When you are rich enough, it would be perhaps be a perfect match to have everything in a private collection, most of which would otherwise be public area? Whether it’s the homes and estates, the luxury yachts, or even private islands, the super rich will perhaps go the extra mile in order to flaunt and take into procession large rare portions of the earth, which other people who just dream of visiting in their lives. Now there is one such opportunity where the legendary German Formula 1 racetrack, called the Nurburgring, is up for sale for a private buyer. There is also news that there could be a serious discussion with a handful of interested parties, who are perhaps trying to work around the $161.39 million (€125 million) price tag of this famed circuit. Jens Leiser, the appointed liquidator also says that the ring could be sold in parts, or whole, and also that none of the parties in talks now are oil sheikhs or Russian oligarchs.
Presenting a unique character defined by power, style and drama with just a hint of the noir, here’s the ultimate gentlemen’s ‘fastback’ gran turismo, the Rolls-Royce Wraith, which at its heart features Rolls-Royce attributes of luxury, refinement and hand-craftsmanship. With striking fastback silhouette, this exclusively-new and much hyped about model from the world’s pinnacle ultra-luxury marque is described as the most potent and technologically advanced Rolls-Royce ever built, and impressively embodies the spirit of Charles Stewart Rolls and promises the sense of adventure and speed that drove the British auto manufacturer’s founding forefather. Officially launched at the Geneva Motor Show after a seemingly endless stream of teasers and sketches, the Wraith as a magnificent addition to the already eclectic Rolls-Royce product range, is now all set to compete with the Bentley’s most powerful 4-door model 2014 Flying Spur and Bentley’s world’s fastest four-seat Continental GT Speed Convertible.
Carrying the V12 engine married to 8-speed automatic ZF transmission that delivers 624 horsepower, the Wraith makes its 0-60 mph sprint in just 4.4 seconds compared to 4.7 seconds for Rolls-Royce Ghost.
British designer Afzal Kahn of A. Kahn Design have turned his car obsession into something which is majorly sought after by the wealthy luxury car buyers. He has previously given high end styling makeovers to luxury cars. This time it is the turn of the Lamborghini Aventador, which has turned into a simplistic yet a sportier edition of its original existence. While the exterior has seen a few changes, but the major additions as one will notice, has been on the interiors, which has been give the premium treatment, at least considering the premium quality leather fabrication.
The interior are actually a showcase of the British designing house with the color black, which has been generously splattered all over the place. The seats are crafted from black nappa leather with contrasting white stitching, the most artistic edition of which is seen on the steering wheel with the Lamborghini monogram at the centre. However, word has it that one can choose the color and fabrication too, but this combo of black and white is known to be Kahn’s signature one.
This edition reportedly costed $4.7 million, which perhaps tells us that if one has the money, the ways of spending them rather lavishly outnumber them far and wide.
The obsession for exclusivity via various personal renderings even with high end vehicles, seem to be a continuing trend worldwide, which is showing no signs of slowing down anytime. After buying a high end brand, the richer car geeks customize their vehicle as per their whims and fancies. Now Hamann is the next label which has put up its Chrome Pink edition of the luxury SUV at 2013 Geneva Auto Show.
For those who have a fetish for the color pink, and that too with a mirror finish to bring in a glitzy appearance, the ‘Mystere’ edition seems like a must have. The body kit is a carbon composite 4-part set, which has managed to add around 80mm to the overall width of the luxury SUV. The paintjob has indeed been a premier highlight of the Mystere, which adds lots of bling with the pink shade, thus adding a mirror effect and a very ‘barbie doll’ like feel to the overall aesthetics.
Hamann has managed to load a decent bit of machinery under the hood as well. Mystere Range Rover will be sporting a 5.0-litre V8 engine. To ensure that the vehicle runs just as smooth, while also serving the purpose of an overbearing presence, there are 23-inch Continental modified wheels. However, the additions have also ensured that the chassis has lowered a bit closer to the ground by 40mm, thus compromising on ground clearance.
The 2013 Geneva Auto Show is proving to be another hotbed for technology and automobile geeks, where the bigger guys are putting up quite a show to outdo each other. If owning a Ferrari wasn’t just good enough; now the Ferrari FF will sport iPad integration feature in its setup. The 2013 edition of the supercar will also feature the additional benefit of having Siri eyes free integration while taking a ride in the backseat of the vehicle. The iPads will be fixed into the front seat headrests, where users can surf and control all their multimedia content via Apple’s ‘Siri’ programme, thus making the already thrilling ride in a Ferrari a step more tech friendly.
This setup wasn’t completed in a day. The chief of Apple’s software and services group Eddie Cue led a crucial role in ensuring that the new Ferrari FF sports this additional feature. Last year when Luca di Mentezemolo and Tim Cook sat down for doing something together, their mission was clear and something of this sort was always on the cards, which finally has manifested itself in the form of this upgrade in the Ferrari FF. And if the word is to be believed, this isn’t the end of it. We are still in the earlier half of 2013, and official statements say that Apple and Ferrari will be working on a large number of products together.
Noted for being the only establishment which utilizes cosmetic ingredients to provide most luxurious car care products utilized by the connoisseurs who look forward to optimize the majesty of their ultra-luxurious and expensive cars, Mitchell & King has now blended a car wax for goldRush Rally and have released one for sale. This luxury car care establishment based in Scotland which in December last year delivered the world’s most expensive car shampoo for luxury cars now offers the world’s most expensive car wax priced at $97,060. Displayed within a 24ct gold-plated Swarovski encrust enclosure with bespoke scent, the wax dubbed as GRV impressively contains gold shimmer and is ideal for those who wish the most luxurious car wax.
Representing the third evolutionary stage of the German automaker Volkswagen’s 1-liter car strategy, here’s the most aerodynamic production car XL1 which will be impressively produced by handcrafting-like products methods. Set to become the world’s most fuel-efficient production car with a fuel consumption value of 0.9l/100 km as soon as it hits the road, this futuristic two-seater VW XL1 with its plug-in hybrid system can also cover a distance of up to 50 km in all-electric mode and therefore with zero local emissions. Notably, this vehicle is an automotive hero that follows pure sports car design principles, which includes being low-weight and boasting perfect aerodynamics and a low center of gravity, thus giving it the ability to cruise on the road at a constant speed of 100km/h using just 6.2 kW / 8.4 PS. And in all-electric mode, the XL1 requires less than 0.1 kWh to cover a driving distance of over one kilometer.
‘Engineered, evolved, enhanced’ seems to be the mantra Mercedes-Benz adopted when revamping the G 63 SUV. With an AMG stamp the car enters the luxury category boasting of a 5.5 litre, V8 twin-turbo charged engine that produces 760 nm of torque at 5,000 rpm, and records 544 in horsepower.
Maxing out at 210 km/h, Mercedes-Benz has just given us the fastest SUV in the world, going from 0-100 in a record 5.4 seconds.
It’s literally like being in the lap of luxury as you take the ergonomic driver’s seat in the G 63 AMG. From stainless steel door sill panels, to designer leather seats and trims on the dash board and door panels, the makers have done a great job with the interiors.
Other bonuses like a multi-function steering wheel, adjustable seats and headrests, and an optional ambient lighting system.
SUV drivers know the importance of entertainment when one is out on the road for hours, sometimes days together. Right on cue is the 450 watt Harman Kardon Logic 7 surround sound system with 12 loudspeakers.
The media centre console known as Command Online provides an audio and navigation system complete with voice command, USB, Bluetooth, aux sockets, and an additional access to Mercedes-Benz Assistance Apps. The cherry on the top? You can enjoy broadcasted television programmes in real time, if you opt for the TV receiver as well.
Sports car collectors now stands a rare chance to grab Jaguar’s one of the fastest road car presented in immaculate condition throughout and having just one owner from new over the last 19 years, the 1994 Jaguar XJ220 at Historics at Brooklands’ classic and collector car auction on Saturday, March 9. And the fact that this visceral motorcar is one of just 11 lefthand drive XJ220 cars finished in Daytona Black, and comes with an original Jaguar Sport build record sheet and the Howard Davies-signed thank-you letter from Project XJ220 Ltd., which makes it ever more rarer and sought-after. However, the interested bidders for this 1994 Jaguar XJ220 with odometer reading of just 16,798, should also note that if this car which is now in France is to be imported permanently into Britain then vat will be applicable and charged at 20% of the auctioned/hammer price. Besides, we have also seen the sale of some classic Jaguars, including the first XK120, the first D-type which fetched a record million dollar price on auction, and the rare Jaguar C-Type replica based on original 1953 version which was expected to sell for over $200,000.
The 2014 Acura RLX is the most powerful, spacious, and technologically advanced Acura sedan ever, designed with Acura’s commitment to creating “the synergy between man and machine.” With this RLX version, Acura is all set to trump the luxury car segment on fuel economy making it a value conscious purchase for luxury car lovers. The flagship sedan is sans bells and whistles, but it does includes everything you want in your day to day ride; fuel economy, a longer wheelbase, more rear leg room than most of the luxury cars in its segment, which is surprising considering its mid-size sedan looks. The RLX boasts the longest rear-seat legroom (38.8 inches).
Powered by an all-new 310-horsepower direct-injected V-6 engine, the car comes with an array of innovative features including acoustic door glass for a quieter ride; open the sunroof and you will know the difference, amplitude active dampers to feel connected to the road throughout your drive.
Besides encapsulating the car doors with acoustic glass, the RLX also embeds 14 powerful speakers from America’s high-end audio manufacturer, Krell audio to make sure you achieve driving nirvana. Some of the Krell’s audio components include $145,000 Evolution system.
The 2014 Acura RLX is an all-wheel drive also called full-time four-wheel drive designed to function on all-roads, at all-times, for an improved driving experience.
Bentley’s most powerful 4-door model 2014 Flying Spur to make its global debut at the Geneva Motor Show
Designed for those who demand unrestrained luxury alongside uncompromising performance, here’s the Bentley’s remarkable luxury saloon, the all-new Flying Spur that delivers the ultimate motoring experience, for driver and passengers alike. Offering serene limousine comfort, in combination with phenomenal performance, the new Flying Spur is born of the belief that nothing is impossible; that the twin objectives of power and luxury can be achieved. Described to be the fastest, most powerful; four-door Bentley model ever, this luxurious vehicle is notably powered by the same twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W12 engine used in the British luxury automaker’s fastest and most thoughtfully-executed open-top performance flagship, the 2014 Continental GT Speed Convertible which was recently launched at the Detroit Auto Show. Notably, with its unparalleled blend of luxury, master craftsmanship, effortless driveability, sculpted design and ultra-advanced technology, the new Flying Spur that takes the worldwide success of its iconic predecessor, will be unveiled to the world on 5th March at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
Limited edition Bentleys are the best! The automaker’s latest extremely exclusive creation is the beautiful 2013 GTC V8 Beverly Hills Limited Edition Bentley Continental, which boasts a bright and very eye-catching body color called Celeste Pearlescent. The hue is inspired by the luxe Tiffany & Co. color, which makes it extremely appealing to connoisseurs.
The car was manufactured in only 3 examples (one coupe and two convertibles) for Bentley Beverly Hills. The dealer selling them is O’Gara Coach, the fabled luxury car dealership where Bugatti, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Bentley always feel at home. Priced at $224,215 each, the cars come with many exclusive features, but no change in the engine department. They are still powered by a 500-hp 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine.
So here is what the buyers will get with their exquisite Beverly Hills edition Bentleys: personalized Beverly Hills limited edition treadplate plaques, dual tone 3-spoke hide-trimmed steering wheel, neck warmers, massage seat & seat ventilation for the front seats, power boot opening and closing, rear view camera, space-saving spare wheel, and of course the Celeste Pearlescent paintjob. There are also some options available for these babies, such as Piano Black Veneer, Light Grey Roof Interior, Black Roof exterior, and Home Link System.
As a final touch, Bentley gave the cars new CEC C881 wheels in either liquid silver or mate black finish. They measure 22 inches in diameter and are wrapped with Continental Extreme Contact ultra-high performance tires that are excellent for all seasons.
Auto lovers and international avid car collectors who are keenly interested to splurge on desirable classic cars as investment options as well as for personal use, now stands an exceptional opportunity to get their hands on stunning investment-quality automobiles, as RM Auctions has announced an extraordinary series of early highlights for Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, the auction where in 2011 collectors got to grab the extremely-rare 1955 Ferrari Bernileta. At this highly-anticipated auction, the noted auctioneer will lift the gavel on an elite, hand-picked selection of 40 of the world’s finest automobiles from the world’s most exclusive car makers. Representing the ultimate in elegance, sophistication, rarity and provenance, the 2nd Lake Como sale’s highlight entries announced by RM Auctions’ include the examples like 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe, the 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Open Tourer by Barker which served as the official transport for the then Princess Elizabeth in 1952, and the 1930 Bugatti Type 46 Superprofile Coupe. Besides, we have also seen the sale offering of classic cars at RM Auctions Arizona 2013, along with the high-end collectible car auctions which kick started 2013.
Bentley has released a couple of photos of the new Muslanne, but the official unveiling of the car will only happen in March, during the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. Apparently the automaker decided to keep the exterior untouched, while focusing all its attention on the luxurious interior. So here is what the 2014 Bentley Muslanne has to offer.
It all starts with a brand new communication and entertainment system, and then it continues with improved comfort, new color options, and a set of fitted luggage, all handmade. Finally, the new car comes with a lot of truly alluring options, such as a Comfort Specification package, which includes new headrests, duck down filled loose cushions, and footrests.
The Entertainment Specification package includes a Wi-Fi hotspot and tables for iPads and wireless keyboards. As part of the standard package, the armrest storage compartment in the rear door can be used either for mobile phones storage, or for Bluetooth headphones for the Rear Seat Entertainment System.
The new Muslanne will also flaunt an 8-inch LCD screen in each of the front seat headrests, a 20 GB HDD, DVD player, SIM card reader, high speed Universal Mobile Telecommunication Systems, and state-of-the-art sound system.
As for the engine, the curious will be pleased to know that it is a 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that can put out 505 hp and 752 lb-ft of torque. This means that the beautiful luxury car can complete the 0-62 mph sprint in only 5.3 seconds before reaching the 184 mph top speed. The price has not be revealed yet, but no Bentley has ever been cheap.
Inspired by the irresistible Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series, the new C63 AMG Edition 507 is a true stunner, recently unveiled by the German automaker for its most discerning fans. The car is only 10 hp and 10 Nm less powerful than the Black Series, being powered by an upgraded 6.3-liter V8 engine that can put out 507 hp at 6,800 RPM and 610 Nm at 5,200 RPM.
The Edition 507 also flaunts advanced technologies borrowed from the SLS, including forged pistons, lightweight crankshaft, and connecting rods. It is mounted on new 19-inch wheels that come with high performance suspension system and composite braking system, 360 x 36 mm disks, and red calipers.
Other alluring elements include new ECU, titanium gray variable intake manifold, rear axle locking differential, special exterior mirror housings, a trunk lid spoiler, radiator grille surrounds, Black Series borrowed hood, and a lavish interior with leather upholstery in various design options, plus an Alcantara steering wheel.
When the car will become available for purchase on April 8, it will come in three body versions: coupe, sedan and estate. The first two will complete the 0-62 mph sprint in 4.2 seconds, while the latter will need 0.1 seconds more to finish the same task – unnoticeable difference, really.
Vintage Ferrari cars have always been the preferred investment car for collectors and vintage car enthusiasts. Over the years, we have seen the most expensive classic cars sold at auctions, which have Ferraris at the helm, with a1963 Ferrari 250 GTO sold for $32 million to the 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa sold for $16.39 million, and the apple green 1962 Ferrari GTO especially made for the Britain’s iconic racing driver Stirling Moss which recently got sold for whopping $35 million to become the world’s most expensive car. However, it’s been interesting to note that Sir Stirling Craufurd Moss’s association with Ferrari truly adds a significant value to it. And it becomes apparent from the recent sale of iconic Ferrari 250 GT SWB raced to victory three times in 1960 by Stirling Moss for $11 million, to become the most expensive British car sold in auction, after the single-seater supercharged 1929 ‘Blower’ Bentley got sold for $7.8 million, achieving the highest price for British car sold at a public auction.
The world’s new most luxurious hyper car comes from none of the brands that have just popped into your mind! Called LykanHypersport 2013, this stunning ride is a creation of W Motors, the Middle Eastern coach builder that worked for 6 years on this incredibly bold project.
The car really has it all: looks, performance, and a truly powerful wow factor. It will debut tomorrow (January 29) at the Qatar Auto Show and it will only be produced in 7 examples. The ultra elite buyers of the car will spend no less than $3.4 million on it, which will instantly turn them into the proud owners of the world’s new most expensive car.
Together with the ride itself, W Motors will offer a $200,000 Special Edition Cyrus Klepcys Watch, also limited to 7 units. The designer of the car is the automaker’s CEO and Chairman, Ralph Debbas. His name has been associated with some really remarkable projects and very important names of the industry: he created concept cars for the likes of Land Rover and Aston Martin.
LykanHypersport is powered by a 750-hp engine and needs only 2.8 seconds to go from 0 to 62 mph. Among its numerous stunning features we mention the reverse door opening system, top-notch innovative ID4Motion Interactive Dashboard, interior with gold stitching, tri-dimensional Virtual Holographic Display with Tactile Interaction, and luxe diamond-encrusted LED lights.
Designed to boast a distinctive presence on the road and offer the ultimate, luxurious driving pleasure, here’s the all-new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo that impressively adds an innovative concept to the acclaimed BMW 3 Series line-up. With innovative, emotional and practical design, powerful dynamics, coupe-style roofline, large tailgate, space-loving elegance with 1st-class character, and 300 hp 3.0 – liter, turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine, this useful luxury machine truly becomes an immediately recognizable BMW 3 Series member. Regarded to be the German automaker’s first ever model to sport an active rear spoiler, the new 2014 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo with four doors and frameless windows will arrive in summers in the United States as both a 335i and 328i, and will make its world debut at the upcoming Geneva Auto Show.
With cacooning nature of the interior, further complemented by its state-of-the-art design forms, impressive color scheme and finest materials that creates ultra-luxurious ambiance, the occupants enjoys both long journeys and short trips alike in relaxed, utmost comfort.
Notably, the discreet high gloss chrome touches lend the car’s exterior an exclusive and elegant appeal, while the advanced, high-tech, lively engine with TwinPower Turbo technology impressively sets the benchmark for high efficiency and dynamics.
“Pebble Beach is the most beautiful meeting of land and sea in the world,” Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry Karges said Thursday. The car show and race likewise bring out “the most beautifully designed and built cars in the automotive world.” While Pebble Beach usually plays host to golfers, once a year every August it is taken over by classic cars which are perched precariously on the perfectly manicured green lawns far above the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean far below.
The Concours d’Elegance is the crown jewel of over a week of auctions, races and parties all over the Monterey Peninsula. The Councours and Monterey Car Week have become their own annual ecosystem in the classic car world as high value and rare vehicles cycle through private collections and auctions. “A lot of people that get to come out as a spectator, and you get to see some of this at our auction, you get to see them [classic cars] more from collection to collection,” Barrett-Jackson Auction Co. chairman and CEO Craig Jackson said Monday.
For many, the Concours d’Elegance and Auto Week are their only opportunity to some ultra-rare vehicles. Several years ago, Pebble Beach succeeded in gathering all six Bugatti Royales, the only time in history they have all been in one place. “It’s a real feat. I don’t think you’ll ever see that again.”
Collectors bring their cars to the Concours each year to win several coveted class and overall awards which boost the prestige, and value, of their cars. “You can count on your hands the number of collectors who have these [Concours d’Elegance winners] in their collections,” Jackson said. However, many of the cars passed through restoration houses like Barrett-Jackson and the auction houses before winding up in private collections and on show at Pebble Beach. “I get to see these cars at Pebble Beach … I’ll remember the car from the ’60s,” Jackson said.
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has been occurring annually since 1950 and the combination of ultra-rare and classic cars, racing and an incomparable automotive social scene have drawn attendees back year after year. An annual party, Gordon McCall’s Motorworks Revival, at the Monterey Jet Center brings out many of the leading collectors for what Jay Leno has called “tailgating for billionaires,” according to Karges.
“If you didn’t have any other eason to go to Monterey, wouldn’t you want one?” Karges said. The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, races and parties prove to be too much for many wealthy collectors to avoid given the plethora of hotels, lodges and gourmet restaurants that dot the peninsula. “It’s a pilgrimage, literally,” Karges said. Both Karges and Jackson have been attending the Concours d’Elegance for decades.
Find out more also by visiting: www.pebblebeachconcours.com
The 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and accompanying festivities of the Monterey Car Week and The Quail motorsports gathering concluded Sunday after drawing the finest classic cars, ultra-luxury models and most distinctive vehicles in the world to the beautiful Monterey Peninsula of California. According to some, the events of the Monterey Car Week have been called “tailgating for America’s billionaires” by none other than the nation’s pre-eminent gearhead, Jay Leno, but it has taken years of hard work and a heady mix of automotive iron and stunning Pacific Ocean vistas to keep the world’s wealthy car collectors coming back each year.
At this year’s Concours d’Elegance, RM Auctions put 120 cars on the block, 13 of which sold for more than $1 million, fetching a total of $35 million, including a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder that sold for $8,580,000. At another Monterey area car auction over the weekend, Gooding & Company sold more than $60 million worth of cars, including another Ferrari, a 1960 250 GT LWB California Spider for $11,275,000. Gooding & Company also sold a first edition Fiat 500 (initially valued at around $35,000) owned by Leno for $385,000, and the legendary von Krieger Special Roadster for $11.77 million.
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is the centerpiece of a series of classic car races and auctions, cocktail parties and gatherings for enthusiasts, car shows, and debuts by the world’s most rarified luxury brands like Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz. Rolls-Royce for its part debuted two different vehicles, the 2013 Ghost and the Phantom Coupe Aviator, Cadillac teased a new concept car, and Bentley held the North American debut of the 2013 Continental GT Speed. The Concours d’Elegance and other events of the Monterey Car Week draw such high-value classic cars and luxury debuts every year by means of a very simple formula of strong personalities, an impressive environment and the momentum that years of tradition brings.
More to come…
Find out more also by visiting: www.pebblebeachconcours.com
The famous Ford GT40 that made motorsport history on June 15, 1969, will be the centerpiece of the 18th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance’s celebration of the Ford GT40’s 50th anniversary on March 10, 2013.
The Ford GT40 made its Le Mans racing debut June 21, 1964. But it took Ford two years to achieve victory at the world’s most famous endurance race. On June 18, 1966, Ford’s huge investment paid off with a three-car sweep of the race that mattered most to company chief Henry Ford II.
Le Mans 1966 was also revenge for the grandson of the Ford Corp.’s founder. Ford had tried to buy Ferrari in 1962. Ferrari spurned Ford’s third-generation leader at the last moment and Ford commanded a cost-no-object program to defeat Ferrari where it mattered most, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
There is no public accounting of how much it cost Ford to accomplish the feat, but the records established by Ford’s potent GT40 are well documented. Through three iterations, the Ford GT40 won Le Mans four times in succession: 1966 through 1969.
The most famous GT40 of all made further history on June 15, 1969, when chassis No. 1075, driven by Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver, won the 24 Hours of Le Mans a second straight time in less than one year.
This unprecedented motorsport record has its roots in the vagaries of French election law. Voting is mandatory in France and elections were called for Le Mans’ traditional summer date. This compelled the race’s organizing body to postpone the summer endurance classic until September 1968. That sidelined the GT40’s lead racer, Ickx, who had broken his leg during the Canadian Grand Prix one week before Le Mans’ postponed date. The Ford GT40 Ickx had raced to victory at Brands Hatch, Spa and Watkins Glen was entrusted to countryman Lucien Bianchi—who was driving for the injured Brian Redman—and Mexico’s Pedro Rodriguez. That pair won Le Mans in the Ford GT40 that Ickx would soon affectionately call “my car.” As a bonus, the 1968 Le Mans victory also clinched the 1968 International Championship of Makes for Ford.
By 1969, the experts had consigned the 6-year-old Ford GT40 design to spear carrier roles. Then in March, Ickx and Oliver won the punishing 12 Hours of Sebring with the ’68 Le Mans-winning 1075.
The Anglo-Belgian pair teamed for Le Mans again in June, and that race has passed into the legend and lore of international sports car racing. The victory by Ickx and Oliver in 1075 was the closest finish in Le Mans’ long and colorful history: a matter of just 70 yards separated the winning GT40 and the second-place Porsche after 24 hours. The victorious GT40 was almost out of gas and the driver of the Porsche, Hans Herrmann, thought his brakes were fading. For the final two hours, the pair ground around the high-speed 8.369-mile French road circuit, often at more than 200 mph, laying plans for the final lap.
The new Porsche 908 and the aging Ford GT40, 1075, that had won Le Mans just nine months earlier, were locked in a game of high-speed, high-stakes Le Mans-chess. The Porsche was faster on the long Mulsanne straight, but the Ford was quicker from the Mulsanne hairpin back to the starting line. The pair arrived at the finish line just 15 seconds before 2 p.m., the race’s appointed finishing hour. Both would have to make another agonizing yet fast and perfect lap. As the other cars were flagged off the track at 2 p.m., only the battling lead duo remained on the course, adding to the drama and tension of that last long lap.
In America, ABC television was making its first live broadcast of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Amelia Concours founder and chairman Bill Warner remembers the final lap as Wide World of Sports‘ host Jim McKay and three-time Le Mans winner and world driving champion Phil Hill made the call of the finish. “Seeing Le Mans live for the first time on American television was amazing. By the time they got to Arnage on the last lap, it was obvious that the GT40 was going to win. At the flag, the GT40 and the Porsche were less than two seconds apart.
“Having the first of only three cars to win Le Mans twice on the Amelia Concours field is a thrill for me,” said Warner. “I remember photographing these cars at Sebring and Daytona in 1969 when 1075 won the 12 Hours, and recall thinking what a great Anglo/American effort it was.”
On March 10, 2013, Ford GT40 1075 and its Gulf racing stalemates GT40 1076 (that finished third at Le Mans in ’69 driven by David Hobbs and Mike Hailwood) and 1074 will be reunited on the fairways of The Golf Club at Summer Beach in the 18th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Ford GT40.
Get ready to meet the newest stunner from Aston Martin. The 2013 Rapide S is flawless in every way, being more powerful, faster, and better looking than its previous version. After the facelift, the lavish sedan became even more alluring, with a redesigned front grille, a new rear lip spoiler, and an optional Carbon Exterior Pack that includes a carbon front splitter, new rear diffuser, exterior mirror housings, and rear lamp fills.
The more significant changes, however, occurred underneath all this exterior charm. The already potent 5.9-liter V12 engine is now capable of putting out 81 more hp than before, meaning that if flaunts a total of 558 hp. The torque was also increased from 600 Nm to 620 Nm. As a result, the car’s performance was significantly changed: the new 0-62 mph time is 4.9 seconds, while the top speed is 190 mph.
Finally, the Rapide also got a nice interior upgrade, which begins with sporty black and red Duotone leather upholstery, and ends with nice piano black trims. The foldable rear seat is standard, while the twin-screen entertainment system and the reversing camera are optional. Enthusiastic fans can expect the ride on the market starting next month (February).
GM CEO Dan Akerson’s 1958 Chevrolet Corvette Sells For $270k at Barrett-Jackson, Scottsdale for charity
With an impressive track record of using historically significant vehicles to raise funds for worthy causes, it wasn’t just the General Motors who offered its very first 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray at the Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale Auction in Arizona for charity, but also the world’s largest automaker’s Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson who offered his personal 1958 Chevrolet Corvette to raise money for Habitat for Humanity. After crossing the block at the Barrett-Jackson’s auction, the Corvette C7 got sold for $1.05 million to Nascar team owner and avid Corvette collector Rick Hendrick, and the Akerson’s hardtop convertible Regal Turquoise’ 1958 Chevy Corvette with dual headlamps, hood louvers, and twin chrome trunk spears garnered $270,000. Notably, all the proceeds from the sale will go to the Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization to which Mr. Akerson together with his wife Karin has already donated more than a million.
Created by renowned customizer George Barris, the original #1 1966 Batmobile which is regarded as an icon, and one of the world’s most popular and recognized pieces of entertainment history, has now got sold for whopping $4.2 million at auctioneer Barret-Jackson at its 42nd annual Scottsdale auction.
Bought by an Arizona man, this original Batmobile which was based on 1955 Lincoln Futura, and was heavily modified by legendary auto-customizer George Barris to be featured in the iconic TV series Batman, along with the movie adaptation, comes loaded with a number of Batman worthy gadgets.
The passionate tuners at DMC have completed a new amazing project: a remarkable upgrade for the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta. For a more aggressive look, it received a carbon fiber kit comprised of a roof scoop, prominent lip spoiler, spoiler wing, new side skirts, diffuser plates, and even a carbon fiber hood.
Also part of the upgrade are a new set of alloy wheels, measuring 21 inches at the front and 22 inches at the rear. They are wrapped in performance rubbers: 332/25 and 255/30. In terms of performance, the Berlinetta is now more ferocious, being capable of putting out 764 hp (24 extra hp) from its 6.2-liter V12 engine. It also received a custom titanium exhaust, and this helps it reach up to 217 mph.
Not that it needed any improvements of any kind, but the superb Lamborghini Aventador LP760-4 has just gotten more appealing. Thanks to some special attention from Oakley Design and Refined Marques, the ride boasts better aerodynamics, new wheels, and extra muscle.
To match all these changes, the tuners gave the car a new name as well: Lamborghini Aventador LP760-4 Dragon Edition. Only ten units will ever reach production lines, and they will be equipped with new body kits that include a number of carbon fiber accents, fixed rear wings, and new front bumpers. Matching these changes are the HRE Wheels with red brake calipers.
Powering the car is a 6.5-liter V12 engine capable of 760 HP and 745 Nm of torque. Also part of the upgrade is the remapped ECU and the new titanium exhaust system, as well as the lower overall weight: 77 lbs less than the original version. For the inside, the Lamborghini received embroidered dragon figures and number plaques
Designed in true Bentley style for those who accept no compromises, here’s the British luxury automaker’s latest, fastest and most thoughtfully-executed open-top performance flagship, the 2014 Continental GT Speed Convertible that offers unrivaled luxury and refinement of a coupé yet transforms into a gorgeous open tourer at the touch of a button. Taking place at the pinnacle of the Bentley Continental GT range with peak power of 625PS or 616 horsepower, this GT Speed Convertible which has an impressive top-speed of 202 mph, will appeal to discerning drivers seeking the sensory thrills of the world’s fastest four-seat soft-top and the practicality of a year-round grand tourer. Scheduled to be unveiled on 14th January at the North American International Auto Show, Detroit, the ride’s subtle sporting design cues include exclusive 21-inch alloy wheels, dark-tint grilles and ‘rifled’ exhaust tail pipes, and on the inside it features the Mulliner Driving Specification with its distinctive diamond-quilted hide upholstery as standard, blending contemporary luxury with a distinctive sporting character.
1941 Lincoln continental coupé and custom limousine from ‘The Godfather’ goes for sale at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale, AZ
Some automobiles are famous for what they are, while others for what they have done. But the pair of classic 1941 Lincolns offered at the Bonhams upcoming Scottsdale Auction on 17th January is notably famous for both, being the limited production automobile of rare distinction and featured in one of the best American films ever made, the multi-generational crime saga ‘The Godfather’ which is the touchstone of cinema. For the likes of collectors and die-hard fans of Francis Ford Coppola’s epic crime film, crossing the auction block without reserve will be a pair of iconic luxury cars from Hollywood blockbuster The Godfather, including the 1941 Lincoln Custom Limousine chosen by iconic film director Ford Coppola as the ride of choice for the enemies of Corleone family, and the 1941 Lincoln Continental Coupe which was driven by Sunny Corleone (character played by James Caan). Notably, these historic automobiles with movie-star status have been consigned to sale from the estate of noted classic car collector Eugene Beardslee.
The prestigious Art Basel Miami Beach show featured supercar maker Bugatti’s “fastest artwork ever.”
To take an already beautiful Veyron Grand Sport and give it some credit as a piece of art, Bugatti teamed up with Bernar Venet, a French conceptual artist whose work makes clear his love for math and science.
The end result… a nerdy, beautiful Bugatti.
South Korean carmaker Hyundai on Friday revealed their ”Connected Car concept” that uses NFC technology to allow users to open and close doors with their phone.
The system allows the driver to lock and unlock the car with an NFC-enabled smartphone and then, once inside, dock the device to activate the car’s telematic systems and to upload the driver’s personal profile — such as seat position, favorite radio stations, satellite navigation history and climate control settings.
The profile information is streamed to the vehicle’s 7-inch touch screen which also mirrors the smartphone’s content so that the driver has hands-free access to their contacts and address book.
Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Hyundai Motor Europe, said: “Hyundai’s Connectivity Concept showcases the brand’s philosophy of making tomorrow’s technology accessible to a wide range of customers.
With this technology, Hyundai is able to harness the all-in-one functionality of existing smartphone technology and integrating it into everyday driving in a seamless fashion.
As the technology continually develops there will be capabilities to store driver’s seating positions and exterior mirror settings, providing customers with a comfortable and individual driving environment.”
Enthusiasts and discerning car collectors now stands an exceptional opportunity to grab some of the rarest, best of category examples, and hand-picked selection of approximately 80 automotive icons, classics that have actually transcended the collector car hobby, at the RM Auctions’ Arizona sale on 18th January, 2013, held annually at the beautiful and majestic Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa. Headlining early entries is a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta ‘Competizione‘ which is simply irresistable to any serious Ferrari collector, the 1935 Cadillac Series 40 convertible featured the movie ‘The Artist’, an ultra-rare 1965 Ford GT40 which is estimated to fetch as much as $3 million, the 1931 Duesenberg Model J Tourster from the collection of John Pascucci, the 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B Corto Spider, the 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350 R, and the 1962 Shelby ‘Factory Competition-Speciffication’ Cobra, to name a few.
You buy a Ferrari when you want to be somebody. You buy a Lamborghini when you are somebody,” said America’s evergreen icon Frank Sinatra, who counted a 1970 Lamborghini Miura P400S among his fleet of luxury sedans and sports cars.
Now, Manoj Lulla is not much of a ‘do-be-do-be-do’ man, but the Chennai-based businessman sure knows he is a ‘somebody’.
Trouble is there are way too many ‘somebodies’ in post-reforms India—158,000 millionaires to be precise, as per a latest Credit Suisse report. So how do you stand out? Lulla decided to promote his garage: these days he drives his Lamborghini Gallardo home, literally, and parks it in the living room of his Chennai house, where he has made an extension with special track lighting to house the machine.
Well, there are more ways to stand out. Like the one followed by Lulla’s uber-rich brethren in the western part of India: For instance, you can embed the emblem of that other snob king-on-four wheels, Rolls Royce, with pure diamonds. The proud owner of Rolls Royce has got the Spirit of Ecstasy—the emblem—studded with 1,640 real diamonds.
“These are special customers. They are always on the lookout for something exclusive. One of our customers got a special paint created for his car—the specific red he wanted was not part of the colour options we have on offer. Then there is a customer who got the entire veneer in the car studded with mother of pearls. It took us four months to deliver,” says Sharad Kachalia, one of the leading dealers of Rolls Royce, about this extremely high net worth phenomenon.
The craze is now leaving even the age factor behind. One of the new Lamborghini owners is a 16-year-old kid from the outskirts of Mumbai, who, thankfully, utilities the services of a driver.
“The profile of our car buyers shows that awareness and love for Lamborghini cars run deep. With regard to the 16-year-old, we have been assured by the family that he won’t drive till he is legally eligible to drive. We will train him, once he reaches that requisite age,” says Pavan Shetty, head of operations, National Sales Company for Lamborghini in India. Super car are not exactly a prerogative of celebrities and industrialists; the profile of some of the buyers and the places they come from reveal an all-new potential, he says.
“One of our owners lives in a place where there is no proper road to drive,” says Pratik Desai, VP at Exclusive Motors, a dealer of Bentley super-cars.
Boom In Ultra HNI Club
You can imagine the aspiration to own a brand like Bentley. For sure, economic growth is putting money in the hands of people. We have had customers walking into the showroom in the morning and driving out with the car in the evening,” adds Desai.
Wilfried Aulbur, former MD of Mercedes Benz India and now a managing partner at leading consultancy firm Roland Berger, who knows the luxury car market well, is not surprised. “Wealth is distributed across India. Some of them have made money in areas that are not necessarily every day in the newspaper, so you never know how the next Bentley owner may be,” he says.
According to Credit Suisse Research Institute’s Global Wealth Report, the number of millionaires in India stands at 158,000. And this number is likely to jump over 50% to 242,000 by 2017. The report says India has 237,000 members among the top 1% of the global rich club. There are 1,500 ultra-high net worth individuals with estimated wealth of over $50 million (around 700 of them with a net worth of over $100 million)
According to industry estimates, the market for super-luxury cars priced at Rs 1-2 crore stood at around 250-300 units in 2011, and the segment is expected to grow at over 50% with as many as eight cars being launched in 2011 and many brands like Aston Martin, Ferrari, Maserati among others setting up base here. About 100 units of super super car like Lamborghini, Maserati, Ferrari and Porsches were sold, besides over 150 units of super-luxury saloons like Rolls Royce and Bentley last year.
“We are getting very good enquiries from Hyderabad, Cochin, Chennai, Bangalore, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Baroda, Ahmedabad; you have some of the tier II-III towns we did not even expect and we hope to close some of this next year as we get more cars for 2013,” says Shetty. He already has 10 bookings on hand.
Aulbur says the overall penetration rate of super-luxury cars in India is still low compared with Russia and other markets. He counts lack of infrastructure and traffic congestion as major impediments. If these are taken care of, the market for luxury cars in India can explode like China did a decade ago, say experts. “It is just a matter of time before the sentiment improves and people start buying again,” adds Desai of Bentley.
Irresistible to any serious Ferrari collector; promising thrilling performance and future exhibition acclaim, the 17th of the 72 aluminum-bodied Competizione-specification SWB examples, known as one of the marque’s most prized berlinettas, is now being offered by RM Auctions at its Arizona sale. The 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta ‘Competizione’ by Carrozzeria Scaglietti’ on sale is just four owners from new, and has been exhibited at Pebble Beach, the Quail, and Villa d’Este. Described to be race-ready, this particular example ‘chassis #1905GT’ boasting an incredible provenance and originality has won multiple FCA Platinum awards, and is a recognized example of the rare alloy-bodied SWB. Also known to be one of the world’s most expensive vintage cars, the Ferrari 250 GT SWB is regarded as a grand touring car for really serious road racing. Besides, the auctioneer RM Auctions’ for the likes of astute collectors, will also be offering important, hand-picked selection of the world’s automobiles like the 1935 Cadillac Series 40 convertible featured the movie ‘The Artist’, the 1968 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2 Coupe, 1963 Jaguar E-Type Series I 3.8 Fixed Head Coupe, to name a few. Any of these cars would look great in our Ferrari Themed Garage.
For the likes of the most avid McLaren owners, fans or those most focused on enjoying the thrill of the open road, the British manufacturer of luxury, high-performance super car McLaren Automotive has now launched bespoke merchandise inspired by its highly advanced and lightning-fast road-going super car MP4-12C. Exclusively available at the McLaren eStore, the versatile range of fashionable products which primarily focuses on the passion of driving, includes a variety of stylish accessories, clothing and high-end luggage-set which has been designed in collaboration with the McLaren Automotive design studio to maximize the 144-litres of space beneath the bonnet of the 12C. Notably, the luggage-set crafted out of carbon-fiber was also included in the special-edition of the 2013 McLaren MP4-12C Spider ‘Volcano Red’ that was the part of the annual Neiman Marcus Christmas Book 2012.
BMW has launched a 4G LTE hotspot for its cars, giving users high-speed mobile internet on the road.
The device, which works like a router, is designed to give passengers internet access whether using a smartphone, tablet or notebook and can support up to eight devices simultaneously.
It also has a built-in battery pack, meaning that it can be removed from the vehicle and used on the move for up to one hour before recharging.
The device’s range can be adjusted from three meters to up to 10 meters, meaning that the hotspot can stay in the vehicle but users can still access the internet when standing outside of the car.
“The very fast bit rates and extremely low latency mean that an internet connection supported by the BMW Car Hotspot LTE is often even faster than a PC connection in the home,” says Markus Dietz, Project Manager BMW Car Hotspot LTE Development.
Compatible with any new or existing BMW with a BMW telephone docking station, the LTE hotspot works via an LTE-compatible SIM card. Once inserted, each device needs to be registered via an eight-digit code and then it is ready to use.
However, because the LTE Hotspot also supports NFC (Near Field Communication), if a user’s device supports the technology, simply touching it against the hotspot will authenticate it and establish a high-speed internet connection. BMW claims that this is the first time NFC functionality has been offered in a production car.
“‘Plug and play’ is something of an overworked term, but this is the genuine article,” says Markus Dietz.
But maybe the best feature is that although it is designed to work seamlessly with a BMW car, because it can be connected to a vehicle via USB and has an input for an external power supply, the LTE Hotspot could potentially be used with any vehicle.
After about two decades of absence, the BMW Motorsport division has re-entered the DTM track, and quite successfully so. Bruno Spengler won the driver’s title, and the BMW Team Schnitzer also received a high ranking among teams.
The new BMW M3 DTM Champion Edition was developed specifically to celebrate this success, as a limited edition model with only 54 units scheduled for production. The car features a Frozen Black metallic paint job, matt black wheels, a series of dark chrome elements, and a set of “go faster” stripes that go along the CFRP roof and the trunk lid. The exterior is completed with a number of logos that speak of the car’s origins and source of inspiration.
On the inside, the M3 DTM Champion Edition features black Novillo leather upholstery, heated seats, Alcantara steering wheel, carbon fiber trims, embroidered handbrake, and custom sills with design inspiration from Bruno Spengler’s helmet. Other noteworthy features include the Park Distance Control system, M DCT Drivelogic, Competition package, M Drive, M Driver’s Package, and navigation system.
The new super car will hit the market in February 2013, it will flaunt quite a hefty price tag of €99,000 (about $128,500). Buyers will also receive the possibility to attend the BMW M Fascination Nordschleife driver training course at the Nürburgring.
This car would look great in the Underground Garage!
Discerning car collectors now stand a rare opportunity to become one of an elite few to be able to join the distinguished Ford GT40 owner’s club, as a rare 1965 GT40 with chassis No. P/1034 is being offered by RM Auctions. This high-performance British-American sports car originally produced to win long-distance sports car races against Ferrari, and is the winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans for 4 consecutive times, is actually the most celebrated and highly sought after in collector circles. Finished in Pine Green color, this ultra-rare Ford GT40 that actually revolutionized America’s stance in the supercar segment is expected to fetch as much as $3 million at the RM auction scheduled to be held on January 18th in Phoenix, Arizona. However, auctioneer RM Auctions’ at its Monterey Auction also earlier offered two rare Ford GT40 racing cars, including a remarkable 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Lightweight racing car with chassis P/1074, which went on to sell for a record $11 million price to become the most expensive American car sold at auction.
The most imaginative Swiss watchmaker, Maximilian Büsser & Friends ‘MB&F’ which refers to their timepieces as ‘horological machines’, as their creations are allegedly primarily micro-mechanical sculptures with timekeeping as secondary function, presented its first of luxury watches, Horological Machine No. 1 in 2006. And since then, this watchmaker renowned for bringing child’s sense of awe and playfulness into high-end watchmaking, has presented the HM2, HM3 and HM4, besides the Legacy Machine No. 1 ‘LM1’ in 2011. And in a continuation of cool and contemporary watchmaking, MB&F now in 2012 proudly unveiled its 5th horological machine HM5, which is the direct homage to the rebellious and daring Amida Digitrend who actually refused to accept the 1970s quartz revolution. The HM5 actually takes its philosophy from the 1970s icons, muscle cars and now, 40 years into the future, puts them ‘On the Road Again’.
Notably, the HM5’s exceptional wedge-shaped case is a tribute to the daring Amida Digitrend, besides it also takes design cues from the sleek and low-slung muscle cars, with louvres on their horizontal rear windows blocking all of the heat and sunlight. And conversely, the HM5’s slide operated louvres actually open to allow light come-in to charge on the Super-LumiNova numbers.
And, the forward-facing display makes HM5 truly a driver’s watch with vertical time display, so the wearer doesn’t need to lift the wrist from the steering to read time.
Pow! Bam! Zoom! The Original 1966 TV Batmobile Owned By George Barris To Cross Auction Block At Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale
Holy Grail of TV Star Cars to be Sold for First Time January 19, 2013 in Scottsdale, AZ
Barrett-Jackson, the World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions™, announced today that it will offer one of the most recognized and popular pieces of entertainment history worldwide, at its 42nd annual Scottsdale auction in January – the only 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car which was heavily modified by legendary customizer George Barris to become the original 1966 Batmobile in the live action TV series Batman, as well as the movie adaptation, starring Adam West. The car will cross the block alongside Barrett-Jackson’s 5000 Series on Saturday, January 19th from approximately 5:00pm – 9:00pm.
Still as striking as when it first came out of the paint shop, the original Batmobile has been a part of Barris’ personal collection since he first bought it from the Ford Motor Company for a dollar in 1965. Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction will mark the first time the car has gone up for sale since then.
We would love to do a Batman Themed Garage! Let us know if your interested!
They want you to be a better driver.
It sounds simple enough, but the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving has pulled out all the stops to get you there. Everything we do is geared toward instilling The Bondurant Method within you. In order to promote our method, we push ourselves to bring you the best of everything – the finest facility, the most up-to-date supercar and equipment, the most qualified staff, the best training methods, and the highest standards in order to help you reach your goals – whatever they may be.
Bespoke 1.6-mile track on a 60-acre facility, designed by world champion driver Bob Bondurant himself? Yes. Classroom facilities to instill some car-control basics? Yes. A couple of hundred late-model GM cars to select from, depending on what course you take – all of which have fully-functional, ice-cold air conditioning for your complete comfort? Yes. A complete, dedicated, on-site maintenance facility that checks, replaces and repairs any items that have worn out? Check. A staff of long-term, knowledgeable, enthusiastic instructors – guys who are in it because they love to drive and love to teach? Yes. Pitside classroom? Yes. Driving suits and helmets that will fit 99 percent of the head and body types in America today? Yes. A first-class crew of people behind the scenes working to make sure that you have the time of your life? Yes.
Yes, yes, yes. What’s your question?
The answer is yes.
Check them out at: Bondurant
Established in 1971 and headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Barrett-Jackson specializes in providing products and services to classic and collector car owners, astute collectors and automotive enthusiasts around the world. The company produces “The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions™” in Scottsdale, Ariz., Palm Beach, Fla., Las Vegas, Nev. and Orange County, Calif. Barrett-Jackson also endorses a one-of-a-kind collector car insurance offering for collector vehicles and other valued belongings.
Make sure to go!
Westworld of Scottsdale
16601 N Pima Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
For more information check out: Barrett Jackson Scottsdale
Luxury cars group Infiniti will open its first dealerships in Brazil in 2014 with an initial range of three luxury vehicles.
The premium Japanese car maker will open in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro before the end of 2014 and will boast cutting-edge architectural design as well as promising new levels of client service in line with the country’s growing affluence. Further showrooms in Santa Catarina and Paraná are planned for 2017.
The first Infiniti luxury cars to become officially available will be the FX sport crossover, the 7-seater luxury JX crossover plus an all-new sports sedan that is yet to be launched.
The company has expanded rapidly since opening its first dealership in the US in 1989 and now has a presence in 47 markets including South Korea, Russia, China and most recently Singapore, Chile, Dominican Republic, South Africa and Australia.