17 November 2014

Losses and Lessons: Chainsaw takes a bite out of ’70 Karmann Ghia

VEHICLE: 1970 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

WHAT WENT WRONG: We aren’t sure if fictional lumberjack Paul Bunyan ever owned a classic car, but considering that his best friend was a big blue ox named Babe, we’re guessing ol’ Paul had all the horsepower – oxpower? – he’d ever need. Or maybe he knew that woodcutting and classic cars don’t mix. Take, for example, the owner a 1970 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia who was preparing to trim some trees but wanted to test his chainsaw first – while standing in the garage next to the car. After pulling the starter cord several times without success, he gave one more enthusiastic tug and the saw roared to life, knocking him off balance. As he stumbled, the now-running chainsaw skipped along the side of the Karmann Ghia before he was able to regain his footing and shut it off.

DAMAGE/LOSS: Luckily, the owner wasn’t hurt – other than his pride, of course. The chainsaw caused plenty of damage to the car however, leaving scratches, dents and a couple of deep gouges in the driver’s side door and front/rear fenders. Total repair cost to return the Karmann Ghia to its former self was $1,759.81, which Hagerty paid.

LESSON: Be aware of your surroundings and use common sense when working with power tools. Move valuable objects a safe distance away before starting a large power tool like a chainsaw, mower or snow blower – or better yet, step outside. Most importantly, to prevent kickback a chainsaw should be on the ground when you start it.

13 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Bad Man Reno November 26, 2014 at 14:15
    Are you still insuring this clown?
  • 2
    kyle Norcal USA November 26, 2014 at 14:16
    Amazing to hear that you'll pay for a claim like that. Good to know!!!
  • 3
    Peggy W Larson Vermont November 26, 2014 at 15:24
    I don't even sneeze next to my Porsches when they are garaged for the winter. I only start my chainsaw when it and I are outside. Bet this guy learned a lesson!
  • 4
    jon maine November 26, 2014 at 15:40
    I'm not buying this one, me thinks he wanted some paint work without paying.
  • 5
    Frank LaForge Wichita, Ks November 26, 2014 at 16:32
    You gotta be kidding me!!!!!!! Right??? What the hell is wrong with people? Suppose his wife, daughter, friend had been standing there? This type of idiot has no business owning a classic. I recall when I first checked into Haggerty Insurance for my classic, their literature read in part "We insure the best drivers in the world". After reading some of these Damage/Loss stories I can no longer believe that statement. Being a good responsible driver should go hand in hand with common sense which this character is clearly missing.
  • 6
    Tom Cotter Davidson, NC November 26, 2014 at 16:38
    My brother Rob actually took a chainsaw to his Karmann Ghia on purpose! It was a coupe, and he wanted a convertible, so he hacksawed the roof -- at least a portion of it -- which resulted in his Ghia resembling a poorman's Targa. We were both amazed at how much chassis and body "flex" the now topless car exhibited. But fun nonetheless.
  • 7
    Bill North Florida November 26, 2014 at 16:54
    I have a friend who's ex-wife took a hatchet to his classic Austin-Healy 3000. Seems that she was mad at him for some reason. She chopped the hood, windshield, and doors. He did not have Hagerty at the time. Poor guy.
  • 8
    Bomini Florida November 26, 2014 at 17:28
    You should always start a chainsaw with the blade (chain) brake engaged. That way, the saw does not take off and damage anything around you including yourself!!
  • 9
    dr.john harding stanardsville, va November 26, 2014 at 19:05
    I have to say, "I SAW that karmann"
  • 10
    DAn Fl. November 26, 2014 at 19:11
    Remember! You must be smarter then the equipment, your trying to USE!
  • 11
    scott Asheville November 27, 2014 at 10:38
    At least it wasn't a convertible!
  • 12
    larry mort Washington November 28, 2014 at 14:34
    What an idiot!
  • 13
    Cliff Patton United States November 29, 2014 at 20:50
    I was very happy with my check from hagerty I had to replace the frontclip of my 1970 VW beetle. almost got it back to show shape. Hagerty is the best i have ever delt with and i have had over 200 cars. Hagerty is the best hands down.

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