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    Central Texas, including the city of Austin and the surrounding suburbs, was hit by a sudden and massive hailstorm late in the day Wednesday the 25th. Thousands of cars were damaged across this broad area, particularly in parking lots and car dealers. One such dealer is the local Mitsubishi dealer, which after the storm looked like ground zero after an airburst. A nice line of Evos and a Ralliart parked in front were all but destroyed: aluminum roofs, hoods, and front fenders were all trashed. Steel fenders and trunklids all dented. Windows were blown out. Some of the optional add-on aero trim was laying on the ground.

    One of our favorites, that we’d had our eye on, is pictured below:
    A picture named 03-25-2009_hail-damaged-evo.jpg
    It appeared to us that everything else in the dealer’s lot was also in bad shape: from what we could see across the lot nearly all the Eclipses had lost their big rear windows.

    The Lincoln Mercury dealer next door didn’t escape either – but it does appear that they managed to get some cars under cover before the storm hit. An Audi dealer a mile away reported in the Austin paper that 150 cars parked on it’s lot were all damaged to varying degrees. The Saab dealer right next door wasn’t interviewed… but given GM’s problems and Saab’s bankruptcy this may end up as a blessing in disguise for them. A friend who works nearby had her Miata racecar peppered. On our way to dinner afterwards we saw many cars damaged, and one even run off the road into a tree. A nice looking Lincoln LS had been pulled under the roof of a shopping plaza store to protect it.

    The hail itself ranged in size from the size of a quarter, to the size of a baseball. This is a common occurrence in the spring in Central Texas… and there is nothing that can be done about it.

    Some folks have joked that this might be a golden opportunity to get some carbon fiber body pieces, but in reality those might not be covered in the next storm and insurance rates will continue to raise if you file a claim for anything at all. It’s tough to be a car enthusiast in these circumstances.