Florida Ford GT owner crashes because he is “unfamiliar” with manual transmission: Police

A Ford GT owner in Boca Raton, Florida on Friday night crashed his newly purchased supercar into a tree because he was “unfamiliar with how to drive stick shift,” police said.

The driver, 50-year-old Robert J. Guarini, told police he lost control after shifting down while leaving his home building around 6 p.m. 18.00, says a police report. This led to a frontal collision with a palm tree. Guarini then told a nearby security officer that he did not have his phone and needed a trip back to his house, where he spoke to authorities via landline after leaving the vehicle unattended, the report said.

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Although the police report says Guarini told officers the accident was caused by inexperience with a manual gearbox, the Ford GT owner said. Road & Tracks over the phone that there was more to the event. Guarini claims that old tires, muddy sidewalks and fresh details were all factors that caused the 550-horsepower supercar to swing out and hit a tree. The driver also told R&T the crash happened when he shifted up in second gear from first, not while shifting down, as the official report says.

“I do not want people to think I was driving at 90 mph,” says Guarini. “I was driving 35 mph.”

From the police report, it is unclear whether speed played a role in the accident.

Facebook user John Peddle’s photos from the crash site show the damage is limited to the front third of the car. The impact was significant enough to trigger multiple airbags, deactivate the vehicle and cause the GT to slide far enough after hitting the tree that it blocked a nearby sidewalk.

Although police say the car was not registered or insured when the accident happened, Guarini claims the car was covered by an umbrella policy and that he just did not have the documentation available when the accident happened.

The listed VIN of the police report indicates that the car was purchased at a Barrett-Jackson auction in Palm Beach in early April for $ 704,000, roughly the current price for a 2006 Heritage Edition GT. That would make replacing a very expensive endeavor.

Guarini was issued a citation for driving with a disqualified driver’s license and a warning for operating an unregistered vehicle. The 50-year-old claims that his driving license disqualification was due to an unrelated department of motor vehicles “typing error.”

Additional reporting by Chris Perkins.

Updated May 2, 2022, 15:55: Road & Track has spoken to the Ford GT owner. This story has been updated with further details.

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