The Not Quite Indestructible Leica M9

While I was cleaning whatever is left of the camera, I made up fictional sales descriptions:

  • “My conservative rating for this camera is near mint. A CLA will make this back into a formidable shooting machine.”
  • “This M9 has slight sensor corrosion, but Leica should be able to replace it for free.”
  • “The Summilux 35mm produces lovely images with great bokeh. Slight coating damage but that adds dreamy signatures to your images.”
  • “The shutter curtain is rated for 200,000 actuations and is as precise as when it left the factory 12 years ago.”

Oh, so what happened? The long story of the car flambé:

About 4 weeks ago, my wife Karisu had a minor accident, not even a fender bender, but apparently the previous owner of the Toyota RAV4 (which we love, especially it had a stick shift) HAD a major accident, the frame was bent, blah blah blah, but finally we picked it up from the body shop last night, and in fact went to see Dr. Strange. The body shop didn’t say anything about having it checked, just said “byeeeee!” (I had some bad vibe about the body shop but with the car in their hands already, not much we could do…)

I took Friday off (yes, it’s Friday the 13th, but I am sure it’s not related), planning to decompress from work by going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and some odd stuff started to happen with the car on the highway: the AC wasn’t working, but then it did, accompanying by “VSC Trac” and engine check lights coming on, so I said, hmm, we should probably have the car checked out on Monday, then a couple seconds later “let me pull out to the next exit,” then a couple seconds after that, “nope. we are pulling over NOW.”

Stopped the car, smokes coming out, and we were like, GET OUT, now. now now.

Flames started to shoot up. It was quite an excitement, more than I ever want to see, let alone to our car. I left my iPhone and my Leica in there. Daughter wanted to go back to get her bag, and I was like, “nope, we need to move to the OTHER direction.”

A few hours later, we went to the tow place, and I picked out my Leica brand burnt toast. So in fact, Leica is not indestructible, despite its reputation. BUT everyone is alive. It could have happened in many worse ways, I’m sure the insurance will want to talk to the body shop. I suspect maybe a sensor or two or three malfunctioned, but who knows. There’s definitely NO evidence left.