Swiss designer wants $11 million for red-and-gold 'dream' car
A gold and ruby-encrusted Mercedes SLR McLaren, the pride and joy of Swiss entrepreneur Ueli Anliker, is soon to be up for grabs for anyone willing to meet the sizzling sale price of 10 million francs ($11 million).
Described by influential TV show Top Gear as the car that "stalks your nightmares", Anliker's reworking of a classic model is not to everyone's taste.
But the numbers behind the redesign speak volumes about the scale of Anliker's ambition: more than 30,000 hours of work; up to 35 people involved in the transformation; untold quantities of 24-carat gold; and 600 rubies.
For 13 months, Anliker devoted all his passion and 35 years of mechanical experience to fine-tuning what he calls the Red Gold Dream.
“This car is very dear to me," he told newspaper Der Sonntag.
Even so, he wants to sell it: "I am an entrepreneur, and I also have to think about all my dreams and money," Anliker said.
The asking price doesn't seem quite so outlandish when one considers the costs. The Swiss designer spent 5 million francs on the materials used to build the Red Gold Dream, and that’s not counting labour. When thousands of work hours are added, the cost of the vehicle comes close to Anliker's valuation.
24-carat gold was used to cover the rims, logos, door handles, front and lateral radiators, as well as the upholstery. Five kilos of gold were mixed with the red paint – Anliker used up to 25 layers of paint on parts of the vehicle. The 600 rubies were used to substitute wheel bolts, indicators, and buttons located inside the car.
Anliker wants to work on the car for a few more months before it’s finally ready to hit the market. His aim is for the Red Gold Dream to reach 1,000 horsepower, a vast leap from the current 700.
To protect his jewel, Anliker has built a GPS/GSM module into the vehicle enabling him to track it worldwide in case of theft. He has even installed a system that allows the car to be disabled via mobile phone.
Completing the security package is a two-zone radar sensor connected to a voice system that requests over-zealous voyeurs to kindly step away from the vehicle.
Anliker will try his hand at selling the car next February, when he brings the Red Gold Dream to Qatar for its first ever appearance in the Middle East.
Prospective buyers have already emerged in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and even China, Anliker told newspaper Der Sonntag. The roads of oil rich Middle Eastern states are already home to some of the world's most extreme cars, he added.
Despite Anliker's eye for luxury items, Martina Lens, his assistant for the Qatar show, told The Local that “he is a very down to earth man, although he owns many exclusive cars and motorbikes.”
The 53-year-old Swiss has previously tweaked a large number of fantastical motorbikes and cars, some of which he has kept for himself. Already he has his sights set on bigger and crazier projects after the sale of the Red Gold Dream.
“He's just a very passionate man,” Lens said.
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