Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 | 2 a.m.
Actor Paul Walker’s death last week is putting the Porsche Carrera GT under scrutiny, but a Las Vegas exotic car mechanic said the car is no more prone to accidents than any other high-powered, high-performance street car.
Walker, known for his work in the “Fast and Furious” movie series, was a passenger in a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT with his driving team partner behind the wheel Saturday when it crashed into a pole and exploded in Valencia, Calif. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials say speed played a factor in the crash.
CNN.com reported the Porsche super car with a 600-horsepower, V-10 engine was “notoriously” difficult to handle and was different from typical street cars. It can reach up to 208 mph and needs just 4.2 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph. The Porsche Carrera GT, which sells for nearly $450,000, is lightweight and built like a racecar.
While the vehicle is different from any other car on the road, Las Vegas-based exotic car mechanic Todd Trimble of Trophy Performance said the super Porsche isn’t the deadly car it is being portrayed as.
“It’s not a dangerous car; you just have to be ready to handle the power it has,” said Trimble, who is quoted in the CNN.com story. “I wouldn’t necessarily class it a dangerous vehicle.”
Trimble experienced driving a Porsche Carrera GT while working at a Porsche dealership in 2005 when the car was released. It’s a rare vehicle, with only about 1,270 available in the world, and only 13 sold in Las Vegas. He added that there have been, at most, 15 Porsche Carrera GTs in the city at one time.
Driving a Porsche Carrera GT, Trimble said, felt like “strapping on a rocket and taking off.”
Trimble said it’s not a car just anyone can jump in and drive like a Honda Accord. Instead, a person first needs to understand its characteristics and learn how to drive the car. They need to know how to handle its powerful engine and ability to change direction quickly like a racecar because the engine is in the middle of its body, he said.
If a person takes the time to understand the car, it is no different than, say, any Ferrari or Lamborghini on the market, Trimble said.
“You have to know the characteristics of the car,” Trimble said. “It’s a different driving experience.”