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On Wednesday, the Sultan and I were sedately driving up the quaintly called Eagle On The Hill stage of the Adelaide Rally 2023.

We were just checking things out – as we are now required to do to ensure we get a podium and so a trophy, along with our complimentary (along with the $4000 entry fee) cap, vehicle signage, finishers’ medallion and lunch in the real event that started on Friday from Victoria Park which, next week, will feature what used to be called the Clipsal 500 for non-electric V8s.

The most interesting features of this stage are the views of the City of Churches, where you can’t drink the water, the well-constructed bicycle track that runs by the road where, we hope, even more temporary Australians than those who ride motorbikes aren’t out and about dressed in their $1000 Mathilde Audax bib shorts and Lorenne zip-up jersey cycling tops – made by Cafe du Cycliste, a French-designed brand not afraid to span the entire spectrum between minimalist monochrome jerseys and eye-catching prints that look ripped straight from a Parisian nightclub) on their $20,000 Cervelo S5 Shimano Dura Aces and the tricky bit towards the end of the stage where at somewhere north of what feels like 200km/h one is required to suddenly turn left into a small carpark and in about two seconds turn out again, hopefully avoiding the Cafe du Cycliste cyclists and the very pink Norms Soft Serve hot doughnuts ($2), soft serve ice creams ($4) and slushies ($3) van.

Anyway, the Sultan turned to me (he was reading the Bernie Webb-supplied pace notes, not driving) and said: “You know I dropped out at 61, don’t you?”

Well, I knew that Michael (McMichael aka the Sultan of Stepney) had, some years ago, dropped out of the contemporary art caper where he rivalled Damian Hirst in the dead animal genre.

Hirst’s first major animal installation, was of course, A Thousand Years, “consisting of a large glass case containing maggots and flies feeding on a rotting cow’s head”. Although once Damian put a cigarette in the end of his penis in front of journalists.

“No, you idiot. No wonder Damien did what he did with cigarettes in front of journalists. I meant I dropped out at $61m on Monday night on the 1962 Fezzer 330 LM/250 GTO that went for close to $80m.”

The 2015 Porsche 918 “Weissach” Spyder and a few other trinkets on offer from the White Collection.

The 2015 Porsche 918 “Weissach” Spyder and a few other trinkets on offer from the White Collection.

It turns out that Mick had schlepped over to Sotheby’s seventh-floor saleroom on the corner of 72nd St and York Ave.

“They locked a select group of bidders like me in the auction room. There were a few Russians on the Al Capone and off we went. Jim Jaeger’s (co-founder of Escort radar) Fezzer that he owned for 40 years was gone in 20 minutes.”

Now much has been made of the $80m price for a classic car, comparing it to art prices and the price of road tolls in Australia.

Mick asked you to consider a few things. The highest price paid at auction until now was for a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Series II Berlinetta ($75m) in 2018. A few of us thought that even in 2018 dollars this should have sold for $100m. More importantly the auction market has gone mad.

On the same night, a laundry sink by Bob Goder went for $5.3m. A series of painted squares titled the Hondura Lottery Co sold for $30m, or about $10m over estimate.

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Self-Portrait as a Heel (Part Two), which is a very scary acrylic and oilstick on canvas, brought $64m. Of course, the most valuable work of art sold at auction this year was Pablo Picasso’s Femme a la Montre, which went for a lazy $215m.

Talking of Feezers, our friends at DIRT (Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Transport) have recalled the 2023 Ferrari SF 90 ($1m drive away not much more to pay) because engine oil could leak into the engine bay and accumulate in the presence of ignition source, resulting in a vehicle fire that would obliterate all life within 100km.

And in a story we’ve all heard before, DIRT is also recalling Mazda CX-60s “the fail-safe driving mode which helps reduce the effects of failure in the vehicle may activate unintentionally resulting in a loss of motive power”, resulting in: see above.

Talking of advertising, BMW needs to take a look at its online ad placement. Footage showing a car crash where two young boys were killed and two other people running away from the wreckage was preceded by a Mini ad.

Talking of Porkers, head to Houston next month to fill Santa’s sack with white Porsches, Porsche memorabilia and Porsche junk. RM Sotheby’s is playing elf when it sells off the White Collection, including 61 white Porkers and two red Porsche tractors.

Heading the list is a Grand Prix White with colour-matched magnesium wheels, over full leather-to-sample Yachting Blue upholstery with Bianco Leda piping one-off 918 Spyder ($4.6m).

Doing it tough? What about the Baby Porsche RSR kiddie car for about $150.

And it’s all go for the Las Vegas GP this weekend with a wedding chapel in the paddock, workers at the Chicken Ranch offering drivers 100 per cent free horizontal folk dancing, Mad Max offering to win the race easily and a ban on the yellow, red and blue from the Sphere during the Las Vegas Grand Prix to avoid distracting the drivers.

The Sphere is the home to U2, who will have to stop singing really crook songs like Your Song Saved My Life for a few hours. Watch it all on this platform’s Fox Sports or Kayo.



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