Two stories follow, provoking a little less sympathy for the OPEC oil sheiks’ request.
Sheik flies Lamborghini 6,500 miles to Britain for oil change
By Neil Syson, The Sun www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article1493291.ece
A rich Arab sent his Lamborghini on a 6,500-mile round trip to Britain for a service.
The £190,000 supercar was put on a scheduled flight from Qatar to Heathrow – then flown BACK after the oil check.
Money was no object as the flight would have cost the owner – thought to be a Sheikh – around £20,000.
The move sparked fury from green campaigners.
An airport worker said: “This car doesn’t have a carbon footprint – more of a crater.”
The overall cost of sending the Lamborghini to London for the oil change would have cost more than £23,000.
His black-and-gold supercar costs £3,552 to service at an approved dealer – on top of the £20,000 to freight from Qatar to Britain.
The Murciélago LP640 – driven by Batman in movie The Dark Knight – arrived from the Middle Eastern country on Friday.
It cleared customs and was trucked to specialist mechanics in London for the service.
On Monday it was flown back 3,250 miles to the oil-rich state where it was collected by the owner.
A cargo handler at Heathrow blasted the car’s environmental damage.
He said: “It would have been far more efficient to fly mechanics out there.”
And Jenny Evans, of pressure group Plane Stupid, said: “This horrifies me. It is another example of how rich people exploit and pollute the planet because of their money.”
She said the role of the super-wealthy in climate change was not properly recognised – while poor people were rapped for going on holiday.
Friends of the Earth’s transport campaigner Richard Dyer said: “Flying a car thousands of miles for a service is ludicrous when planes are one of the most polluting ways to transport goods. We urge the individual to get their car serviced closer to home.”
But David Price, of Lamborghini Club UK, said: “If an owner wants to service his car in that way, it is his choice.
“I’m not surprised. Thankfully the age of excess in some areas continues.”
Lamborghini UK spokeswoman Juliet Jarvis said there could be “kudos” for a Middle Eastern owner in servicing a car in London.
She said the exclusive Italian brand had a network of authorised dealers around the world – and most cars were looked after in the country where they were bought.
But she added: “This sort of thing is not unheard of.”
Qatar Airways confirmed it carried the Lamborghini.
The cars are popular with celebs including Rod Stewart and David Beckham.
The Sultan’s 5,000 personal vehicles
If you were rich enough to drive any car you wanted, absolutely any car, and money is no object, what would you go for? A Lamborghini, Bugatti, Mercedes, Aston Martin, or how about something outrageous like a Formula 1 car.
But what if you were truly rich, not just “getting by” like Bill Gates or Sir Richard Branson, but truly rich. The Sultan of Brunei is the richest man on earth; he is not counted on rich lists because he does not earn his money it comes from his tiny country’s oil reserves which are essentially his. Estimates of his wealth pop up from time to time but the truth is that no one really knows how much money he has.
So which car do you think the richest man in the world drives, well if you said Lamborghini, you’d be correct, if you said Aston Martin that would be right too, and if you guessed F1 Race-car you would have been nearly right because he owns every Formula One championship-winning car for the last thirty years.
These cars fit very nicely into his garage which is a bit bigger than your garage at home, it has to be to be able to accommodate the estimated 5000 personal vehicles owned by the Sultan. If he picked one car to drive down to his local corner café for bread and milk each day, it would take him thirteen and a half years to use each one.
He seems to quite like the Rolls Royce range he has over 500 hundred of those, if you tried unsuccessfully to buy a Rolls during the 1990’s that would be because he accounted for over half of their entire sales for that decade.
His collection, which may well be far more than 5000 vehicles, is estimated to have cost over US$4 billion. Filling them all up may be a little expensive, at $1 per litre that’s estimated at a minimum of half a million US dollars.
Those that voted for the Lamborghini will be happy to know that he has 20 of those, but he seems to prefer the sleeker appearance of the Ferrari’s as he opted for 367 of those, Jaguars are nice little run-arounds, all 177 of them, as are the 362 Bentleys.
He’s also not into buying boring, run-of-the-mill BMW’s (185 of them) and likes something a bit more exotic such as the Bentley Dominator 4X4 and Bentley Java, Ferrari FX (6), the worlds only right hand drive Mercedes CLK-GTR and the Cizeta Moroder V16T (3).
Added to the burden of deciding which car to use each day a visitor of the sultan’s garage’s once said: “It can take an hour and a half just to get a certain car out if it’s been parked right at the back.”