As careful as they are, classic car drivers aren’t any more immune to back luck than the average Camry driver. And while parking lot fender benders and intersectional collisions may be the norm for normal cars, the classic car world can be downright bizarre at times. Here are five classic examples from the files of classic car insurer Hagerty:
- Goat Bites Pony Car: A South Carolina family hosted a birthday party for their son. Since the children at the party needed access to the bicycles in the garage, the door was left open for easy entry. Unfortunately, that left the family’s classic 1965 Ford Mustang in harm’s way, not just from the kids at the party but the “kids” from down the street — the neighbors’ goats. The goats escaped from their pen, found their way into the garage and jumped on top of the Mustang repeatedly and munched on the top.
- There’s a Snake in my Jag!: The owner of a classic 1971 Jaguar E-Type, invigorated by the spring sunshine and eager to take his car out for its first drive of the season, tossed back the cover, cranked the engine and hit the road. Minutes into the drive, however, the Jag’s engine began to overheat. After the car was flat-bedded to a service station, the mechanic discovered a large snake wrapped around the drive-belt pulleys, causing the belts to slip off and the car to overheat. We understand that the well-done snake tasted just like chicken.
- Gator no Aid to Classic Chevy: One night, the owner of a 1940 Chevy Custom Coupe was cruising along a Louisiana highway, returning home after a trip to town, when he struck something in the road. He wasn’t sure what he had hit, and since the Chevy was still drivable, he drove the car the rest of the way to his home. But after a quick inspection revealed extensive damage to the front and passenger side of the coupe, he knew that he’d hit something big — and he needed to know what. So the driver returned to the scene in his regular-use vehicle and found a 12-foot alligator — along with another motorist who had also struck the unfortunate crocodilian.
- Flip Flops and Bugs Don’t Mix: Summer is the season for classic cars. It’s also the season for sandals and flip flops — which increase the risk of an accident because they can slide off your feet or get caught on a pedal. That’s exactly what happened to the owner of a 1979 VW Super Beetle Cabriolet, who was wearing flip flops after spending the day at the beach with his son. While driving home, his flip flop got caught on the gas pedal at an intersection, and while trying to free it, he crossed the center line and struck an oncoming car. Fortunately, nobody was severely injured, but the Bug was a total loss.
- Valet Mayhem: In a scene that probably conjured up images of the miscreant valets in the classic John Hughes film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” a barely post-adolescent valet decided to show off to his friends while parking a late-model Maserati with predictable results: He lost control of the car and struck a Jeep that was being parked by another valet, and the Jeep crashed into a classic Porsche 356SC coupe, totaling it.