It didn't take long for another valet parking fiasco to strike...
Information about what happened is limited. According to WSOC TV9 in Charlotte, North Carolina, a 26 year old valet worker lost control of a 1965 Shelby Cobra replica and smashed it into the concrete base of a light pole.
A witness said she saw the valet drive the car away from the valet stand at a very high rate of speed. That's a bit odd, since most valets seeking to have some fun will at least drive the car around the corner, out of sight of the boss and customers, before getting a taste of a car's performance capabilities.
According to WSOC TV, the car apparently took off unintentionally, and the valet lost control while trying to get the car out of gear.
The news article said the damage is estimated at $5000. Ah... I don't think so. As you can see from the video above, this car sustained major damage.
This is (was) an unusual car. It's not something valets routinely drive and understand. If you hand over the keys to any type of vehicle that is not ordinary or mainstream, you definitely have heightened risk of a valet parking fiasco befalling you.
I drove over 10,000 cars during my valet parking days. We never saw one of these at work. I only parked one old muscle car the whole time I was there.
There does not appear to be any other news coverage or other chatter about this story. I'd really like to know more...
Well, am I surprised something like this happened? No.
Anything that you can imagine going wrong with a valet parking transaction can go wrong and will go wrong to somebody, somewhere at some point.
It's valet parking roulette. Usually you get lucky with perfect, flawless service. But then other times the shit hits the fan.
This story reminds me of the Ferrari 599GTB Fiorano that got wrecked about a month ago in Rome, Italy. It was widely reported that the valet mistook the gas pedal for the brake pedal. But another source said the crash actually happened after a valet took an unauthorized early morning joyride in it, while it's owner slept.
I can't be sure which story is true, but what is accurate is that Ferrari was another very unusual car not typically seen by valets. Unusual, out-of-the-ordinary cars, especially sports cars with a lot of horsepower, are risky to give to valet parking services.
UPDATE ON SHELBY COBRA STORY
Another news report has surfaced. According to a report by WCNC Charlotte, it appears a mechanical failure might have been the cause of this accident. The valet even applied the emergency brake in attempts to stop the car, which is pretty fast thinking.
Unfortunately, the valet was also injured in this crash. Here is the WCNC story.
(I'm still confused about how this happened...)