Ferrari Fêtes 70th Anniversary

Even the spires of New York City’s iconic skyline sported the brand’s signature red.

To cap off a world-wide celebration in over 60 countries, Ferrari unveiled a public exhibition in New York City over Columbus Day weekend to celebrate its 70th anniversary with fans, clients and collectors alike.

Iconic classics were on display, as well as notable examples of contemporary models.

At Rockefeller Plaza, Ferrari fans were treated to an open-air exhibition displaying one extraordinary car per decade, as well as the limited edition LaFerrari Aperta and Michael Schumacher’s Grand-Prix winning F2001.

In front of the Hublot Flagship Store on Fifth Avenue, a store-front exhibition of iconic racing cars, past and present delighted crowds.

Supercars and priceless models, such as the 250 LM, from across the decades showcased Ferrari’s iconic status at RM Sotheby’s.

And at the Ferrari New York Showroom, front-engine V12s stole the spotlight.

A champagne toast in Rockefeller Plaza closed the weekend exhibition on Sunday evening, where Ferrari commissioned celebrated street artist Mitchell Schoerr for a live performance that was later auctioned for charity to benefit Save the Children.


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Diamonds are Now a Car’s Best Friend Thanks to Rolls-Royce

rolls royce

It looks like Rolls-Royce took Rihanna’s advice to “shine bright like diamond” literally. The British automakers have now developed a special type of paint that is mixed with over 1,000 crushed diamonds as an exterior finish on a custom Ghost. The Ghost, considered a favorite among luxury car enthusiasts, typically begins at $300,000. Named “Diamond Stardust,” the brand claims that this is the first time the exterior finish has ever been applied to a vehicle, and took over two months to develop into a smooth paint that wouldn’t feel like sandpaper. Not only is this the most expensive paint to ever grace the body of a car, but it is also the most labor intensive. The paint, commissioned by a private collector, requires an extra coat of clear enamel as a finish, which requires an extra three days of application and hands-on work by Rolls-Royce craftsmen.

Because the car was privately commissioned by a collector, it’s true price has not been disclosed. However, the bespoke product was recently unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show as part of the company’s campaign to showcase their customized vehicle services. In addition to two different colors of diamond paint, the car also features black leather interiors with Mugello Red stitching, Tudor Oak veneers, and the owner’s favorite tartan material stitched into the pockets of the rear doors.

Photo Credits: Rolls-Royce


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Two Gold Infused Rolls-Royce Phantoms Created, The Most Expensive Rolls-Royces Ever Built

From mixing pure gold paint to searching swamps for 48,000-year-old wood, the world’s luxury car makers are going to greater and greater lengths to meet their clients’ needs, but they’re doing so in a way that maintains their brand ethos and keeps their cars out of independent tuner and customization garages.

Rolls-Royce this month put the final touches to the biggest single bespoke order in its history — 30 unique extended wheelbase Phantoms that will serve as guest shuttles for THE 13, an ultra-exclusive Macau hotel.

Each car’s exterior boasts a unique shade of red paint, created specifically for the client, plus equally original alloy wheels. However, two of the cars also sport badges made from the finest enamel and surrounded by pave set diamonds, plus a layer of pure gold paint on top of the bespoke red exterior finish.

Identified by the inclusion of 24 carat gold on both the exterior and interior, the two distinctive motor cars will be heralded as the finest in the fleet and at the time of commissioning, the most expensive Rolls-Royce Phantoms ever built.

“A Rolls-Royce motor car is commissioned to express the tastes, desires and lifestyle of its patron,” said Giles Taylor, the company’s Director of Design.

And to meet the specifications of the client, Stephen Hung, Rolls-Royce needed to devise a new type of paint and a new method of applying it so that the finish would be perfectly even.

“[It] took eight attempts to mix the perfect color,” said Rolls-Royce Material Scientist, Nick Geehan. It consists of 23.75 carat gold particles, applied at a 40-micron thickness, mixed with glass and aluminum so that the car literally shimmers. As well as new application equipment, the vehicles required 10 layers of paint to get the right effect, 250% more than usual.

And Rolls-Royce isn’t the only established automotive firm going to extraordinary lengths to keep its customers satisfied and away from firms like Mansory, who pride themselves on being able to offer any type of internal, external or under the hood customization on any car.

“We fill the niche in the market the manufacturers can’t, or don’t want to fill in,” explains Ralph Niese, Manosry’s marketing head. “It is all about individualization. We offer our customers the possibility to create their very own car, with the interior, the aerodynamics and the engine power they want to have.”

Purists feel that these sorts of services can sometimes be detrimental to the car’s intended aesthetic or positioning. But at the same time, Rolls-Royce isn’t the only company that recognizes tastes are changing and that they need to move with the times.

Rare woods and custom patterns

It’s why Bentley bid an undisclosed amount at auction for a tiny piece of a 350-year-old walnut tree from the Fulbeck estate in the UK that it will reserve as a veneer option for just a handful of most important clients.

BMW can now trim a car’s cabin with 48,000-year-old swamp-preserved kauri wood from New Zealand.

And Audi this week announced it’s developed a new method of applying paint that will allow clients to etch their car’s surface with patterns and symbols. The effect is achieved by adding matte elements to the existing paint finish.

“With this process, we modify the brilliance of the paintwork and the intensity of its sheen. Light hitting the surface is then reflected diffusely by the individualized surface areas. This makes it appear matte,” explained project manager Dr. Erhard Brandl. Production section head Mirko Endres added: “This form of individualization is weather resistant, unlike conventional lettering and stickers, and it has a much more high-quality appearance.”


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Top luxury car debuts at 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Lamborghini Aventador SV Super Veloce

Aston Martin launches at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show an extreme, track-only supercar, code-named the Aston Martin Vulcan. Surprisingly, no spy shots or design renderings have leaked online, which means we have absolutely no clue on how it looks. Neither do we have the slightest idea on the pricing. However, when the company describes it as ‘the most extreme Aston Martin in our 102-year history’, we know we are up for something exceptional. All we know is that only 30 of these track-oriented beasts will be made and it might be one of the last Aston Martin’s to use a V12 engine.

Audi will debut the 2016 Audi R8 at the Geneva Motor Show. The new R8 doesn’t look a whole lot different than the current model, but Audi has given it enough subtle upgrades to make it look fresh. Nevertheless, the chassis underpinning the car, which it shares with the Lamborghini Huracan, is all-new. Surprisingly, there will be no V8 model at launch, and instead there will be only one engine in two levels of tune on offer. The first is the 5.2-liter R8 V10 with 540 horsepower, a bump of 15 hp over the present car. The second is the 5.2-liter R8 V10 Plus with 610 hp, a massive increase of 60 hp over the current model. Audi also confirmed that the 2016 R8 will arrive with laser headlights as optional extra.

McLaren 675LT, which will be unveiled in Geneva will have a power output of 666 horsepower from its 3.8-liter twin turbo V8, which makes it sit at the top of the range of McLaren’s “super series” that includes the 650S and the Asia-exclusive 625C.

Porsche’s will debut in Geneva the Cayman GT4, powered by a 3.8-litre flat-six lifted from the 911 Carrera S, here producing 380bhp at 7,400rpm, making it the most potent Cayman ever. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual, which is the only option available. The Cayman GT4 will arrive in American showrooms in July, costing $85,595, including destination.


2015 LAMBORGHINI Huracán at The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe

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Overview: Lamborghini’s new “entry-level” supercar, the Huracán, picks up where the exotic Gallardo left off. Its angular design manages to be both severe and elegant, and its stealth fighter–like cockpit is as luxurious as it is intense. Nestled behind the passengers is a 602-hp V-10 mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automated gearbox (sorry, no manual transmission is offered) and all-wheel drive, helping Lambo’s new bull accelerate from 0–60 mph in just under three seconds, and a top speed of 202 mph.

FERRARI event held at The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe

Ferrari California T
LuxeGlobal’s Robert Mani and the new 2015 Ferrari California T
Robert and Susan Mani
Robert and Susan Mani, The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe members

Ferrari rolled out its new 2015 California T for San Diego and Orange County at The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe on Sept. 5. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in a one-on-one driving session and product overview. For more information, call 866-551-2825.

Photos by McKenzie Images.

This article appears in the September 11, 2014 issue of The Rancho Santa Fe Review.