Any red-blooded revhead can’t help but feel sad when they see or hear of a nice car being destroyed. Take this Ferrari F40 that got wrapped around a road sign in Queensland. Just heartbreaking.
But there’s only one thing more heartbreaking than a rare supercar being destroyed, and that’s hundreds of rare supercars being destroyed all at once… Which is exactly what’s happening, right now, on a cargo ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Felicity Ace, a 650-foot-long car carrier that had left Germany last week and was scheduled to arrive in Rhode Island on the United State’s east coast on Wednesday, has since caught ablaze off the coast of the Azores, an island territory that’s part of Portugal, The New York Times reports.
While the Portuguese air force has been able to successfully evacuate the ship’s crew, the ship’s cargo – thousands of cars including expensive Porsches and Bentleys – seem to have been completely abandoned. This is why you have insurance, people.
The Drive has confirmed that the ship is carrying around 1,100 Porsches, 189 Bentleys and an unspecified number of Audis, with Volkswagen Group estimating the total number of vehicles on board to be close to 4,000 – that is to say, the Felicity Ace is at full capacity.
Porsche USA has already started to reach out to American customers to “note that certain specific vehicle configurations are being impacted by supply chain disruptions”, and have even explicitly shared that they “are aware of an incident aboard the Felicity Ace.” Volkswagen, too, has put out a press release acknowledging the fire.
Noted automotive journalist Matt Farah has also confirmed that a Boxster Spyder he ordered in August of last year is also on the boat – much to his chagrin.
I just got the call from my dealer. My car is now adrift, possibly on fire, in the middle of the ocean. https://t.co/Ge2DYk8IJ0— Matt “I Park Cars” Farah (@TheSmokingTire) February 16, 2022
It’s still a mystery how the fire started, and it’s not clear how authorities plan on rescuing the Felicity Ace, but it’s a relief that there’s been no loss of life.
We shudder to think how many thousands of dollars worth of cars are going up in smoke, though. Virtually all Porsches start at AU$100,000, whereas Bentleys start at around AU$250,000. That’s over $47 million worth of Bentleys on the ship alone. Add in a few thousand Porsches and Audis and you might get close to half a billion dollars.
It doesn’t help that we’re in the middle of a new car shortage…
UPDATE 21/2: Looks like the Felicity Ace is still burning down. Firefighters are struggling to put out the blaze – in part because the big lithium-ion batteries in the electric vehicles on board are “keeping the fire alive”, Reuters reports. While it’s not clear whether electric car batteries sparked the fire, it’s a real headache, as traditional water fire extinguishers do not stop lithium-ion batteries from burning. The story continues here.