Temple of Vrroooom!
With a stock list to die for, Manhattan Motorcars is the final word in luxury autos.
By Michael B. Dougherty
Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé.
“I DEAL IN car porn all day,” a sales manager at Manhattan Motorcars says matter-of-factly. He’s right, and not just because of the far West Side dealership’s proximity to Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club. If at that joint it’s not really about the drinks, here it’s not really about the trunk space—with a lineup that reads more like a tour of Tony Stark’s garage in Iron Man (Lamborghini, Rolls- Royce, Bentley, Porsche, Spyker, Lotus, TVR), how could it be?
Spread out over 100,000 square feet on 11th Avenue, Manhattan Motorcars ranks globally in the top 10 for sales for all of these brands simply because if you’ve got $400,000 set aside for transportation, and you live in New York, where else would you go? Not to the Scion dealership.
Strolling through the various rooms, each a kind of paean to the cars within, general manager John Kaufman notes that despite the Titanic nature of the economy, the dealership has not seen a drop in sales. “A lot of people come in and say, ‘I want it today.’” If anything, as the market continues to slide, some customers come in looking for an escape from a bruised ego and a shrinking portfolio. After all, if you’re buying a Lamborghini, that money “wasn’t your mortgage payment” to begin with, he points out.
Speaking of Lamborghinis, you’ll need to hustle if you want to get one of MMC’s last two LP560-4s. The 2009 follow-up to the Superleggera, it’s the latest incarnation of the Italian legend’s wildly successful Gallardo line. Lamborghini sales manager Don Ackad describes it as a “very drivable supercar,” adding that some buyers have been known to put snow tires on them for year-round usage. Though, what with its $201,000 price tag, taking the LP560 through Manhattan’s salt-dusted winter streets just seems cruel, to both car and wallet.
Nader Aly, Rolls-Royce sales manager, is also keeper of Manhattan Motorcars’ wall of fame, which features a series of paintings bearing the autographs of Rolls customers like former NY Giant Michael Strahan, professional wrestler Triple H, and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, who took delivery of the first Rolls- Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé. With a base price of $439,000, along with a yearlong waiting list, the Phantom DropheadCoupé features options like teak decking, a brushed stainless hood, and paint-to-match— one client even re-created his wife’s favorite Chanel nail polish.
As the tour winds down, Aly points out that there are a lot of reasons why Manhattan Motorcars’ diverse clientele comes the doors, foremost of which is: “We have a flavor for everyone.”
Manhattan Motorcars, 270 11th Avenue, 212-594-6200.
Photograph by Steffan Ammerland (SPYKER)
Cover shoot: May/June 2014 issue of Gotham magazine.