor hoon skills of America’s youth.

  • avatar

    No. Charger under-hood fires are covered under the normal wear and tear clause. I think.

  • avatar

    It’ll buff right out anyway, so no biggie.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    I will never, ever relate to drifting…absolute idiocy.

    • 0 avatar

      Drifting is a way to practice/demonstrate car control at the limit, and generally do it at fairly low speeds. Unlike drag racing on public streets, drifting accidents are rarely life-threatening.

      Even from the passenger seat, getting sideways in the twisties to the sound of a screaming inline-6 is a FRICKIN’ BLAST. Smiles for days.

      Japanese drifting vid, narrated by a presumably-mixed Japanese/Brazilian chick:

  • avatar

    Well, we now have one man’s real-life answer to the “Buy/Drive/Burn” TTAC series.

  • avatar

    So it turns out that reving your engine to redline constantly while barely moving doesn’t provide enough air flow to the engine. Interesting. Also can’t figure out how this happened at Walmart given the high standards of its customers.

  • avatar

    I don’t abuse my car but since it has a big engine I always carry a 2.5kg fry powder fire extinguisher with a flexible nozzle in my car at all times, just in case.

    • 0 avatar

      Once you have a fire going, it’s probably best to get out of the car and let it burn itself down. The last thing you want is to have your insurance adjuster fix the thing.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s dry powder, not fry (stupid typo).

        My car is worth a lot more than it’s insured for, since my insurer doesn’t cover the cost of the mods. So I’d prefer to avoid as much damage as possible in the event. Anyway, I’ve heard stories of people who have put out an engine fire quickly and been able to relatively easily fix the damage.

        Also, I think it’s a good idea to prevent the fire from spreading, even if the burning car has already been destroyed.

        The reason I got an extinguisher with a flexible nozzle is that I’m told the safest thing to do if there’s a fire under the hood is to crack the hood and then stick the nozzle into the gap and spray into the bay. If you open the hood completely (which would not be easy anyway) you’re adding oxygen to the fire and it could make it worse. And I’m told 1kg (2lb) extinguishers are too small to put out a bad fire, hence the larger capacity.

        • 0 avatar

          I know what you meant. I have several people put out their car fires and have it backfire (no pun intended) on them. The car ends up being fixed, and is usually down for a very long time getting parts. The best idea is to just let it burn unless the car is inside a garage that you would like to preserve. Take your insurance money instead of dealing with the nightmare of fire repair in your car.

  • avatar

    the last year of that body style LX Charger was 2010, that means it’s at least 8 year old.

    Is it possible that the LA area driver of the 8 year old Charger was the first owner who maintained it meticulously and the fire was solely due to a manufacturer defect? Sure. It is also possible I can still fit into my 28 waist size jeans.

    • 0 avatar

      We have a winner. Old enough with high enough miles ya got to stop blaming the manufacturer. Perhaps the gentleman was involved in something he shouldn’t have been and someone was trying to send him a message?

      We don’t blame Cadillac for the exploding Eldorado in Casino… :-)

  • avatar

    “Yeah, well, the Buster got me home”

  • avatar

    How can this happen in California? Isn’t this harming the environment and wasting our precious natural resources?

  • avatar

    Opening the hood, if there is an engine fire, is likely to singe whomever does the opening. It also could completely engulf them in flames.
    I extinguished a guy that did this. I saw the flames and smoke so I got a large CO2 unit. As I ran back to the car I saw the guy reach for the hood latch. I yelled at him not to open it. He did anyway. Flame flashed out and over him and I sprayed him with the CO2. Another guy ran up with another extinguisher and put out the engine. We gave it a few more shots to be sure.
    With the few seconds of fire there was no damage to the car. The fuel line was repaired and the driver was on their way.
    Not so good for the hood opener, singed eyebrows and 1st degree burns on face and hands. His polyester/cotton shirt and pants had started to melt.
    This happened at a car dealer service department. The service manager got irritated that the extinguishers needed to be recharged. I asked him what he thought it might cost to have a mechanic in the burn unit or fix/replace the car. He did not say anything and walked away.
    Also if dry powder is used on an engine fire, all of it needs to be cleaned away before the engine is run. The powder is very abrasive and will quickly ruin the engine. It can make it through the best air filter.

    • 0 avatar

      @pwrwrench thanks for the great dry powder information. I learned something new today already!

      • 0 avatar

        cognoscenti, The fire extinguisher powder is usually corrosive. If it is washed off with water a very complete job is necessary or everything it touches will look 50 years old in a short time.
        My very unscientific observation of this, is that it has an action something like battery acid mixed with brake fluid.
        It’s also toxic. Do not breathe it or ingest.

  • avatar

    Forget safety. Burning rubber while going nowhere is air pollution. And stupid beyond reason. May they all burst in flames.

  • avatar
    Carroll Prescott

    Drifting is for morons and hopefully the insurance company will reject this claim placing it entirely on the driftwood driving it.

  • avatar

    Yeah – I know I’m required to appreciate all kinds of motorsports…but I can’t work up much sympathy for these guys.

    You look at what they’re doing…it just screams “ignorant” to me.

  • avatar

    I’d still like an extinguisher with fry powder…

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