Car enthusiasts are shedding a collective tear after a rare, nearly $1 million Porsche went up in flames Sunday night.
All that remained of the back end of the Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid was a twisted metal shell after the vehicle burst into flames at an Esso gas station at the corner of Highway 10 and King Street.
Longtime Cheltenham resident David Perry, 20, was driving by when he saw the wreckage and stopped in to take some photos and find out what was going on.
“I hung around and spoke with the owner,” said Perry, 20. “He was a really cool guy. He was staying positive about it. He was joking around saying, ‘does anyone have any touch up paint.’
“It’s not often that you see a blown up car, let alone a million dollar car.” – David Perry.
The car is owned by Michael Wekerle of CBC’s Dragons’ Den.
The Enterprise was not able to speak with Wekerle directly, however, CBC posted an article on its Dragon’s Den blog Monday afternoon confirming the $845,000 vehicle loss.
According to CBC, the new ‘Dragon’ had just picked up the brand new Porsche on Sept. 3.
Perry said when the charred vehicle was towed away on a flatbed, Wekerle broke out a harmonica and started playing a melancholic song.
The incident unfolded around 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
“He (the driver) was pumping gas and it overfilled and caught fire,” said Suren Thanearajah who was working at the station Sunday and saw the situation unfold from inside the station.
Thanearajah called 9-1-1 and police and firefighters arrived shortly after to find the Porsche engulfed in flames.
Caledon Fire Deputy Chief of Operations Darryl Bailey said the call came in about a vehicle fire, but after learning the proximity to a gas station the incident was upgraded to a commercial fire.
Bailey said the flames extended to the pumps, but no one was injured.
“From what I understand the gentleman was filling up his vehicle and somehow the vehicle caught fire,” said Bailey. “Our fire prevention is going to be doing an investigation.”
As for the driver of the luxury car, Thanearajah said he darted away from the vehicle and could only watch as the Porsche burned.
Several passersby got out their cell phones and shot footage of the carnage, shocked to see such an expensive and rare vehicle on fire.
“We are aware of media reports of a burning 918 Spyder at a gas station in the Toronto area,” said Patrick Saint-Pierre, Manager, Public Relations for Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd. “Porsche is very concerned but cannot comment as we have no other source of information except these media reports at this time.He went on to say that “We are first and foremost happy that apparently no injuries and other damage have resulted from the incident as reported. Porsche is prepared to bring its technical resources to help all authorities who are investigating the matter.”
According to Porsche Canada Ltd, the 918 Spyder is a 2015 model year vehicle and only 918 will be produced worldwide.
“It’s not often that you see a blown up car, let alone a million dollar car,” added Perry.