We get to Lydd's private airport by 8am and board a phenomenal PHENOM 300 - big news when it comes to a small, personal jet. This sensational 6 seater is the ultimate big boy's toy.There's no wait and no need to put your tan brogues and Rolex Submariner on a security conveyor belt. It's all smiles and cups of cheap coffee from the team at Lydd.
Complete with pilot, co-pilot, bacon rolls, tons of Toblerone and crates of (Diet) Coke a PHENOM 300 is a bit like a new hand-built Bentley...with wings. You settle down, strap in and BOSH. Take-off verges on vertical. I guess it's the Lambo of small jets. Mental!
70 minutes later, after flying at 38,000 feet (high above low-rent commercial aircraft) you find yourself at Geneva airport, a 5 minute limo ride from the Motor Show. And I ask you.Where else would you want to buy a brand new Lambo?
Geneva Motor Show is gigantic. Three huge, hangar-like halls of precious metal. All glitz, ritz and gloss but no soul. You'd expect the wonderful world of Motoring Marketers to pull out the stops at Geneva but they don't. They deliver the same, tired old ideas, nothing new.What a shame and what a disappointment. Row after row of characterless, shiny cars all attempting to attract attention. An Eastern car maker had a few raunchy "dancers" performing an 80s inspired routine. This involved caressing a wheel arch and rubbing a bumper. There was no happy ending.
Over the last few years Lamborghini have done it better and better but I'm not sure they can keep it up. How do you improve on perfection?
Luckily one automotive Superbrand knew how to create a super stand. Lo and behold...God created Lamborghini. Strictly invite only this hallowed place was the saving grace of Geneva. Past the thick black rope, thick black security guard and up the stairs, you find yourself with Europe's finest. All freshly ripped jeans, box fresh trainers, pink cashmere V-necks and very big watches.Those present had been carefully vetted to ensure they weren't going to waste anyone's time.This was no place for free-loaders.
The latest offering from Lamborghini is the Aventador. The car on show at the show was metallic burnt orange. I can't pronounce it's Italian name and I don't need to. Adored all day by a vast jaw-dropped crowd, 8 deep, the Aventador was worthy of their undivided attention. It is and always will be a complete and utter fucking sensation.Nothing but nothing comes close. Over the last few years Lamborghini have done it better and better but I'm not sure they can keep it up. How do you improve on perfection?
Perfect from every angle the Aventador looks like it's doing 200mph when it's standing still, every delicious detail carefully considered, it looks like a supersonic spaceship. I'm sure it spits flames! At a chunk over £200K this work of art will find it's way into the hearts of many and the garages of few.
The anonymous, charming and generous chap who took me to Geneva is a petrol-head first and (fortunately for him) a business-head second. He lives fast and drives even faster, sitting beside him in one of his fleet is no joyride, more of an endurance test than anything. That said, he can handle four wheels better than anyone I know so at least I feel safe. He was off to Geneva to confirm the order and pay the deposit for his latest road going, flying machine which will most likely be the first in Britain. Just as his Porsche Panamera was and his McLaren 12C will be.
Thinking about it 'Petrol Head' is an absolute under-bloody-statement. Let's call him an oil-well head, after all here's a young bloke who's happy with cars that do less than 10mpg and lots of them.But here's also a man with a conscience. Through myriad offset schemes his entire lifestyle is in fact Carbon Neutral.
Perfect from every angle the Aventador looks like it's doing 200mph when it's standing still, every delicious detail carefully considered, it looks like a supersonic spaceship.
The raging bullock of a Lambo speaks for itself. Let's say it's a dream if you drive it but a nightmare if you have to chase it with the sound more hurricane than airplane. A noise so stimulating you question the need for Redtube, Porntube or The Griffin in Clerkenwell. However there was an elephant in a the room.An issue so difficult to escape it was deafening. What was the best bloody colour?
This challenge was driving my mate mad. He was totally pre-occupied, you could sense his brain whirring, feel the fear as he focused, he didn't want to make a mistake.
Black like the Panamera? Dark grey like the yet to arrive Mclaren? Matt black like the Gemballa? Titanium like the twin turbo Gallardo? Silver like the restored to concours DB5 Vantage? You need to appreciate these cars are all colour co-ordinated.Together they form an automotive art installation, they are completely complementary.What colour would work with them, or should it be a colour that stands out and says “I AM cool enough to be this colour”?
Granted, there are harder choices and challenges to deal with but my friend's life is full of them too. This was more distraction than life threatening decision. He put his mind to it, he considered the task, the heritage and the history of Lamborghini. In the 70s lurid green and screaming orange ruled the day but what hue comes from heaven in 2011? The ultimate colour for a car like no other?
I waited for my coffee and waited for my mate...and waited...and waited. It was worse than dropping in unannounced at the doctors. Then something happened. He beckoned the salesman, whispered in his ear and the salesman nodded. He gave him an envelope and the salesman smiled. He's made his mind up I thought to myself, he's decided on a colour.
And d'you know what? He refused to tell me what it was.We walked round the show, missed lunch, sucked on a German sausage and got back on the PHENOM 300 at 5pm local time.
For 70 minutes he sat there, silent, as we crossed France and the Channel. Back to Lydd with not a bloody dicky bird.
I still don't know what he ordered but I hope it was orange. Or green just not black.
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