Sports cars don't perform so well on the deep sands of the Outer Banks, but they keep coming anyway.
A purple Dodge Challenger bogged down on the Currituck beach Sunday. It was the third stuck sports car captured on social media since late December, and that's just a sampling.
"It definitely happens out here," said Sgt. Joey Davidson with the Currituck County Sheriff's Office. "They end up bottoming out and it doesn't matter that you've got 300 horsepower."
The list is a who's who of expensive sports cars up to their axles in Outer Banks sand.
The Challenger, a BMW, a red Corvette, a Dodge Viper and a classsic Porsche were all recently stuck.
Soft sand is unforgiving to sports cars that purposely hug the pavement, said Kit Williams, coordinator for the Cape Fear Chapter of the Sports Car Club of America, North Carolina Region.
"We don't do anything off road," he said. "Sounds bone-headed if you ask me."
When the wheels sink a little, sand binds against the undercarriage and tires start spinning. Sand and salt can infiltrate and corrode all kinds of delicate places. A tow can cost $200 or more, not to mention the embarrassment of showing up on social media and on news sites like this one.
Experts recommend that people go onto the beaches with four-wheel-drive vehicles only. The tires should be deflated down to 15 to 18 pounds per square inch.
The long and relatively isolated beaches of Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the Currituck Outer Banks are two of the favorite driving spots. The beaches are not as busy with traffic during the winter so the sand is not churned up and soft as it can be during the summer. A rainy spell can pack the sand down.
People drive to the end of the paved road and creep onto the sand to look down the beach and check out conditions, Davidson said.
"They're thinking, let me see where this goes," he said. "Can I make it?"
Then they realize they might get stuck and try to turn around in the sand then it's too late, he said.
A man driving his 1976 Porsche onto the Currituck four-wheel drive beach got stuck last month after motoring around the sand for a while. A friend in an all-terrain vehicle pulled him out, said Edward Ponton, a local who frequently drives the beaches.
He's seen many vehicles sunk in sand in all kinds of circumstances, but this was different.
"I didn't expect to see a Porsche," he said.
Posts on Facebook had fun with the incident.
"And, this is why we can't have nice things," said one.
"That is an abuse of a beautiful car," said another.
Chase Davenport, owner of North Beach Recovery, pulled the purple Challenger to the pavement and thought that was it. A little while later Davenport was back on the beach and saw the Challenger passing by.
"He was just cruising," he said. "Just out for a Sunday drive."
He did not get a call to pull him out again.