A ONE-of-a-kind supercar worth £168,000 when new was wrecked after a Poole car dealership took it for a test drive to check a repair.

John Guest, 56, of Penn Hill, took his 2004 Mercedes Benz SL65 to Mercedes Benz of Poole at Holes Bay when its tyre pressure monitoring system started playing up.

But a few hours later he received a call to say it had crashed on the Upton bypass.

Mr Guest said his car was one of only 90 in the country and the only one with special blue pearlescent paint. He said he was now in a wrangle with the insurers about its value.

The company has said the car was being driven “legally and sensibly” and that it is “committed to doing the right thing” by a loyal customer.

The accident, on the afternoon of February 14, was reported by the Daily Echo during its coverage of floods and storms that day.

Combined with flooding on the Upton bypass and Bakers Arms roundabout, it caused major tailbacks.

Mr Guest, who worked in IT and is now semi-retired, dealing in antique prints, said: “I also told them that a couple of weeks earlier on the M25 it had aqua-planed; I said there was some-thing wrong with the traction control system.

“They did diagnostics and said there was no problem.

“I got a phone call later to say there had been an accident while on a road test.

“This was a car that I was going to keep for life.”

Mr Guest said he did not realise how badly damaged the car was until he saw it.

“The driver had bruised ribs but was not seriously injured and was working the next day. The driver worked on the car for three years and I had no complaints.”

He is threatening legal action if he cannot get satisfaction from the insurers.

“At this moment there is not an offer that would put me back into the same situation that I was in before this happened,” he said.

• Dealership's response...

Gavin McAllister, managing director of the Sandown Group of Mercedes dealerships, said: “I was distressed to learn of the incident with Mr Guest’s car, and I’m relieved that no one else was involved in this unfortunate accident.

“As soon as it happened, we co-operated fully with the authorities, and the police have confirmed that the car was being driven legally and sensibly in the road conditions.

“This is cold comfort for Mr Guest of course, who is a loyal and valued customer, and I along with everyone in my team at Sandown are committed to doing the right thing by him.

“We’re working closely with the insurance team and are keeping Mr Guest fully informed throughout.

“Of course, we’ve provided a new courtesy car to keep him mobile in the meantime.

“Thankfully, incidents like this are very rare, and our technician Kevin is making a good recovery.”