Monday, 19 June 2017

For Richer, For Poorer

There were a couple of interesting Autocar articles published this week that I quite enjoyed until I read a comment that made me feel quite cold.

The first one was this one.

It is a story about a company called "Flying Spares", based near Nuneaton which basically recycles discarded Bentleys and Rolls Royces to supply spares all around the World.  Most of the business is shipping new or remanufactured spares but they do also source many off the vehicles that they have there too.
Not sure what that 66 plate Bentayga is doing there though. I wonder if they will actually cater for newer Bentleys given that they are now part of VAG so will have a completely different set of spares to Rollers.
I know I love wandering about a scrapyard - that particular one (not that they call it a scrapyard) would be particularly fascinating.
The company was started out of a Portakabin by Ben Handford and his wife, Lucy and is now turning over close to £10 million per year.
Another entrepreneur who started small (in a barn in fact) is Tim Earnshaw, who owns Windrush Car Storage which is what the other article is about.  It is a storage facility for luxury cars and a Metro.
The article begins, "They call it ‘the Batcave’ because of the amazing cars it contains, and because you could be standing within two feet of it and not know it was there.
I can’t tell you precisely where it is except that it’s in an underground car park in central London, shielded from view by thick walls."

It seems to be under the Westfield Shopping Centre.

It costs £480 a month to store your car there and it will get cosseted including regular running.  I hope they aren't charging the Metro owner that - it will be costing more than the car is worth just to store it.  They do have a cheaper facility in the Cotswolds where they charge £270 a month.  It would be worth driving from London to there just for the savings - but then again, money is not going to be an issue for the people using this service.
Could that be a Bugatti Veyron under that sheet perhaps?

Then I read the comments at the bottom of the story.

Someone using the name voyager12 said "The city where cars are better looked after than people."

Now I love cars.  That's why I was finding it so interesting reading these articles.  The first article is fine - it is about helping people - enthusiasts - to keep old luxury cars on the road at a budget to be enjoyed.  The second article though is about helping obscenely rich people store luxury cars that will very rarely be driven.

The location is nice and handy for Kensington.

Kensington where there are many luxury properties laying empty while their rich, usually foreign, owners are abroad somewhere for most of the year.

Kensington where, at the latest count, 79 people died in the Grenfell Tower fire.  They were there because they were poor - because that was the best social housing that could be found for them.  If it is true that the block was covered in dangerous cladding because it was more attractive to look at then someone needs to go to prison for a very long time.  But if it is true, we know they won't.

Now don't get me wrong, I've no problem with Tim.  He has found an excellent way of bringing some foreign money into our country while he provides a unique and useful service.  It's just a shame that (and I know I'm making a big assumption here) I suspect that most of his client base will think more about their cars than about people.

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