Losses and Lessons: Joyride ends poorly for Golden Retriever, ’81 Mercedes

VEHICLE COVERED: 1981 Mercedes Benz 300 Wagon

WHAT WENT WRONG: Oftentimes bad decisions – even those that seem perfectly innocent at the time – become great stories. This is one you’ll likely retell. The owner of a 1981 Mercedes Benz 300 Wagon drove his classic to get a cup of coffee, bringing his faithful Golden Retriever along for the ride. He stopped in front of the coffee shop, turned off the car and went inside, leaving the dog sitting on the driver’s seat. Within a few moments, however, the dog became restless and knocked the Benz out of gear. With the unlicensed Golden at the wheel, the wagon rolled down the hill and struck two cars before coming to a stop.

DAMAGE/LOSS: First, the good news: No one was injured. Now the bad news: Three vehicles were damaged, including the right front fender and lamp assembly of the Mercedes, the rear quarter panel and bumper of a 2011 Lexus and minor damage to another vehicle. The owner of the Mercedes withdrew his portion of the claim, choosing instead to pay for the damage to his car and the minor damage to the third vehicle. Hagerty covered the repair of the Lexus, which totaled $2,290.

LESSON: Never leave animals unattended in your vehicle without applying the parking brake. Even if you think you’ll only be away from the car for a moment, sometimes that’s all it takes for disaster to strike.

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