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Luxury goods—Hermes handbags, Richard Mille timepieces, luxury sports cars, etc.–are not purchased to satisfy mundane human needs such as clothing, shelter or transportation; least of all a Paul Newman Daytona owner uses the immortal timepiece to check time. Paradoxically, the price at which luxury items sell is often in conflict with the classic economics as demand can actually fall if the price goes down, not the other way round. Also, demand for luxury does not seem to be that strongly affected by economic ups and downs, the pandemic proving it as the luxury goods market rebounded after the initial shock to pre-pandemic levels. Moreover, luxury car manufacturers Bentley and Rolls-Royce posted record sales despite the headwinds.

At the time of eroding values, diminishing trust in fiat money and traditional assets like stocks, high net worth individuals’ investment behavior is adapting to the new reality. They quite often invest in alternative assets that appreciate with time, such as art, rare wine, luxury vintage timepieces, and classic and luxury cars. As a result, luxury and classic car indexes track cars’ value as NASDAQ tracks tech stocks.

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A sports car’s owner’s natural temptation is to hit the road, step on it and go full gas. However, real sports wheels are not allowed on public roads. So, mindful of this dilemma, French car manufacturer Delage recently rolled out a dream car Delage D12, an F1 street-ready bolide that packs a 7,6-liter V-12 990 HP engine assisted by a 110 HP electric motor producing a staggering 1,100 combined horsepower in a feather-weight carbon two-seater cockpit mounted on carbon wheels. D12 gets from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.4 seconds.

Delage is a niche French sports car manufacturer, a boutique of sorts, that was known in the early 1900s and by 1953 ground to a halt. During its heyday, Delage car won more than a few events, including LeMans and the fourth running of the Indy 500 in 1914.

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In 2019, Laurent Tapies struck a deal with the brand’s owners with a view to relaunching the Delage brand and building the D12. According to Tapies, a total of 30 D12 will be manufactured and only ten will be shipped to the US making Delage one of the rarest cars in the market.

The honor to showcase D12 in the US went to the Specialty Car Collection, a West Hollywood exotic car boutique. The Delage D12 is a perfect fit for the dealership as it focuses on the best and hard-to-find vehicles, classic and exotic, such that a prospective buyer would spend months looking for. Some of the current inventory includes a 2023 Mercedes-Benz AMG PROJECT ONE Coupe, a 2001 Lamborghini Diablo GTR Coupe, a 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom EWB Sedan, and other automotive gems.

At the D12 private launch event, Tapies explained the uniqueness of his brainchild. Among other technical intricacies, Delage is the only automaker with exclusive rights to use an F1-style “contractive suspension”, a contraption that is commonly used in Formula 1 and is based on a double opposing spring system, a combination of a pushrod-actuated design without the common anti-roll bars that pushes the tire down and results in a much better feeling of the car as compared with traditional suspension. Though the closed-cockpit jet-fighter-styled D12 has everything a car needs to be safely and legally driven on public roads, Tapies is going to take the $2.2 million car to the Nürburgring to challenge the street legal car record held by a Porsche 911 GT2 RS. After all, the spirit of competition is in the D12 blood and given its downforce, unique steering, and unmatched power, the odds are strong it will take the crown.