Carspotting in London

Well, I’m officially a London tourist now, complete with backpack, puzzled look and a map flapping in the wind. And unless I’m on a tour bus then it’s fair to say I haven’t got the foggiest idea where I am.

This city is so big, with so many narrow streets sporting three-or-four-storey buildings on both sides that it’s almost impossible to pick a landmark and get your bearings. But we survived and made it ‘home’ OK in the end.

The other thing I’ve noticed about London is money – that is, you’d need a bucketload of it to live here. I don’t know what the salaries are like here, but I assume they’re pretty decent as the cost of almost everything is pretty high. Trish and I figured that unless you were pretty well off, living in the city would condemn you to watching everyone else enjoy themselves.

The pricetags of most goods seem to have the same numbers on them as the pricetags for similar goods in Australia, only with a pound sign instead of a dollar sign. And with the rough conversion rate being about 2 to 1, we might have to sell a kidney just to get a transport to the airport next week 🙂

Ah, what the heck, it’s a holiday, right?

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Whilst we were travelling around today, I did manage to snap a few photos of automotive interest. These just go to show that there’s a fair bit of bling on the streets here (and some good Swedish common sense, too).

You’ll have to take my word about this first photo as I had just seconds to confirm the identity of the tail-lamps, whip my camera up and snap off a photo before the bus rounded a corner, but the flash of aqua blue you can see here is actually a Koenigsegg parked outside a hotel.

This Lamborghini was taking a nice cruise along Knightsbridge:

I also saw my first live Porsche Panamera today, but didn’t get a photo. And there are more Boxters and 911’s than you can poke a stick at. A fair swag of Ferraris, too, and if I photographed every Bentley I saw then I’d have RSI quicker than you could say “big tarty Volkswagen’.

Another brand that was reasonably common (for a six-figure supercar) is Aston Martin. I would be lucky to see one of these if I spent a weekend in Melbourne or Sydney but I must have seen at least half a dozen today….

The Mecca for luxury cars, though, had to be the Dorchester Hotel. I will swear on a stack of Bibles that the first time we passed it on the bus, there was a Bugatti Veyron out the front. I didn’t get a photo.

The next time we encountered the Dorchester we were on foot so there were no issues getting some photos of the collection out front, most of which were adorned with number plates with Arabic script (so please pardon the pun about Mecca). Unfortunately, the Veyron was gone, but it’s exoticar replacement wasn’t too shabby….

That’s a Pagani you can see quite clearly there in the first photo, along with some other exotic metal from Germany, Italy and England. Amazing stuff. The collective pricetag of the metal in that carpark would pay for my home around 8 or 9 times over.

I was quite pleased to see the boundaries of the City of London are marked by statues of the gryphon (that is, the area controlled by the Greater London Authority, not the whole city including Westminster and all the boroughs that we all usually associate with ‘London’). Here’s but one….

I think I’ll have to write to Boris Johnston and see if we can’t get a Saab parked at each one 🙂 (OK, maybe I’m not the first to think of that…..)

There were some real Saabs out and about, too. Bonus points if you locals can guess where this one is parked….

And this one was rather special…..

The 9-5 was running as a blocker for a convoy that was following up behind. Unfortunately the bus took off and we didn’t get to see who was following, but it wasn’t the only time I saw that type of action today.

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Oooooh, Your Saab is On Fire

I haven’t had time to check the news for myself today, but a quick scan of comments shows a truckload of Saabs being burned in Belgium.

Poor form, that. Hopefully the people who did it will be brought to justice. Karma’s a bitch, sometimes.

There’s video at that link.

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