I just want you to go out now and check that your car doesn’t have Covid, Monkeypox, man, woman or other flu, foot and mouth disease, is wearing a mask and is not electric. I’ll wait right here.
OK. We can safely go on.
I didn’t see any of you at Petra’s wedding last Saturday. It was huge. Petra Ecclestone, 33, who is the daughter of Bernard Charles Ecclestone, 91, late of St Peter South Elmham, now of Gstaad, Gnomeland, married Sam Palmer, 38, former used car salesperson of Essex and now real estate salesperson of Los Angeles.
It was an intimate affair at Petra’s $460m Sloane House in Chelsea. Of course the day before, Petra and a few buds had a stylish hens’ party at 22 Mayfair, London’s new hotel for “the creative and curious” incorporating a private member’s club ($3k a year).
While not a hen myself I can report the pink-themed soiree included topless butlers, a pink and white floral display, champagne and masks with Petra’s face on them.
Also last week, father of the bride, Mr Ecclestone, 1.59m, the former chief executive of Formula One, was told he would face charges of fraud by false representation after an investigation by UK tax authorities that allegedly found undeclared assets worth more than $700m overseas.
Mrs Fabiana Ecclestone, 46, Mr Ecclestone’s partner, is 1.78m and vice-president of the world motorsport council of the FIA, the governing body of fast things including the F1 reality show. Petra’s ex-partner, James Stunt (no I didn’t make it up), 40, is one of eight defendants accused of being part of a scheme that saw $466m deposited in the account of a Bradford gold dealer from 2014 to 2016.
James was not at the wedding but sources close to the gold industry tell me he may be at this year’s World Ploughing Contest in Ratheniska, County Laois, Ireland on September 21 and 22. In a world exclusive interview, WPO general secretary Anna Marie McHugh said: “I am delighted today to announce that 25 countries from all over the globe from Africa to Australia will be participating in this year’s World Ploughing Contest in Ireland. The very best international ploughing competitors and their teams will be battling it out on Irish soil in September to become supreme world champions. We expect Jimmy Stunt to be strong chance.”
Lachy Bennet, a multimedia journalist for the communist party’s major organ in Australia, ABC News, who has been covering Tasmania since 2017, tells us Danny Gladwell, 19, of Elliott, Tasmania, is one of the very best international ploughing competitors and will represent Australia in Ireland. Ploughing used to be Tasmania’s biggest sport with locals preferring John Deeres to Aston Martins. “Up until the AFL came to Tasmania, which was only back in the 2000s, as a sporting event, ploughing held the record for the most crowd on the first day of the contest,” plough expert Alison McGee told Lachy.
Talking of celebrities, Keanu Reeves, 57, late of Beirut, then Watsons Bay in Sydney and now of Hollywood, owned and loved a black, 1990s 911 Carrera 4S, which was nicked. So, after a period of mourning, the Reever approached the Porker Customer Consultation Centre (aka new and used car dealer) in Beverly Hills to discuss how his new 911 could be personalised for him. So, his new Porker has black anodised interior trim panels, a 12-o’clock centre marker on the steering wheel and sits in the matrix garage next to his Bugatti Veyron.
The Reever tells me he will be at Monterey Car Week in August. “Johnny it will be bigger than the WPO, have more cocktails than Petra’s hens party and more seafood than the Doyles’ pub at Wato Bay. Don’t get me wrong nothing could beat the Tempura battered, South Australian garfish (three pieces for $45) with house-made tartare, chips and seasonal vegetables and roasted potatoes I had with the old bloke at the Kensi this year. I don’t want to let the porker out of the bag but Mick has kindly accepted my Mercedes AMG GLE53 as a trade for an oil painting of me in a pair of budgie smugglers.”
Yes, sports fans with heaps of cash, there’s four auctions in and around the Pebble Beach area this year. But wait, there’s more. There’s the Tour d’Elegance presented by Rolex. Rolex, 117, late of London now of Bienne, on the outskirts of Geneva in Gnomeland, makes one million watches a year, turns over close to $20bn and pays no tax. What sexist wouldn’t want to catch the Prancing Ponies Women’s Car Show? Then there’s the Monterey Motorsports Reunion, the Little Car Show and lots of rich Americans dressed up like they think rich English people dress.
Anyway, I’ll be at the RM Sotheby’s auctionathon at the Monterey Conference Centre ready with the Bankcard to bid on anything from the Oscar Davis collection. Oscar, 95, of New York, was the world pool and spa king, queen and other. When he headed off to that giant hot tub in the sky in February, he left behind one of the world’s great car collections. Value around $140m. My tips are the 1953 Ferrari 375MM Spider, for $15m, the 1957 Maserati 450S Spider for $14m and the 1937 Beemer 328 Mille Miglia Bugelfalte, a snip at $10m. Doing it tough? How about the 1966 Brabham BT8 autographed by Jack himself, driver at the time, Tony Dean, and designer Ron Tauranac? My guess is around $200k. I’ll be bidding on the street-legal British V-12 supercar time forgot.
The 1991 Jaguar XJR-15 was about $1.5m new but over time they fell out of favour. This one was restored by our own Jordan Roddy in Melbourne. Earlier this year it was offered for private sale at $2.5m. Get it at anywhere around $1.6m in August and you’ll forget you ever wanted Apple shares.