A lottery winner who spent part of his winnings on a £100,000 Bentley saw his prized possession written off when he tried to drive through a flooded road.
Robert Johnson bought the luxury car after landing a £5million jackpot in 2008, and it was his 'pride and joy' until it was destroyed yesterday morning.
A friend said the wealthy businessman was 'gutted' by the loss - and suggested that he might have confused it with yet another pricey car he owns which is designed to withstand flooding.
The 65-year-old management consultant, from Hereford, was on his way to a meeting when he became stuck in flood water in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.
He was driving along a country lane on the outskirts of town when the black Bentley Continental GT was swamped by three feet of water from a stream which had burst its banks.
An AA rescue truck soon arrived at the scene, but could not remove the car as Bentleys can only be towed from the front and Mr Johnson's car was accessible only from the back.
Soon the flood waters rose so high that the AA truck could not reach the car at all, and Mr Johnson, a grandfather and father of four, was forced to abandon it altogether.
Bernard Robinson, who has been friends with Mr Johnson for three decades, said the businessman won £5million on the lottery in 2008 but decided not to go public with his winnings.
The pair had been due to meet on Wednesday morning when Mr Johnson drove into the flood.
'Robert was on his way to see me for a business meeting when he got stuck,' Mr Robinson said. 'He rang me and said, "I can't see you today because I've wrecked my car in the bloody floods."
'He's driven down that road, even when it was flooded, hundreds of times before. He obviously misjudged how deep it was and when he pressed the accelerator the wheels just span and the car started to float off.
'Apparently water was gushing through the bottom of the car but he managed to open the door and wade to safety.'
Mr Robinson added that Mr Johnson had carried on working after his lottery win, as he has three ex-wives to support - and said that despite his wealth, the businessman was devastated to see his £100,000 car damaged beyond repair.
'He is gutted, he loved that car,' Mr Robinson said. 'It was his pride and joy, and writing off a £100,000 car is not going to put you in the best of moods.
'I've known him 30 years but he's not the friendliest of people - even after his big win.
'Robert also has a 1940 Land Rover with a snorkel, which he probably thought he was driving when he went through the floods.'