Sotheby’s Now Owns Part of RM Auctions

Luxury auction house Sotheby’s has acquired an ownership interest in RM Auctions, creating a dynamic duo of great magnitude now dubbed ‘RM Sotheby’s’. Their first joint sale took place in Florida last month with a record $60 million in collector cars changing hands.

RM Sotheby’sSotheby’s and RM Auctions: Game, set and match. 

Sotheby’s now owns a 25 percent share in RM Auctions in a long-term investment strategy to cater to the burgeoning market. Analysts peg the market for collector cars at a staggering $2 billion, making the partnership a seemingly wise move in terms of creating a larger fishing net than those wielded by competing auction houses. This is not the first time the pair has joined forces—recall the ‘Art of the Automobile’ auction back in 2013. That team effort ended in $63 million in sales in just 2 hours, with the Ferrari 250 LM going for $14.3 million. That sale and a few other joint efforts were but the beginning of this now legal union, which is certain to flourish as the economy continues to regain strength.

RM Sotheby’sRM Auctions enjoyed phenomenal success in Monterey last year with $140 million in sales. Because both companies cater to the same types of collectors and there is much overlap, the alliance makes complete business sense. According to RM Auctions CEO and founder Rob Myers: “The partnership that has been formed between RM Auctions and Sotheby’s is undoubtedly the most effective way for us to reach the ever-growing worldwide audience of collectors who take a keen interest in the collector car asset class. No other organization in the world has a client base as far-reaching as Sotheby’s and since we have worked so closely and successfully with them in the past, it makes perfect sense that we form a strategic partnership that creates a truly worldwide platform for collector cars. It’s an exciting time in our company history, and for the hobby at large.” Sotheby’s returned the flattery by referring to RM Auctions as the clear market leader.

RM Sotheby’sAdditional RM Sotheby’s auctions are slated for Fort Worth, Texas, Lake Como, Italy, Monterey, California, London, England, New York and more locations will emerge as they are announced. Sotheby’s will have the opportunity to increase ownership as the relationship grows. Overall, it will still be some time before the entity is only remembered as a set.

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Autonomous Audi Q5 Completes 3,400-mile Road Trip Solo

Audi has been occupied perfecting its new direction on the autonomous vehicle route. The autonomous Audi Q5 just completed a coast-to-coast solo trip from San Francisco to New York, a quest totaling 3,400 miles. The vehicle managed the entire trip driverless, save a 50-mile span through a construction zone. There was a likely nervous human being riding shotgun.
The clip above offers some shots of the journey:

autonomous Audi Q5The autonomous Audi from auto supplier Delphi Corp. embarked on the journey for strategic testing purposes equipped with cameras, powerful laser sensors, radar and other fun gadgetry. The trip was a landmark success, leaving Audi with the knowledge of what aspects of the driverless car are working and where there could be improvements. The sheer mileage that the Q5 was able to navigate solo actually took the company by surprise, as they had anticipated a bit less. According to Jeff Owens, Delphi chief technology officer: “We expected we would be in autonomous mode most of the time, but to be in it close to 99% of the time was a pleasant surprise. The equipment was flawless.” While 99% is not the universal definition of flawless, it is most impressive.

autonomous Audi Q5The Audi Q5 was a model citizen, never breaking the speed limits and collecting approximately 3 terabytes of data across the country. In fact, the only concern in terms of abiding by the law was the vehicle’s reluctance to change lanes when a police officer was pulled off on the side of the road. While there were minor issues with the sensors and cameras, the success certainly outweighed any minor bumps on the road. The technology unleashed in the autonomous Audi is able to recognize specific lane markings, though its sensors get a bit nervous when dealing with large vehicles like 18-wheelers and lorrys.

autonomous Audi Q5The big picture is that Audi has made a significant impact in the driverless vehicle arena, which has also paved the way toward a developing new central computer aimed at drastically reducing accidents. The new technology will be incorporated into newer vehicles in just a few years, according to reports. Hopefully the system has a voice and a sense of humor to rival that of the infamous ‘Siri’!

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Look for the Next-Gen Audi R8 in New ‘Avengers’ Movie

The next-gen Audi R8 will be gracing the silver screen in the next ‘Avengers’ film, Avengers: Age of Ultron. It would seem that Tony Stark has a passion for the model and it will provide plenty of eye-candy among the action!

next-gen Audi R8The 2016 Audi R8 will be flanked by other new family members in the movie, including the 2015 Audi TTS and the Audi A3 cabriolet. The Audi R8 and the much-loved Marvel series have quite a cute history, with the original R8 hitting the screen way back in 2008 for the first ‘Iron Man’. According to Loren Angelo, director of marketing at Audi of America:  “After eight years of successful partnerships with Marvel, Audi aligns with the evolving narrative of the Tony Stark character to showcase the all-new, redesigned 2016 R8. Having been part of the character’s storyline for the past three Iron Man films, it is a perfect fit for Audi to return in Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron with Tony Stark driving the iconic supercar in its next generation.” Tony Stark certainly is a perfect fit for the ideal Audi R8 owner, perhaps right up there with Christian Grey of the infamous ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’? You know, the youthful, wealthy and easy-on-the-eyes types!

Iron ManIron Man will be upgrading to the next-gen Audi R8

Audi has had the privilege of working with Stan Lee himself, the iconic co-creator of many Marvel superheroes, to design a video that will emerge on YouTube prior to the new Avenger’s film hitting theaters. While there likely will not be any stunts as outlandish as the Lykan Hypersport jumping between 3 skyscrapers like in ‘Furious 7’, the Avengers: Age of Ultron is certain to deliver in the action arena.

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Put Spring Back into Your Step: Rent a Red Ferrari Italia Convertible in New Jersey

If you have rented a Ferrari in the past but not one of the latest models–it is time to get your hands on the wheel again and raise that pulse! Nothing looks as good as our classic red Ferrari Italia convertible rolling through New Jersey in springtime–providing a fresh and fast pop of color and power to the once snow coated, sleepy roads. 

Ferrari Italia convertible rental NJAmong our top rented cars in New Jersey is the red convertible Ferrari Italia. Find out why with this special offer!

Nothing grabs attention like the throaty roar of the Ferrari Italia 458. Ok, perhaps the mighty Bugatti Veyron could steal the limelight for a second, but the attention ultimately returns to a Ferrari because of the dynamic body styling and classic appeal. The bubbly Bugatti Veyron supercars are fast, but when it comes to something truly special to behold—that is Ferrari’s arena.

Ferrari Italia rentalOur Ferrari Italia 458 convertible rental in New Jersey and surrounding areas can be yours for an hour, a day or a week and features the following amenities:

  • This nice lady offers a hard top convertible option. Drivers like the top because it is easy to remove and put back on—perfect for unexpected weather changes.
  • The experience begins when the Ferrari is started—bringing to life 575 Prancing Horses and creating an exhilarating vibe that is ideal to take on any metropolis.
  • Rear wheel drive and ultra-smooth suspension make for an unforgettable drive and comfortable ride.
  • This model is available in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, D.C. and surrounding areas including all major airports.

exotic car rentals NJIf our Ferrari 458 is not what you had in mind, there are plenty of other options ready to roll!

Take advantage of our special rate of just $1,895 per day to rent the Ferrari Italia. This offer is only valid for a limited time–so make arrangements at Imagine Lifestyles today to secure your time with this epic machine this spring. Your social media feed will never look happier!

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Imagine Lifestyles & Virgin Atlantic Jet Around NYC in a Ferrari 458

Ferrari 458 rentalImage courtesy of Hunter L. Williams

With the 2015 New York International Auto Show in full swing–Imagine Lifestyles Luxury Rentals and Virgin Atlantic absorbed the city’s pulse from behind the wheel of an enviable machine. The luxury road trip took place in a feisty red Ferrari Italia convertible rental from Imagine Lifestyles, where the duo enjoyed several well-known pit stops along the route with professional photographer Hunter L. Williams of New York in tow.

About Imagine Lifestyles Luxury Rentals

Imagine Lifestyles provides the premiere lifestyle experience–including upscale accommodations, professional chauffeur services, private yacht charters and exotic car rentals with delivery available from Washington D.C. to Boston and everywhere in between—including all major airports. The New Jersey based company allows the opportunity to rent the lifestyle–an innovative way to experience a plethora of exclusive vehicles and spaces.

Ferrari 458Image courtesy of Hunter L. Williams

Imagine Lifestyles was elated to spend the day with Virgin Atlantic and offer them the full luxury travel experience from the ground–as they have taken over that arena in the skies with their aircrafts. The only thing capable of offering up more adrenaline than standing on the showroom floor of an automotive show is the chance to grip the wheel of an actual supercar, and the Ferrari 458 convertible was certainly up for the task with her 562 horsepower and classic curb appeal.

exotic car rentalsThe car: The Ferrari 458 Italia convertible

The Ferrari rentals at Imagine Lifestyles are offered in a variety of models and hues, but the iconic red Italia was clearly the right option for the occasion. There are also a colossal amount of luxury rental cars to choose from, though CEO Ryan Safady selected the Ferrari 458 convertible for this jaunt because “It is one of the best”. Imagine Lifestyles rental fleets include Maserati, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Porsche, Range Rover, and even the 1965 Shelby Cobra and more leading brands–the Ferrari was ideal for this adventure thanks to her aggressive profile and sheer power. The Ferrari 458 demolishes the 0-60 mile per hour sprint in a scant 3 seconds with a top speed approaching 200 miles per hour. Safady stated: “Once the weather breaks we see a huge increase in demand for our exotic convertible rentals. There is nothing like the experience of an open top in one of these machines–allowing the driver to hear and feel the impressive performance to an enhanced degree.”

exotic car rentals NYA glimpse inside one of the Imagine Lifestyles locations: Rent them all and decide which is the best.

trip map

Read more about the day here, including details for each stop. Contact Imagine Lifestyles today and get behind the wheel of the exotic car of your choice!

Ferrari 458Image courtesy of Hunter L. Williams

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Presenters Shed Top Gear Label, Continue Careers

Fans of the hit series ‘Top Gear’ have ridden shotgun with the cast along a rather bumpy road lately, amid the controversy that has ended with the cast parting ways with the show. There is no need to fret, however, as the rambunctious lads seem to be continuing their careers sans the Top Gear label. Where will we see Jeremy Clarkson next? Why the international tour of live auto shows, of course!

Top Gear

The former presenters of Top Gear: Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond.

The well-loved series ‘Top Gear’ was cancelled following an altercation between Clarkson and one of the producers after a long day of filming. While the decision to drop Clarkson as a presenter was being made, fans were left biting their nails and the other two presenters rallied alongside Clarkson–eventually severing ties with the show as well, leaving it in the rear view.

The StigWhat will become of the infamous Stig? 

It certainly seems that Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond will fare just fine on their own–paving a new road and toting their dedicated fanfare along with them in new directions. Some of the stage shows were already scheduled prior to the relationship between Top Gear and its presenters coming to a screeching halt. The arrangement will continue, just without the BBC or Top Gear labels. Instead, the shows will be dubbed “Clarkson, Hammond and May Live”, which has quite a nice ring to it. Overall, it shows good logic for the planned auto show coverage to continue, as fans have already purchased tickets. Could this be the beginning of a new theme for the stars? There are many possibilities for the presenters in the future, and all will be curious of what is to become of the mysterious Stig!

Top Gear

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Porsche Objects to Aston Martin GT3 Name–Legally

It is a challenging business to name a vehicle, as Aston Martin and many others have learned the hard way over the years. Porsche has taken a legal stand against Aston Martin due to the name of their recent offering, the Aston Martin GT3. Porsche is arguing that the GT3 label belongs to them and that Aston Martin has no rights to tack it onto their Vantage. The confusion continues because the FIA GT3 racing category has existed for years.

Aston Martin GT3Porsche took a legal stand against Aston Martin for using the GT3 nameplate. 

So does Porsche own the rights to the GT3 badge? The Aston Martin GT3 was created to challenge Porsche, Maserati and other high-performance cars, but I assume that challenge was intended to occur on a street or track rather than a courtroom. Initially, Aston Martin responded to the legal complaint from Porsche with a resounding “deal with it”, but without the endless resources of the Volkswagen empire to back it, Aston Martin was eventually forced to face the fact that its efforts would prove futile. The new name of the car will be the Aston Martin GT12, and will likely not be confused with a Porsche anytime soon.

Aston Martin GT3Should automakers be forced to stick with their own naming and numbering systems when releasing new models, or should certain nameplates like GT3 be shared among brands to communicate certain capabilities? The gray area is so vast that this could continue to be an issue for the foreseeable future. Remember the hot flash between Ford and Ferrari over the use of the F150 name?

Aston Martin GT3

Ford F150 Vs. Ferrari: The legal battle was short-lived, though heated on both ends of the spectrum.

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Abandoned Bugatti Veryon Discovered in Russia

While discovering ditched exotic sports cars is not unheard of, an abandoned Bugatti Veyron certainly is. It seems a Veyron was simply left and forgotten somewhere in Russia, leaving much speculation about how the mighty beast met with such a fate.

abandoned Bugatti VeyronRussia is filled with insane automotive tales, some involving brazen thefts and stunts, but an abandoned Bugatti Veyron? Ludacris! The photo above shows the grisly aftermath of the event. (Photo credit: Istvan Mera on Facebook).

The sticker on the Bugatti Veyron was reported to read “Autolehmann”, a very successful dealership in the area where the abandoned car was discovered. It is rumored that the Veyron was involved in an accident back in 2013, when it was rear-ended by an Aston Martin. But was it actually cheaper to just ditch the Veyron rather than repair it, and does the dealership actually have infinite amounts of money? The first issue that comes to mind would be insurance hassles and frustration, though it is not confirmed that it is the same vehicle.

Abandoned Bugatti VeryonOne thing is for certain–the one-off Bugatti Veyron L’or Blanc is not likely to ever meet with such a fate.

In the end, an iconic vehicle like the Bugatti Veyron should never be tossed out like garbage, insurance woes or not. Any true automotive enthusiast would treat her with the proper respect and restore her to her former glory!

Abandoned Bugatti Veryon

Recall the incident pictured above? The man faced criminal charges for intentionally driving his Bugatti Veryon into a pond in order to obtain insurance funds. Some passing teens caught the event on video, which ultimately led to the driver’s demise in the courtroom.

What do you think happened to lead to such an unbelievable scenario? Chime in below!

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Did You Know Pink Ferrari Cars Are Actually Not Allowed?

Ferrari is an impeccable brand with sometimes impossible standards, and that is why they have pretty much run the exotic sports car game for decades. With such a larger-than-life brand comes strict protocols–including the little-known code on pink Ferrari cars: They are not allowed.

Pink FerrariSo why has Ferrari taken such a stringent stance on such a delicate hue?

In the wake of Justin Bieber being permitted to purchase the coveted multi-million dollar LaFerrari, it could seem comical to some that Ferrari would forbid a simple color choice. The issue is with branding, and the Prancing Horse prefers to be synonymous with its signature red rather than be left blushing for the world to behold. Once an owner has taken possession of their vehicle, they are free to color it in any shade they choose—there is no contract forbidding future color changes. But when ordering a Ferrari, even using the most bespoke program, any request for a pink exterior will be denied, no matter how prominent the purchaser or how deep the pocket. Ferrari simply holds to their ethos and standards, and for those reasons is only willing to sell products that match them.  Ferrari of Australia CEO Herbert Appleroth explained: “We do reject the exterior color pink. You can of course paint your car pink after you’ve bought it, but you’ll never see a pink car from us because it’s not in line with our brand ethos and our standards.”

Ferrari rules

In the end, there will always be an entertaining arsenal of custom Ferrari cars both on the streets and online to enjoy, so there is no need to panic. With ample aftermarket automotive tuners and specialty companies out there, there will certainly be a few flashy pink Ferrari models created, and they will certainly be frowned upon by their mothership!

Pink FerrariThis Ferrari California is either legit or shopped. Opinions?

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Shanghai Auto Show Bans Models and Children

It seems that the rumors of sexy models being banned from the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show have proven to be true, though it does not seem to make much sense because children are also banned, so what could it hurt if PG13 is no longer necessary? The officials are on a new path to “Clean up” the show, and that means no scantily clad babes draping themselves around the vehicles. If you listen closely, you hear the collective sighs of disappointment.

Shanghai Auto Show Bans

Reports indicate that the Chinese government has put enough pressure on the event to prevent the sexy car models from doing their usual thing—which is adding spice to the show and assisting with drawing attention to certain vehicles while raising pulses. While the Chinese government is certainly known for their censorship style, banning children from the automotive show seems a bit drastic. They are citing security issues as the primary reason, but perhaps some are growing tired of tantrums and smudges on the vehicles showcased. Overall, they are attempting to engineer a more family-friendly environment, but only for families over the teen stages and only those dressed appropriately. It will be interesting to see how the new regulations go over with the thousands of Shanghai and Beijing auto shows, and if it will stick for the following years.

Shanghai Auto Show Bans

What do you think of the new Shanghai and Beijing auto show regulations? Should it be permitted to ban specific attire and children under a certain age? Chime in below with your opinions, as we are curious to find out what people are thinking on this matter!

Shanghai Auto Show Bans

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