Put your money in mattresses and you too could end up with quite a lot of cars
Michael Fux isn’t exactly sure how many cars he owns. He does know that he needs three warehouse-sized garages to accommodate them all.
This self-made American put his money into mattresses and made a pile which he is happily spending on cars. The conservative estimate is 160, but it could be more.
He has a special liking for Rolls-Royces and McLarens in matching colours, a trend that began in 2013 when he was attending the world-famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. “I was at the Rolls-Royce house and I saw a purple pansy,” he recalls. “I said to them ‘make me a paint in this colour’, and so they did.”
The car that resulted – a Phantom Drophead Coupé – has 19 coats of paint. What could be more natural than to ‘pair’ that up with a matching McLaren 12C Spider? On the understanding that nobody else could use it, Rolls-Royce agreed to share the paint formula with McLaren.
At this year’s Pebble Beach, Fux saw an orchid he liked and asked Rolls-Royce to match that for his Dawn. Then he saw the McLaren 720S and wanted one of those in the same colour.
We’re not sure if car manufacturers plan to trace his movements at next year’s Pebble Beach and then team up with the local florists, but we do know that Fux is already signed up for McLaren’s £2m Ultimate Series hybrid BP23, which – guess what – will be “in a special colour”. His emerald green P1 was auctioned for charity at the 2016 Pebble Beach event.
He does drive all his cars. The first car he fell in love with when he started collecting in 2001 was a BMW Z8. “I still love the styling and the performance.” The first car he owned was a 1949 Dodge coupé, bought soon after he landed in the US from Cuba in 1958 as a skint teenager.
Now he has properties in New York (where he’s chauffeured in a white Rolls Phantom with green sparkles running through it), New Jersey, Idaho, Florida and California. His love for cars spans all types, including SUVs. He has a Porsche Cayenne, a Land Rover and a £195,000 Mercedes G550 4×4² which he calls his “beautiful beast”. He’s going to get the upcoming Rolls-Royce Cullinan when it comes out.
Fux’s biggest problem is deciding which cars to sell to make way for the new ones. “It’s very difficult,” he says. “I look at the ones I haven’t driven for a long while. I had Michael Schumacher’s winning F1 Ferrari from the 2002 season and an Aston Martin DBR9, but I wasn’t racing any more, so I sold both of them.”
He won’t be bored in the months leading up to the next Pebble Beach because there’ll be quite a few new cars entering the stable between now and then. Along with a Ferrari 812 Superfast, Pagani Huayra, Dodge Demon, Mercedes-AMG GT R and both the roadster and coupé versions of the Mercedes-AMG GT C Edition 50, there’ll be three Porsches and two Mercedes S65s – “one for Florida, one for California”. As you do.