Last night, Top Gear Philippines celebrated its ninth anniversary with a party at Privé Luxury Club in Bonifacio Global City. For the occasion, distributors of high-end automotive brands sent their cars to the venue to make the night more special, and these included the Ferrari 458 Italia and 458 Spider, the Lexus LFA, the Maserati Quattroporte and the Rolls-Royce Ghost.
The Ghost got the attention of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, who asked if he could check it out. Fortunately, the car's key was left to our care, so we were able to accommodate the request. But instead of inspecting the driver's cockpit, Erap went straight to the back seat and tried it on for size. Of course, we quickly whipped out our mobile phone to capture the moment, whereupon his bodyguard tried to block the view and told us we couldn't take a picture.
Good thing the charismatic politician was game, indicating to his bodyguard that it was okay. He even posed for the photo, before saying: "Baka maging issue na naman ito." But he didn't seem to care and just grinned through it all. Such a cool guy, his political reputation notwithstanding.
Later, he asked how much the car was sold for. The best we could offer was: "Around P40 million." We weren't sure ourselves. And then, as if on cue, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Manila president Willy Tee Ten arrived, giving the correct figure: P34 million.
We have no idea if Mayor Estrada is getting one, but the Ghost does seem to appeal to powerful and moneyed men.
Photos by Vernon B. Sarne