Custom cars of the rich and the famous
Garnering a significant attention, custom built and limited edition cars have always been the apple of every auto-lovers’ eyes. But, the custom and one-off cars exclusively designed by the top automakers like Ferrari, McLaren, Chrysler, and Aston Martin, to name a few, for the rich and the famous individuals, grabs much wider attention and speaks a lot about the owners taste. Just buying a luxury car isn’t a kick enough for the super rich, they want more exclusive and customized editions to match their discerning taste. From the one-off royal cars to the custom-built classic rides of India’s maharajas, the customization trend is what sets the rich apart. And in case of classic cars owned by the rich and the famous, the custom details goes a long way in adding value to a car’s provenance.
1) Bespoke McLaren X-1
At the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, California, where the avid car collectors get to grab the most desirable collector cars, McLaren proudly unveiled its bespoke X-1, taking the custom car design a to an a different level altogether. On the request of an anonymous buyer, McLaren which recently unveiled its 2013 MP4-12C Spider, designed and built this completely custom car with a unique, carbon fiber body.
Based on the tub and chassis of the MP4-12C, the car’s design was inspired by historic cars like the 1959 Buick Electra, 1959 Buick Electra, and the 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K. Notably, the affluent buyer has McLaren hold the car design competition for this project, with the eventual winner being McLaren’s young designer Hong Yeo.
The X-1 uses carbon fiber body panels, while the panels over the rear wheels are hinged, and the doors open in the same manner as those of MP4-12C.
2) Custom Pininfarina Hyperion derived from the Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe
Italian coachbuilder and design house Pininfarina designed the one-off custom built car, the Hyperion which is derived from the Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe, back in year 2008. The car was exclusively custom-built for an acclaimed Rolls-Royce collector Roland Hall who asked Pininfarina to custom-design a car that could elicit the stylish appeal of the 1930s lavish cars. And, as per the instruction Pininfarina created this gaudy looking Hyperion, which is named after one of the Titans of Greek mythology.
An Italian American automobile designer Jason Castriota designed this all carbon-fiber convertible model, and was built by Pininfarina’s Special Projects division. Design changes done to this bespoke car includes, removal of rear seats, the driving position pushed back by 400mm, extended roof, shortening of rear-end, and an addition of exclusive new fold which automatically folds behind the seats.
For an undisclosed price, this bespoke classic car got reportedly listed for sale at the Prestige Car dealership in Abu Dhabi.
3) One-Off Aston Martin DB7 V8 for Saudi Royal Family
An open chequebook can certainly open the door to a whole new world of possibilities; a member of the Saudi Royal Family commissioned Aston Martin to open their designing imagination which eventually paved the way for one-off creation like this 1998 Aston Martin DB7 V8 Vantage. The designers at the Aston Martin’s Newport Pagnell manufacturing facility managed to squeeze the 6.3-litre engine from the V8 Vantage into DB7’s shapely nose.
Finished in Cheviot red paintwork and parchment leather seating pipped in oxblood, with matching claret carpets, this bespoke DB7 is now under the hammer in the Historics at Brooklands auction on September 1, 2012, at an estimated price of $110,120 to $125,850. Also, check the Aston Martin DB7 covered in gold and platinum, which was created by luxury customization company Alchemist.
4) Larry Ellison’s 1995 McLaren F1
During the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, California, acclaimed auctioneer Gooding & Co. auctioned the Oracle honcho Larry Ellison’s bespoke supercar, the McLaren F1 for $3.57 million. However, this car realized less than half the price of the top Gooding & Co. draw, a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione that fetched $7.26 million.
This 15-years old car cost only $970,000 when it was new, and was the only production car out there in the last 30 years.
5) Custom Chrysler 300S by John Varvatos
One of America’s hottest menswear designer, John Varvatos has now put his personal stamp on the Chrysler 300S, that too in support of his favorite charity called the Stuart House. Varvatos and Chrysler collaborated on the custom car project, for which the designer spent several days in the Chrysler design studio to create unique $75,000 vehicle that features custom Varvatos hallmarks on the chassis and waffle weave leather accents on the interior along with the swatches of sumptuous black leather. Other designer touches include Mopar 20-inch wheels in Satin Carbon finish.
We have also earlier seen the sale of Obama’s Chrysler 300 for $1 million.
6) One-Off Ferrari SP12 EC for rock legend Eric Clapton
For the British rock legend Eric Clapton, Ferrari has built a one-off special edition model which has been designed by the Centro Stile Ferrari in collaboration with Italian designer Pinifarina and Ferrari’s engineers in Maranello. Ferrari describes that the SP12 EC (SP for ‘special project’ and EC for ‘Eric Clapton’) has been exclusively created as homage to Clapton’s career and his long lasting experience as Ferrari owner.
The car is based on the 458 Italia model and features styling cues from 512 BB of the 1970’s, Clapton’s favorite Ferrari model. Styling features include a larger intake at the front of the car, grey slats on the front boot lid and a two tone red and black paint scheme. The car is part of Ferrari’s One-Off Program, which was set up in 2007 to create unique models following demand from customers.
Also, check out some of the most expensive Ferraris, and the 1960 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione, which has been recently sold at the Pebble Beach Auction held on August 18-19, 2012 for a record $11,275,000.