Brunei Sultan\'s car collection rotting away - report

What happens when you have just too many cars to drive
Mar 15, 2011


We\'re all familiar with the fantastic car collection of the Sultan of Brunei. We\'ve heard and read stories about the hundreds of Rolls-Royces, Mercedes-Benzes, Bentleys and Ferraris in his garage, not to mention the BMWs, Porsches, Jaguars and even the championship-winning F1 cars since the 1980 season.

So how would you feel if you found out that many of the Sultan\'s cars are now rotting away?

According to exotic car broker Michael Sheehan via and the March 2011 issue of Sports Car Market, he was offered a package of 13 Ferraris and McLaren F1s by a Brunei importer in 2002. After flying into the country later that year, he was given a tour of a large compound that housed the car collection in different buildings. With the air-conditioning system turned off in some of the buildings, presumably to save on electricity, Sheehan found many of the cars \"cooking away\" in what could only be described as \"greenhouse\" condition.

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The ones in the buildings may still be considered lucky. There were cars sheltered only under a corrugated tin roof. Based on Sheehan\'s observation, approximately 300 Mercedes-Benz W140-bodied SELs and SLs--many of which are AMG specials--were all deteriorating.

Of the thousands of cars in the Sultan\'s collection, Sheehan estimates that less than 100 Ferraris and only a few hundred cars are still commercially viable. Although the cars have minimal mileage, they are in dire need of maintenance.

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\"What had once been the planet\'s largest collection of coach-built and high-end exotics was now a vast automotive tomb,\" Sheehan said.

If the cars\' condition were already that bad in 2002, we shudder to think about their state now that nine years have passed.

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