save lives, but they also save vintage Porsches. Nothing demonstrates that better than this incident where a terrible driver in a rental cargo van literally punted a shiny Porsche 356 into a London canal on Wednesday while backing into a parking spot. The video is as distressing as you'd expect.
According to the Daily Mail, the parking lot in question on the edge of Regent's Canal belongs to a high-end vintage and luxury car dealership called AutoVero. Owner and director Kalvin Cauldwell told the paper that he was talking to one of his mechanics when he heard a "smashing noise" (never a good sign) and went around back to find the shop's classic Porsche half-submerged in the water, a rental Ford Transit cargo van from Sixt in its parking space on land. The moment of impact was captured on a nearby coffee shop's security camera.
The drama unfolded next to the headquarters for a British publisher named Unbound, whose Twitter account delivered a play-by-play account of the action. Curious Londoners also chimed in on Reddit and Twitter as the surreal sight of the tub-like car half floating in the water drew nearby office workers out to gawk. It took hours to get the thing out of the canal.
"It could have been much worse, definitely," Cauldwell told the paper, and he's right in at least one regard: the 356 is actually a replica built in 2004 by British firm Chesil, so no actual Porsches were harmed in the making of this movie. Then there's the fact that any of the shop's cars could have been parked there, including a pair of early-90s Ferraris. The van also just missed a Mercedes C63 AMG wagon as well. But the $30,000 Chesil 356 was in immaculate condition with under 4,000 miles on the clock prior to its quick dip, and Cauldwell now thinks it will be a total loss.
We still don't know how the driver of the Ford Transit ended up gunning it towards that very-much-occupied parking spot—Road & Track speculates the little 356 was too low to be seen by the van's high-mounted mirrors. To us, there's something about its entry speed that suggests a pedal mix-up at work, but either way no charges were filed in the incident, which might not have been the case had this been a real six-figure Porsche.