Twin-turbo, 700-hp Ferrari 458 crashed into swamp after top-speed run

The Amelia Island classic car show in Florida last weekend spawned a number of sideline events, including a speed festival at the local airport for exotics and tuned cars to take a few high-speed runs. This was the unfortunate end to one: a Ferrari 458 enhanced with twin turbos to about 700 hp running out of tarmac before it ran out of speed. It's not how the owner imagined his second day with the keys would end.

As discussed on Ferrari Chat and other forums, the car was a project of top tuning shop Underground Racing, which had once belonged to IndyCar driver Graham Rahal; the driver, who was reportedly a friend of the owner, was not injured in the runoff, which happened on his third attempt. Doing a full-throttle run in any supercar requires a significant length of road — those with a memory for algebra class might recall that a vehicle's stopping distance grows in proportion to the square of velocity — and the private airstrip where the event was held was just 0.56 miles long.

Modern restoration shops can work near miracles, and given the value of such exotics there are a few craftsmen that might see this 458 as an opportunity to showcase their skills. (If a Ferrari Enzo that was driven into the ocean can be resurrected, anything can.) But doing so would likely cost as much as a new Ferrari 458, and how would America's hard-working reclamation engineers earn a living were it not for a steady parade of wrecked exotics to scalpel into eBay-able parts? I'd say this race was won by the automotive circle of life.

Photos: David Johnston/Ferrari Chat