Tonight a twist in the flaming lemon saga and you won't believe how it’s panned out. A car was driven to our front door here at Hindmarsh on Friday where it caught fire... Much to the distress of its owner.
The owner claimed the car yard sold him an un-roadworthy bomb but Frank Pangallo has since found out there was a lot more to the story and it's driver.
Markus and his two mates had just driven it with smoke billowing from under the hood all the way from the Elizabeth car yard he had bought it from four days earlier to tell us he'd been dudded... well that's his story.
“No car should do that”, says Markus, but that depends on how you look after it. Markus Blake's commodore went up in smoke at channel 7's front doors last Friday.
Frank asked him if he felt feel bad about it or stupid? To which Marcus replied, “I do... Yeah, stupid”.
So how stupid is he? Well you're about to find out but first let's hear from Paul Rodgers, the boss of the Chosen Car Company who sold the car to bling-laden Mr Blake.
“Not gold plated at all but certainly roadworthy and ran quite well,” says Paul. Was it leaking oil? “Not when it was delivered” Tyres in good nick? “Yes in reasonable condition, roadworthy.” So whole car able to be legally driven on the roads? “Sure yep”, says Paul.
The yard apparently wanted $1999 but Markus got it for $1500. For that kind of money and with the quarter of a million kilometres on the clock there's no warranty yet Paul Rodgers was prepared to help Markus out when he returned with a leaking power steering cylinder.
“I offered for Mr Blake to buy the bit, I would supply the labour to have it fitted” says Paul.
What did he say?
“He said nah stuff this I am going to Today Tonight,” says Paul.
The tears of a clown... that was Markus’ first act of stupidity.
“If you were driving a car leaking oil on the manifold and was smoking and risk of fire would you drive it?” asks Paul.
Markus should have happily accepted Paul's deal but…
“He was a very unreasonable man.” Was he threatening towards you? “He has a very threatening manner about him, yes abusive, little irate, I walked away from situation” says Paul.
After the smoke and flames had died down we floated the car back to Paul's yard in case some compromise could be reached.
“I don't know what that car has done for 4 days” says Paul. That's a fair call. “I don't know what that car has been doing for 4 days” he says again.
We asked Markus what he’d been doing for 4 days? “Been driving it, keeping to speed limit, running to my appointments,” says Markus.
But Paul suspects Markus may have been running a little too hard behind the steering wheel..
“Bragging doing 180kmh behind Holdens,” says Paul.
But Markus denies it saying he’s on his learners so no way.
To his second act of stupidity, Markus is an L plater because he lost his licence for hooning... he drove to us without his learners plate displayed... now he wants his money back.
At the car yard Markus tells Paul, “I want a decision tonight, not tomorrow”.
That ultimatum was stupid act number three. Soon after we left the yard a friend of Mr Blake's barged into Paul's office.
“He said Mr Blake worked for him in some shape or form doing some running… don't know what that means… and he was out of pocket because Mr Blake wasn't working and wanted money replaced,” says Paul.
The amount he demanded? Ten thousand.
Alan Milham was the previous owner. He bought it from Paul six months ago and only recently traded the car on another. He says it was in roadworthy condition with no leaks or bald tyres.
When we asked Alan if the vehicle resembled the one traded? He said… “No this tyre had tread… (it’s) done a burn out... no dents and bumper definitely not held on with gaffer tape”, what does that tell you? asks Frank… “Tells me this vehicle has been thrashed’, says Alan.
So we returned the vehicle to Mr Blake's address... he was nowhere to be found but his sister Hayley told us the police had beaten us to him… he's locked up in the Remand Centre.
His sister told us that he’d been in jail before… “Yeah ages ago, been on parole for a while”.
As it turns out for a 23 year old, Mr Blake has quite a record for traffic violations and other offences.