From the ridiculous to the simply brilliant

Well here’s a little twist on the theme of yesterdays’s piece. First up the ridiculous; this time it’s about a car, a very rare one. The car isn’t the ridiculous item, in fact it’s rather beautiful…

It’s a Mercedes-Benz – one of only two surviving street-legal 300 SLR Uhlenhaut coupes which were created by the marque’s racing director at the time, Rudolf Uhlenhaut. He built them as part of a motorsport assault and despite being among the fastest cars in the world at the time, they were never raced due to the brand’s withdrawal from racing in 1955 following a disastrous crash at Le Mans that resulted in over 80 people being killed, including Mercedes’s own driver. The vehicles have been kept in Mercedes-Benz’s own collection of historic racing cars since then.

Until this week when it was sold at auction for guess how much? £30m? Have another go…£60m? No it was sold to a private collector for a world record price of just shy of $143m!! Now that is just a staggeringly ridiculous sum to pay for a car, don’t you think? It’s rare and quite stunning to look at but you’d never drive it for fear of damaging it and compromising its originality and value. So the owner will just stick it in a very secure storage area and admire it from time to time I imagine. I guess the biggest buzz is knowing that you’re the only private collector in the world to have one. It wouldn’t be enough for me I’m afraid. And even if I was billionaire I just couldn’t imagine paying that amount of money for a car you wouldn’t dare drive. Bonkers. To be honest I just don’t think I could sleep at night, worrying about its safe-keeping. Where’s the pleasure in that?

I understand that  Mercedes intend to use the money to set up a foundation focused on providing educational scholarships for studies in sustainability, as well as science, technology, and engineering. That’s laudable but couldn’t they have just created it from their vast money reserves? After all it spends around a third of a £billion a year just on F1. Those crazy Germans eh.

But I’ll tell you what really gave me some pleasure – watching the final day of the Premiership season yesterday. Wasn’t it great? There’s was so much to resolve; would City or Liverpool secure the title, would Leeds or Burnley secure their Premiership survival or be relegated, would Spurs or Arsenal secure the 4th Champion’s League spot, who’d win the Golden Boot award – Son or Salah, which of United or West Ham would secure the Europa League spot and who would get the dreaded Europa Conference League spot? And would United at last play decently instead of like a bunch of strangers? Well in case you don’t know the answers by now – it was City (only by scoring 3 goals in the last 14 minutes), Leeds (thrillingly, sorry John and all Burnley fans but you wonder if Burnley FC especially made the right decisions late on in the season), Spurs (easily, well done Shay), Son and Salah shared it, and finally Man United (luckily) as they lost again, as did West Ham, and they played as badly as ever this season. It was interesting to see our new manager, Ten Hag, watching from the stands with a look on his face that suggested he was desperately wondering whether the RB Leipzig manager’s job was still available.

But that’s just part of the discomfort I have had watching my team’s performances this season.  As for the rest of the action it was breathtakingly thrilling as I switched from match to match to watch the drama unfold in real time. They say you can’t beat watching live sport especially when it’s this compelling.  And speaking of crazy Germans, even Jurgen Klopp seemed gracious in congratulating City and their manager in their achievement. I think I noticed only a few gritted teeth….





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