You might think that being a supercar is all wine and roses, but recent events have shown that that may not be so.
Sure; there’s the good bits like being looked after and loved , being cherished and envied, being polished and having the very best water used to wash you in the mould of Cleopatra’s milk, being cosseted and housed in a garage bigger than most people’s houses… Need I go on?
But not being loved by Sir Alex Ferguson must be a bitter pill to swallow.
All this has come about because Chevrolet, Manchester United’s sponsors from the 2013 season onwards for a good few years (7) for a good few dollars more ($210 million), have offered all of United’s first team squad a free car from any of their range. Unsurprisingly, almost to a man, they opted for the Chevrolet’s flagship, the stunning Corvette ZR1.
But, Sir Alex has decided that there are several members of his squad that are too immature to drive what is essentially a 200mph supercar, and The Sun newspaper has reported that those players under the age of 23 will not be allowed to choose it. That means that full internationals like Danny Welbeck, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Rafael da Silva will have to make do with a ‘lesser’ car like the £35,000 Camaro, the £22,500 Captiva or the £8,500 Spark – although I would guess that the latter is pretty unlikely.
But Rio Ferdinand will be able to grab hold of the £70,000 motor, which has an enviable turn of pace from 0-60 in 3.4 seconds
A United spokesman confirmed: “The model is dependent on their time at the club and driving experience.” Maybe Sir Alex has a point; after all, Cristiano Ronaldo did manage to smash up his £200,000 Ferrari in 2009 by driving it into a wall near to Manchester Airport..
And then there is the pile of unloved cars building up in Dubai as the banking crisis even hits there.
When it first exploded into life, Brits were tempted abroad by high wages, sun, sea and (possibly) something else and a new life fuelled by fast living, secret drinking, fast women (in private) and fast cars.
But, as one expat is quoted as saying: “This place really was a gold mine until the gravy train hit the buffers. Guys who earned a fortune have seen it slowly slip away.”
And as it did that, expats who had mortgaged themselves to the hilt when they first got there as banks offered extortionate amounts of money over long periods of time, found that they could not repay any of the money. And under Dubai’s strict laws, debt means a potential jail sentence.
So a lot of them are doing what is known in the trade as ‘a runner’, and making their way back to the UK, leaving every thing behind – including their cars. And not selling them either.
Dozens of Jaguars, BMWs and Mercedes have been abandoned, often at the airport and often with the keys in the ignitions by previous owners financially ruined by the worldwide economic crash that has eventually hit Dubai. And amongst the 3,000 abandoned cars last year there was even a Ferrari Enzo worth up to £1 million. There were only 399 of these 217mph six-litre supercars built, so whoever left it was either very very desperate, very very stupid or still very very rich.
But the supercars graveyard exists, as Dubai’s streets and car parks will justify, victims to economic instability and stupidity.
So it’s not all good news for supercars. Mostly, of course, it is!