Rich man or rich man’s son?

Wa biang, this man is so rich… Sent his car all the way to Italy for re-painting! And this cost him S$153,000! Holy Shit!

MOST people drive their cars to the workshop when they want a new paint job.

Not this man. He flew his all the way to Italy to get it repainted – for a cool $153,000.

Now parked in front of the Marina Mandarin Hotel, the super sports car – a pink, $2million Pagani Zonda S Roadster – has proven to be a real head-turner.

But the car, one of only two Zondas here, is there for a reason.

The owner hopes it will help get people’s attention for the official launch of his new luxury sports car on Friday, at the start of the F1 race weekend.

First appearance

The new car is the Wiesmann MF4 GT, a German-made sports car which will be available here for $658,000, inclusive of COE and one year’s road tax.

Two of the left-hand drive two-seaters, which arrived here two months ago under a cloud of secrecy, now sit in the Marina Mandarin’s lobby.

This is the German marque’s first appearance in Singapore.

The publicity-shy businessman, who wanted to be known only as Mr Yeo, declined to be photographed for this story.

But his repainted Zonda more than made up for that.

Many passers-by stopped in their tracks, whipping out their handphones to snap pictures of the car yesterday.

Mr Yeo is the director and founder of Automobil Manufactur, at Changi North Street1.

The company specialises in importing luxury sports cars like the Zonda and the McLaren F1 road car made in 1997.

Mr Yeo said he bought his Zonda in 2004. The right-hand-drive roadster can be driven on roads here.

The car’s makers called it the Zonda, after a wind that blows in the Andes.

Not content with its original bright yellow paintwork, Mr Yeo decided to repaint it Elvis Pink Cadillac. That was the colour of the Cadillac that singer Elvis Presley used to own and then gave to his mother.

Mr Yeo, 37, felt the colour was unique.

‘The pink Cadillac has historical significance. I wanted a colour that was different from the normal red and yellow sports cars people normally see,’ he said.

‘For a Zonda, it’s quite daring but unusual. It gives it more life. It just makes the car very fashionable.’

The cost of repainting the car was 75,000 euros ($153,000) and included transporting it to Italy and back by plane.

It returned to Singapore last Friday.

Zonda owners are encouraged to undergo a two-day training course at the Pagani Automobili Spa in Modena, Italy, before driving the car, as they might not be used to driving such a powerful and light vehicle.

Mr Yeo, who is single, said he did not attend the training as he has experience driving other high-performance cars like the Ferrari and Lamborghini.

Road tax for the Zonda, made of composite fibre like an F1 car, is $11,000 a year.

Mr Yeo said he did not mind the $2 million (including COE) he paid for the car, which he calls a work of art.

As for the Wiesmann, he said so far, it has been shown to only five potential customers.

They included artist Jimmy Ong and painter Linda Gouw, both Singaporeans, and Japanese film director Naomi Kawase.

The curvaceous right-hand-drive 4.2m-long cars will arrive in the first quarter of next year and come with hand-stitched leather. The buyer can choose the colour of the car’s leather upholstery.

The car can hit 100kmh in 4.6sec with its 367 horsepower 4.8-litre BMW engine.

Ms Gouw, 46, whose paintings can cost up to $18,800 apiece, was impressed with the Wiesmann’s design.

She was at the hotel on Saturday to view it and said she currently drives a Renault Kangoo, which is a van, to transport her paintings.

On the Wiesmann, she said: ‘I’m waiting for someone to buy one for me.’

Several car enthusiasts dropped by the hotel yesterday for a peek at a car they had never heard of until now.

One of them was Mr Yeo Loo Keng, whom many know as the only owner of a Waterfront View apartment who had opposed the en bloc sale of the Bedok estate in April last year.

The 44-year-old, the co-owner of a family firm which makes biodegradable products, was taken in by the Wiesmann’s beauty.

‘From a car enthusiast’s perspective, you are drawn in and want to know more,’ he said. ‘It has a lot of character and the lines are timeless.’

Others were in no doubt as to what the German car stood for.

Said Mr Ian Monteiro, 40, the executive director of an event organising company: ‘The Zonda has raw sex appeal. It was obviously built for speed and excitement.

‘The Wiesmann is like an evening of wine, music and caviar before that.’


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