THE locals recall it was quite a sight: a $400,000 Lamborghini Murcielago stranded by the nature strip having crashed into the gutter outside their homes in Enfield.
What might have surprised them more, had they known, was the identity of the man behind the wheel - the state MP for Lakemba, Robert Furolo, whose joyride in the midnight black supercar two weeks ago had suddenly gone wrong.
According to one version of events, Mr Furolo, an ambitious Labor backbencher who is also the mayor of Canterbury, had convinced his friends, local businessmen Paul and John Kazzi, to let him take their Lamborghini for a spin.
He lost control on a notorious bend along Coronation Parade, a 60km/h zone, taking a chunk out of the high-fronted cement gutter. Police were not called - no other car was involved - and the Kazzis quickly called a friend with a tow truck to move the car, and the MP, out of sight.
But Mr Furolo has not escaped entirely unscathed. The joyride has cost him thousands of dollars and might have inadvertently sparked a turf war with tow truck operators, who are notoriously protective of their patch.
It will also be unwelcome news for the Premier, Kristina Keneally, who just weeks ago warned her MPs they needed to start behaving if they were to have any chance at next year's election.
''He was really good about it,'' Paul Kazzi said yesterday of Mr Furolo. ''He even paid the insurance excess [$7000] and for the tow truck.''
It was all news to the local tow truck operator, Mohamed, who assured the Herald that all accidents along Coronation Parade fell firmly into his territory. ''I would be very interested to learn if someone was trying to cut into my turf,'' he said.
One of the staff members at the nearby Coronation Pharmacy had heard about the ''incident'' with the Lamborghini. The pharmacist, Andrew Touma, had not. But he said Coronation Parade was ''notorious for speeding and car accidents''. When told who was driving, Mr Touma said: ''People will be more curious about why he was driving a Lamborghini, not about the accident.''
Mr Furolo entered Parliament at the 2008 byelection caused when the former premier Morris Iemma quit.
When contacted last night, Mr Furolo said: ''There's no doubt it's embarrassing, but accidents happen.''
He said the Kazzi brothers offered him the chance to take the car for a drive.
The road was greasy, but he insisted he was not speeding. ''There's no doubt about that. I was just taking a corner.
''The back went out and I corrected and didn't do a very good job of it.''