You know it’s true. Last weekend’s Miami Grand Prix was a JOKE! The track surface was a joke. The chicane was a joke. It was boring. It was dull. There was hardly any overtaking. There was only one safety car. There was an imitation marina. Even imitation stars like David Beckham, Serena Williams, Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, Michelle Obama, Matt Damon, Paris Hilton and rapper Bad Bunny (specialising in Latin trap and reggaeton, but he has also incorporated various other genres into his music, including rock, bachata, and soul) couldn’t make up for the lack of on-track vibe. Five drivers got so bored they pulled into the garage early.
And despite the event being a sell-out, Miami GP boss Tom Garfinkel said the whole show lost money. Part of the problem he suggested was putting 20ha of turf around the toilets.
Anyway, two out of three of my tips got up. Mad Max beat Chuck who beat Carl Sainz. Hamo came sixth.
But the biggest stories of the Florida fiasco were knickers and jewellery.
Seb Vettel, 34, of Thurgau, Gnomeland, wore his undies over his overalls last weekend in protest against the FIA forcing drivers to wear ones made out of anti-flammable material, which as you and I know are very scratchy in that region of the body.
Mr Bling himself, Lou Hamo of Monte Carlo, is equally up in arms over the FIA wanting him to take his rings, necklaces and piercings off. While temporarily dropping most items, he said getting his nose stud and an item on his most private of parts was a piercing too far.
So, the big questions for the Formula 1 Pirelli Gran Premio de España (in Spain) next weekend are: will Hamo have to take all the piercings off? And will Seb wear his own choice of boxers?
Getting back to some semblance of sanity, over the last few weeks, apart from a couple of days in the WART Beemer, the Sultan and I have spent a lot of time test driving a Ford Everest and Subaru Forester around Tassie, for which we paid Hertz a lot.
Because you can’t buy one for another 30 years, let’s summarise the Subi by saying there’s no better-equipped, luggage-friendly and fun to drive (although the engine could do with 30 per cent more grunt) car in the small SUV department. And it’s super reliable.
The Everest is a big roomy Australian-designed SUV that I thought drove and handled better on the road (and we tried to be on the road most of the time) than its competitors, including the big ones from Toyota. Toyota probably wins on quality but as a driver’s car the Ford is any easy winner. About $72k.
There’s a blue 1987 Porsche 928 V8 S4 Coupe. These still look modern and drive really well and will keep appreciating. The 1987 S4 is probably the best the factory built. This is a four-owner, automatic with $30k spent on it over the last few years. If it’s as good as I think it is, $50k is expensive but worth spending the extra on.
A personal favourite is the very black 1995 Jaguar XJR 4.0 Supercharged Saloon. These were super-hot cars. At the time, they were the second fastest (next to the Mustang Cobra SVT) Ford sold in the US. Five years ago, you would have got this for about $7k. Today with low mileage, a full Jag service history, it’s a steal at $20k.
Not so much a steal as a fantasy is the 2020 Roaring Forties Ford GT40 replica with 11km on the clock. The engine is a 5.0 litre 32-valve Ford Coyote V8 hooked up to a six-speed manual Audi transaxle. One no-expense-spared owner. With the real things selling for about $10m, $180k looks fair.
Today in the home of the majority of F1 drivers and large money launderers is RM Sotheby’s Monaco auction with more F1 cars than Lou has bling on his private parts, but we only have eyes for the 1988 Jaguar XJR-9, still in original livery, for a very reasonable $3.5m. Built to beat Porkers, this cat did. A second at the 24 Hours of Daytona and a win in 1990.
Older readers with deep pockets will be interested in the 1953 Ferrari 340 MM Spider by Vignale. The last of ten 340 MMs built by Ferrari on its way to winning the 1953 World Sportscar Championship and one of only four surviving 340 MM Vignale Spiders. This is a genuine even numbered car. Why is that important?
Well, Enzo Ferrari didn’t like making road cars. When he started Scuderia Ferrari in 1929, he prepared Alfas for gentleman drivers. When he got his own business going, he had to sell road cars to fund the racing cars he built to beat Alfa. So, for the first 25 years, he gave true racing cars even numbers and odd numbers to road-going or GT cars. In that time, he built 480 even-numbered race cars and more than 8000 odd-numbered cars. Yup that’s why you’ll pay $12m for chassis No.350.
Monday was the Les Grandes Marques à Monaco sale. Let’s go straight to one for the kiddies. It’s the 1966 Batmobile Recreation Original design by George Barris with a Batphone mounted to the dash, custom steering wheel and Batman symbols on the doors. Holy Tintinnabulation readers! All this for $160k.