Formula One

Bringing Formula 1 to the Freeway

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

Merc

When Mercedes-Benz and McLaren launched the SLR Coupe in 2005 they sought to set new benchmarks in motoring by incorporating Formula 1 racing performance in a Mercedes road car. Technology that was previously the exclusive preserve of a professional motor racing class and restricted to the racetrack was now available to normal (albeit extremely wealthy) consumers.

The Coupe has now been joined by a GT Roadster, which uses an AMG V8 engine to achieve 617 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque, resulting in a 3.8 second 0-60 and a top speed of 206 mph. US models rest on 19-inch turbine-style nine-spoke alloy wheels, and the engines even come signed by the engineer who hand-made them.

With supply strictly limited and even the base model costing $495,000 the GT Roadster is a luxurious toy attainable only to a seriously wealthy and patient clientele. However while the Roadster’s race-track performance may receiving positive reviews, it remains to be seen whether this translates to the less suitable environment of public roads, where the 206 mph top speed may be a luxury unobtainable even to those prepared to spend half a million dollars.

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Classic Car Auction in London

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

image Businessman Bernie Ecclestone apparently has too many classic cars for his liking.  Last week the Guardian reported how the President and CEO of Formula One held “the billionaire’s version of a spring clean” by selling off 50 cars in his private collection, many of which he has never driven.

The highlight of the show was Ecclestone’s 1937 Mercedes Benz 540K Spezial Roadster, which sold for £3.85 million ($8 million).

Simply touring the auction became an event in and out itself as visitors paid £50 yesterday just to gain admission to view the cars themselves.  One visitor, as reported by the Guardian, visited as much to ogle other visitors as to appreciate the cars themselves:

We have more money than we know what to do with, so we thought we’d come here.  And we wanted to see what greed looks like.

The full takings of the sale have not been released, but not all the cars went for millions or hundreds of thousands of pounds–a 1964 Ford Anglia Deluxe Saloon went for £5,588.

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