The Teutonic Knight Has Fallen

Dylan’s VW GTI Was Totaled

Dylan did such an awesome job with scholarships this year that he got more funds than the entirety of his tuition, books, fees, room and board. Consequently, I anted up for a very nice 2002 VW GTI as his new ride.

It was nicely tricked out by its original owner, with custom wheels, low profile racing tires, woven stainless steel hoses, high performance belts, cold air intack, high-pressure turbo, etc, etc, etc. It produced over 350 horsepower and even more torque. Dylan was a conservative driver and didn’t abuse it or push it hard. Unfortunately, we forgot that 0-to-60 in 4.5 seconds and a scorching quarter mile time does not also translate into great braking capabilities or traction in water.

So on a recent stormy night, with deep water on the road, the Teutonic Knight hydroplaned into a very solid oak tree despite Dylan’s best driving moves. He called at just a few minutes after midnight pretty shaken up. I got out there soon after and made sure everyone was ok. Dylan and his girlfriend were shaken up, but thanks to the enormous number of airbags, in great shape overall. I ran his girlfriend home then came back to helped with the police report. Dylan and I waited for another 30-45 minutes waiting for the tow truck, slowly getting drenched to the bone.

Dylan was really shaken up and upset. But also recognized that there was a silver lining to this heavy-laden cloud. First, everyone was safe and well. Second, the wreck happened on a lightly traveled road, so there were no worries of other cars or a busy intersection. Third, I was home, in town, and available to help out. Finally, we have good insurance. Of course, he was at fault in the wreck and our insurance will probably show the toll.

The outside damage was not as bad as I expect. But what really startled me was the total devastation to the interior wrought by those exploding airbags. The airbags didn’t have tidy, little compartment doors to pop out of. So when they “deployed”, the front airbags literally eviscerated the dash, the side curtain airbags destroyed the ceiling, the side airbags mutilated the seats, and of course the driver’s airbag demolished the steering wheel.

It didn’t take much over and above the utter destruction of the interior to add up to “TOTALED”. It was a great car, and I’d recommend them again, but it’s dead now. :^(


  1. OUCH! At least he's OK. Erika had a similar hydroplaning experience with her first Jetta several years ago, oddly, and totaled it. I'm really looking forward to the upcoming federal standard that mandates stability control on all new cars. What a lifesaver.

  2. The incredible part of this story is: DYLAN HAS A GIRLFRIEND!

  3. Wow, Brent, I wonder if it's a VW thing?

    And Em, yes, it's incredible especially because he's managed to hang on to this one!

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