As we move into the heart of the holiday season, folks are looking for all sorts of unique presents for loved ones (and themselves). This is the time of year, we are bombarded with ads featuring luxury cars with bows on top, and marketing suggesting that someone might actually buy a car as a present for a family member. While its likely more common for a parent to buy a clunker for a son or daughter, there are well-heeled buyers who line up for the annual Neiman Marcus Christmas car– and this year’s vehicle is quite fantastic.
Though Neiman Marcus has been around for more than a century, they luxury catalog started the car thing with the 1995 Christmas book. They have promoted everything from BMW Z4’s to a GMC Suburban “Sony Edition” in 1998. But there were a few years in which the cars sold stupendously fast.
In 2002, the catalog featured a 2004 Cadillac XLR, but not for long. In just 14 minutes, buyers snatched up all 101 examples. The following year, the BMW 6 Series coupe matched that pace, selling 50 cars in 7 minutes.
For the 2004 Catalog, 60 examples of the 2005 Maserati Quattroporte were offered, and they sold out in a scant 4 minutes. That’s nothing compared to the 2006 Neiman Marcus car– a 2007 BMW M6 Convertible. All 50 examples were gone in 92 seconds.
The most vehicles ever moved in the shortest time happened in 2010. Chevrolet had just released the Camaro, and while they are commonplace today– the Camaro had grown men weeping when it debuted the Detroit auto show.
Chevy allotted 100 examples of the Camaro Convertible to Neiman Marcus, at a price of $75,000 each, and they were gone in three minutes.
In 2011, Neiman Marcus chose to showcase the then-new Ferrari FF. Ten Ferrari’s were earmarked for the catalog. The V12-powered, four-wheel-drive, shooting brake (two-door vehicle with a wagon body style) sold out in just 50 minutes.
Last year, the vehicle of choice was the McLaren 12C Spyder. The drop-top McLaren was yet another convertible supercar with look that could kill from a mile out. At $354,000, the 12C was ridiculously expensive, but still managed to sell all twelve examples in less than two hours.
This year’s vehicle is the 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante. This spectacular, head-turning convertible has the sense of occasion fit for the tax bracket that would be shopping for convertibles in the same place as Eau de toilette and five-thousand-thread-count bed sheets– for their guest room.
Despite the price of $344,500, the vehicle has already sold out. Aston Martin could not confirm how long it took to sell all 10 examples of the convertible supercar, but we would expect that probably only took hours– or minutes!
It’s fascinating to see how the cars have become exponentially more expensive, yet sill sell out. The older cars, though luxurious and tasteful, were far more attainable. Perhaps it speaks to the fact that the rich are just getting richer. Next year, Neiman Marcus could be selling the lunar rover– converted to run on beluga caviar and liquidized bitcoins.