MOTORING: The big boys with big toys
Bentley Mulsanne Majestic

MOTORING: The big boys with big toys

There is a Rolls-Royce Phantom Drop-head Coupé (in short, convertible Rolls-Royce Phantom), which has a minimum price tag of US$442 000 that prowls the streets of Harare. The starting price for the 2015 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drop-head Coupé is US$532 000.

THERE is a saying that goes: “Cents make noise and dollars don’t.” I guess it’s the same as saying still waters run deep.

Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren
Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren27

Early this year there were interesting articles on how flamboyant, young socialite Genius Kadungure had reportedly parted with an eye-watering US$350 000 for a Rolls-Royce Wraith.
In uncontrolled delirium, he trashed the Mercedes-Benz S Class, cynically saying it was a car for civil servants.
He later on tried to eat his own unpalatable words.
I have no beef with “Ginimbi” for he was only doing what he is good at — seeking cheap publicity and relevance.
But I am quite sure the young man is fully aware there are big boys who really have big toys in town.
There is a Rolls-Royce Phantom Drop-head Coupé (in short, convertible Rolls-Royce Phantom), which has a minimum price tag of US$442 000 that prowls the streets of Harare. The starting price for the 2015 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drop-head Coupé is US$532 000.
This is car owned by David Beckham.
Sorry Genius, but your Rolls-Royce Wraith is definitely not the most expensive car in Zimbabwe. Also, the claimed US$350 000 price tag is a bit inflated.
However, this does not take away the fact that it is a pricey car and quite the “magic carpet ride”.
I vividly recall my first ride in the Rolls-Royce Phantom courtesy of businessman Dr Phillip Chiyangwa. After a ride in one of these, you accept that cars were not created equal.
The Bentley Mulsanne
Besides the Drop-head Coupé, I also had an encounter with a 6,75-litre twin turbo charged V8 beast called the Bentley Mulsanne.
This is the crème de la crème of the Bentley line-up.
The Mulsanne is dubbed “the best Bentley to date”. It is to Bentley what the S-Class is to Mercedes-Benz. If you are interested in importing this unique car, it will set you back US$400 000 before shipping.
Indeed, there are luxury cars and then there are super-luxury cars.
The Mulsanne belongs to the latter class that separates men from boys.
This super luxury sedan competes with the Rolls-Royce Phantom and, to some extent, the Aston Martin Rapide S.
. . .then the McLaren

McLaren MP4-12CSpider
McLaren MP4-12CSpider

Last year, our very own Harare International Airport came to standstill when a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren was delivered to Zimbabwe by cargo plane.
For starters, this Anglo-German super car, when buying it second-hand, ranges from anything between US$362 000 to US$525 000 depending on mileage.
Very few people have across the world ever buy one brand new and global production stands at about 3 500 units. It was produced over a period of seven years.
Because its production was discontinued, this super car is very rare. If anyone today says they bought it brand new, chances are they are lying.
World boxing champion Floyd Mayweather of “The Money Team” owned one and American billionaire and US presidential aspirant Donald Trump owns one, which he claims to have bought for US$495 000.
Usually when a model goes out of production, you tend to have many hands chasing it and in the process, the price goes up.
Basic economics.
There is a also a local businessman with interests in transport and mining who brought in the exclusive McLaren MP4-12C super car, and this one has Zimbabwe registration number plates.
This two-seater super car is worth US$250 000: probably the starting price for a Jaguar XJ luxury sedan or the Mercedes-Benz S Class.
In South Africa, athlete Oscar Pistorius had one and it’s a car that is also reportedly owned by F1 champion Lewis Hamilton.
The SLS AMG
Also roaming the streets of Harare is a two-seater convertible Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. It is also registered locally and only has two digits on its registration plate.
This “wicked” SLS AMG is, according to AMG, “the world’s most powerful naturally aspirated production series engine” ever built.
In the same vein, the very same engine is said to be AMG’s last naturally aspirated engine.
Sports stars understood to have owned or own the SLS AMG from Mercedes-Benz are Floyd Mayweather and Cristiano Ronaldo, and former British Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, who reportedly referred to the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG as “the greatest car in the world”.
The SLS AMG’s production came to an end with the SLS AMG GT FINAL EDITION two years ago.
To own this one, one must be willing to part with between US$230 000 and US$250 000. Mind you, this is just for a two-seater sports car and not a luxury sedan.
Not to be outdone in the AMG club is Affirmative Action Group president Chamu Chiwanza who is a proud owner of a Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG “LIMITED EDITION”, likely the only one in Zimbabwe.
There is Mercedes-Benz and then there is Mercedes-Benz AMG.
I recall dedicating a full page in this same column on the unveiling of the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang sometime last year.
The 5-litre V8 version, white in colour, is already in Harare.
Need I also say that there is a Zimbabwean who owns a black Mercedes-Benz Maybach.
So, yes, Zimbabweans also have taste when it comes to cars and most of these exotic “beasts” are hidden in car ports and garages around the country.
Feedback: Twitter handle @dalubuhle1982 and email [email protected]

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