Cruising with J9: Recession se voet, we’re in Top Gear

2010-02-19 14:44

FANS of BBC motoring show Top Gear were thrilled at having the

entertainers on local shores again during the past few weeks and I think Jeremy

Clarkson and his co-hosts were just as stoked to be visiting South Africa

again.

Though this was their fourth year doing the MPH show in the

country, Clarkson and Richard Hammond made their debut in Cape Town. Captain

Slow aka James May did the Joburg leg with Clarkson.

Gala dinners and charity auctions were held in both cities on the

opening show evenings.

There were about 1 300 people at the Joburg dinner.

These included manufacturer staff, motoring media and some very

rich people.

The auction was done by Savile Row Auctions for the Nelson Mandela

Foundation.

Goodies on auction included original car-design sketches and

original photograph collages with bids starting at R5?000.

The favourites were track days in a Ferrari or Audi R8. The highest

bidders paid up to R26?000 to burn some serious rubber around the track.

So I’m sitting there in awe at the amount of money people have to

throw around without having to budget. It’s then I realised the kind of people

in the dinner hall are probably hardly affected by the recession.

Even raunchy Teasers’ owner Lolly Jackson was present but that was

hardly a surprise as he owns a collection of supercars.

The ultimate item though was a package any Top Gear fanatic would

give their right arm for.

It was a paid trip for two to the opening show of season 14. The

package included paid accommodation and VIP tickets and backstage passes for the

show.

It was most definitely the best auction of the evening with the

winner parting with R650 000 for the highest bid.

Though I was pleased at the handsome amount of money raised for the

foundation, I was shocked by the realisation of just how much money some people

have to blow.

And yes, they are successful businesspeople who have worked hard to

get to where they are, but could you imagine what ordinary South Africans could

do with that kind of cash?


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