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Posted Sunday, December 4, 2011
A massive pileup of expensive sportscars left a highway in Japan shut for six hours as crews worked to clean up $3 million worth of carnage.
A Sunday drive has ended in a $3 million nightmare, with eight Ferraris, three Mercedes-Benzes and a Lamborghini involved in a 14-car pile-up in Japan.
Police said the pile-up happened on the Chugoku Expressway in Yamaguchi Prefecture about 10.15am yesterday, with 10 people hospitalised with minor injuries.
Japan's largest English language newspaper, The Daily Yomiuri, reported the crash happened on a curve of the road and one Mercedes-Benz was driving in the oncoming lane.
Damaged luxury cars .... from top to bottom, a Ferrari F355, a Ferrari 360 Modena, a Ferrari 355, a Ferrari 360 Modeno, a Ferrari Testarossa, a Toyota Prius and a Ferrari F430 Scuderia. Photo: AP
ANN news video of the crash aftermath shows the sportscars lying mangled on the road, a mess of ripped metal, broken glass and snapped alloy wheels, with several cars wedged up against metal barriers.
About $3 million worth of supercars and luxury coupes from the 1980s to today - and a Toyota Prius - were damaged in the crash.
According to a translated report from the Asahi Shimbun the smash occurred when one of the Ferraris hit a median strip.
Crash ... police officers examine three damaged Ferraris. Photo: AP
The report said there was then a series of crashes over 400 metres as the drivers went around the bend, with car parts flying through the air.
The group of drivers was made up of self-employed "car enthusiasts", who were travelling from Kyushu to Hiroshima.
A 36-year-old self-employed man from Kanzaki, Saga Prefecture, said he was driving in the opposite lane at the time of the accident.
Pile-up ... fourteen cars were involved in the crash. Photo: AP
"Cars were making a tremendous noise," he said.
The pile-up made headlines around the world, with the UK's Mirror reporting "it could be the most expensive car crash ever".
The cars involved included at least two Ferrari F430s (one was the race-ready Scuderia, these days worth more than $400,000), two Ferrari 360 Modenas (each worth almost $200,000), two Ferrari F355s (each worth about $150,000) and a Lamborghini Diablo (one of the most expensive supercars of the 1990s and still likely worth upwards of $200,000). There was also a Nissan GT-R - the only current Japanese supercar - while the cheapest invovled in the crash was a Toyota Prius hybrid, worth closer to $20,000.
It is the second high profile crash involving expensive luxury cars this year. Another – involving a Bentley, Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz – occurred in Monaco earlier this year.
Published by The Sidney Morning Herald, December 4, 2011.
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