Supercar Asbos: will Kensington and Chelsea Council’s crack down on noisy million pound motors make London less colourful?

Supercar Asbos: will Kensington and Chelsea Council's crack down on noisy million pound motors make London less colourful?

Curbing anti-social supercars in London’s most affluent areas will no doubt make our streets quieter. But will they become less colourful too? Phil Clarke from the London Evening Standard investigates…

Power-sliding round the corner, a pearl-coloured Maserati with diplomatic plates screeches off Hyde Park Corner and onto Grosvenor Crescent, an AMG Mercedes E63 hot in pursuit. With a crunch of gears and a perfectly executed five-point-turn, we add our slightly ailing white Nissan to the fray. Finally we’re on the trail of London’s super rich boy racers.

The Maserati leads the way as they speed onto Pont Street. They cross Sloane Street and continue up towards Beauchamp Place, breaking left onto Walton Street as the Merc, sporting Russian number plates, attempts to undertake, cutting across the pavement. They stop at traffic lights, and both cars impatiently rev their throttles, sending pigeons fluttering.

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Our people carrier, panting from trying to keep up, whirrs painfully. On green they’re off again, up Pelham Street and past South Kensington station. The AMG driver nearly loses control as he skids onto Onslow Square, just missing a grey delivery van. Unwilling to risk following further, we fall back and London returns to it’s normal pace, the unmistakable howl of exhaust reverb disappearing into the distance.

It is this noise that Kensington and Chelsea Council wants to stop. The last few years have seen a rapid rise in the phenomenon of wealthy car enthusiasts using the roads of Knightsbridge, Chelsea, Kensington and Belgravia as an unofficial street circuit. As prestigious as Monte Carlo, yet as accessible as a drive down the shops — if your local stores are Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana, that is.

The cars themselves are expensive, powerful and highly customised. Million pound cars capable of speeds over 200mph, clad in chrome wraparounds costing tens of thousands vie for pole position with Boris buses and Ocado delivery men.

The council has responded with “car asbos”, Public Spaces Protection Orders, which will be imposed on anyone racing, revving or playing loud music from their cars in the streets around the spiritual home of the London supercar scene: Harrods.

I spot a jewel-encrusted Mercedes, exactly the sort of thing that must send council employees apoplectic, and wait to meet its owner. It’s a thing of strange beauty, like the end-of-term prank on the boss’s car at a disco ball factory. Or possibly a Damien Hirst installation circa 2007.

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Finally it pays off and I hear keys jangle, but the owner isn’t quite what I was expecting. Not a Saudi Prince or Russian oligarch, ready to terrorise the local population with their wheel spins and endless revolutions, but a 21-year-old female fashion student.

Puppy-loving and self-confessed careful driver, Daria Radionova was given the car, a Mercedes CLS 350 worth £50,000, as a birthday present from her parents, who still live in their native Moldova. It has one million Swarovski crystals attached, individually stuck on by hand at a cost of over £35,000. “I brought experts over from Russia. There were four people doing it, and it took two months sticking them on one by one,” she explains.

The one thing I’ve been unable to find is any real evidence of the Arab and Russian wide-boy car fanatics of the kind Nick Paget-Brown, leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, warned of when he told the Standard: “the area has become a destination for boy-racers from the Gulf states”.

After several hours pacing the pavements of Hans Town I am yet to see anything but stationary supercars, the odd Saudi or Kuwaiti numberplate but certainly none of the aggression and antisocial behaviour the council hope to outlaw. Each car is constantly surrounded by tourists, snapping and selfie-ing away. While we were chatting to Daria one man came up to her driveable-glitterball to say thank you, telling us he brought his young son up to Harrods just to show him all the cars.

But then came the car chase, and having witnessed first-hand the reckless driving, not to mention racket, I can see why the council is keen to act. Yet thinking about Daria’s outrageous vehicle and the tourists milling round her, I wonder if our streets may be about to become a little quieter, but a bit less colourful too.

Source: London Evening Standard

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Gangs of wealthy super-car drivers transform Beijing streets into illegal race track

Gangs of wealthy super-car drivers transform Beijing streets into illegal race track

Pensioners in north Beijing are pleading with the authorities for help after the streets around their homes were transformed into an illegal race track by gangs of wealthy young drivers in super-cars.

A spectacular weekend crash involving a sludge green Lamborghini and a “go fast” red Ferrari has thrown a spotlight on the extreme street racing taking place at the heart of China’s capital.

But residents of Fenglin Luzhou, a neighbourhood next to the boulevard where the crash took place, say they have been living with nightly races for years.

“I feel angry and helpless. Somebody must do something,” said Zhao Lihua, a 64-year-old pensioner whose 11th floor flat gives her a front-row seat to the terrifying high-speed races involving supercars and super-bikes piloted by super-rich Chinese.

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Beijing’s boy racers began their contests at around 10 p.m. most nights, locals said. “These racers have no character at all,” said Mrs Zhao. “They are abominable. They cannot be the children of ordinary people.”

Until just a few decades ago the streets of Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai were clogged with bicycles.

But the country’s economic boom means the roads are now peppered with a multicoloured troop of “super luxury” cars, status symbols for a new generation of Chinese capitalists.

Of the 7,318 Ferraris shipped around the world in 2012, 784 went to China. Two hundred and five Lamborghinis came to China in 2013, out of a total of 2,121.

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Some of these vehicles have made high-speed trips to the scrapyard. Last February one person was killed when a Ferrari crashed and burst into flames on a motorway near Beijing’s international airport.

Two years earlier, the 23-year-old son of Ling Jihua, a former senior aide to the then president Hu Jintao, died in a 4am crash involving his black Ferrari 458 Spider. Two female passengers were seriously injured.

In the absence of government action, the residents of Fenglin Luzhou were taking measures of their own, according to Mrs Mi. One set of neighbours recently called in the builders. “They installed triple glazing.”

Gangs of wealthy super-car drivers transform Beijing streets into illegal race track

Source: National Post

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Supercar Dating Website Promotes “High Octane” Passion

Supercar Dating Website Promotes “High Octane” Passion

If you’re part of the 1% who owns a high-performance vehicle but not a significant other, a UK-based social media and supercar dating website claims to have what you need: partners who “share passion for high octane experiences.”

Its slogan? “Test Drive Your Date.”

Calling itself the “world’s first wealthy dating social and networking club exclusively for Supercar/High Performance Car owners and Fine Living Companions,” $upercar Dating is a UK-based website for wealthy auto enthusiasts who need a little romantic assistance. After all, finding true love (or a good time without strings attached) can be difficult for the ultra-wealthy.

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The site was started by a young Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster owner looking to connect auto afficianados through $upercar Dating and $upercar Circle (social networking) services. It’s currently open to UK and EU residents and supercar owners only, but will expand to North America, Australia, and Russia once the site launches in 2015.

While the supercar dating site is dedicated to owners of Lamborghinis, Porsches, Ferrarris, Bugattis, Lotuses, and so forth, those looking to enjoy wealth are still encouraged to enroll as a “Fine Living Companion” (yes, that’s the official name). These members don’t have to own a supercar but can only participate in the social network via special invitation. Not just anyone can enjoy the organized date parties which include Michelin fine dining and private track days.

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It’s difficult to ignore the gut reaction to $upercar Dating as a place for people with too much money and not enough social skills, but it’s probably difficult for the wealthy to date without fear of gold-diggers, Fiat Multipla drivers, and those who prefer being chauffeured around. Why shouldn’t they get an equal shot, just like sea captains and crazy cat people do?

And a love of lavish cars is trait we certainly endorse.

Supercar Dating Website Promotes “High Octane” Passion

Source: The News Wheel

Arab Supercar owners based in London transport cars for 20,000 pounds

Arab Supercar owners based in London transport cars for 20,000 pounds

Streets in London have lately been revving with power packed cars that bore Arab registration numbers. Rich Arab origin guys based in cooler London cities have reportedly taken a new way to flaunt their elite status by importing their supercars from their country. The import and transportation cost incurred by them is stated to be a staggering 20,000 Pounds!

As quoted to MailOnline by Daniel Hallworth, Managing director of Dan Car Logistics, “The Arabs often use agents to arrange their cars to be flown to the UK – and some of these guys can have two or three cars that they bring over for just one month.

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Once here, they can legally drive it for up to two months.” The freight charges depend on car models that are being imported. Transporting a car each way like Ferrari or McLaren can cost up to £5,000, whereas a Bugatti Veyron would cost about £6,000 per journey.

The super flamboyant Arabs usually from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait choose airlines like Qatar Airways among others to fly-in their supercars 3000 miles away in London. The A300s with a cargo carrier is often used for the purpose as they have single row or a side-by-side configuration within both main and lower deck with up to 31 positions for each trip. The Arab owned supercars have been a common sight of London streets that is often seen parked or zipping around at high speeds.

Source: Cartrade.com

Wealthy Asians Choose Classic Cars

Wealthy Asians Choose Classic Cars

It has emerged that wealthy Asians are choosing classic cars over gold and property. Thanks to rising demand from wealthy Asians, classic cars such as Ferraris, Bugattis and Bentleys soared by 28 per cent in value in the year to June, outstripping gold, art and luxury London property.

Most collectors buy because they are passionate about old cars, but many are well aware of their rising value and buy accordingly. Over the past three to four years, values for older classic motor cars at auction or in dealer and private sales have bucked the global recession, proving a prudent investment..

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“It’s an asset class that’s very rare and it’s very aspirational,” said Andrew Shirley, editor of the report. “A lot of Asian high net worth individuals have acquired classic cars…They keep them in their garage in the UK or Europe and they come over and drive them in rallies.”

However the classic car market has always been difficult to play. In 2007 banker Dietricj Hatlapa creative the first authoritative independent index, which now covers 50 cars worth at least £100,000, each with only 1,000 examples built and all with an established collector community. The index shows values racing up 16 per cent in 2012.

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According to Mohammad Syed, head of strategic solutions at Coutts private bank, the non-financial rewards of owning a classic car are many. “The sector has bragging rights. Anyone can buy, or have purpose-built, a super-yacht, a big estate or a private jet, but you can’t replicate a unique historic car with provenance. This is something that no amount of wealth can recreate.”

He says the super wealthy want something unique which gives them access to exclusive events and social circles. For example, LVMH hosts an invitation-only car rally for high-end collectors. Other examples of strictly invitation-only events are the Pierre Corthay/Rothschild car run and the Concours of Elegance at Windsor Castle, which features 60 of the rarest motor cars in the world.

Source: http://gulfnews.com/news/world/usa/wealthy-choosing-classic-cars-over-gold-and-property-1.1228590