Giltrap Group's $30m exotic opening day
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It isn't every day you can walk into a luxury car showroom filled with more than $30 million worth of exotic supercars -- but come Saturday morning Kiwi car enthusiasts can do just that.
Giltrap Group opens its state-of-the-art headquarters, and new Auckland home to Italy's Lamborghini, and British luxury marques Aston Martin and Bentley.
It's the first time the dealership has opened its doors to the public and they'll have the latest models from all three brands -- some of which will be on display for the first time in New Zealand.
Aston Martin's showroom will have a pair of special Vantage coupes -- a GT8 and Red Bull Racing edition -- the former is the most extreme Vantage model manufactured, featuring a full track-spec carbon fibre aero kit. It is one of only 150 ever made.
Even rarer is an Aston Martin One-77 two door coupe (one of 77 built) and 600kW Vulcan (one of only 24 in the world).
In the Lamborghini showroom on the ground floor you'll find the new Huracan Coupe and Spyder models, sensibly positioned behind the brand's new feature piece -- the latest Aventador S Coupe.
On level two, Lamborghini aficionados will find a special surprise and a car I didn't even know had made its way to this side of the world. But I'll leave that for you to discover.
Bentley shares the ground floor, stocked with a range of the finest British-built luxury cars like the Continental GT, four-door Flying Spur and Bentayga SUV.
"Saturday's public opening is all about the love of cars," said Shaun Summerfield, Giltrap Group Marketing and Communications Manager.
"Aston Martin launched at the new premises earlier this month, Lamborghini and Bentley will follow in the coming months, but those are customer and media events.
"This weekend is all about welcoming Kiwis who love cars to come in, have a coffee, have a chat, and check out some seriously cool cars."
Visitors will also be able to explore one of the hidden excitements of buying one of these luxury vehicles -- the customisation centre.
Nowadays it is common place for car makers to offer an extensive range of options and accessories, but visitors today will be able to see how buyers customise their vehicles.
The Aston Martin, Bentley and Lamborghini showrooms all feature a designated area where customers can select their perfect shade of body paint, interior fabrics, exterior performance parts and discuss one-off details that you'd never find in a brochure.
Underground is a new service department, the placement of which required the design of a novel ramp to combat two of the supercar's potential perils -- speed bumps and multi-storey ramps.
To ensure no expensive front splitters are damaged moving vehicles from floor to floor, the building features a "curved ramp" design. The ramps are built in a concurve-convex "wave" meaning even the lowest supercars won't bottom out in the building.
The three dealerships are in the lower floors of the nine-level building, commissioned by the Giltrap Group and designed by architects Warren and Mahoney.
Warren and Mahoney say the glass-encased design reinforces Giltrap's position at the forefront of the end-to-end car sales experience, sentiments echoed by Joint Managing Director of the Giltrap Group, Michael Giltrap.
"The finished product has surpassed what we expected and initially imagined with this project," he said.
"This dealership is of a standard that is as good as you will ever see around the world, even if you're travelling through cities like London or New York; this building is world-class, and we want to share it with local Kiwis who love cars.
From left: Aston Martin Asia Pacific president Patrick Nilsson, Greg Brink and Michael Giltrap.
"New Zealand and the Giltrap Group have a special relationship with Aston Martin, Bentley and Lamborghini, so it is fantastic to see these stunning cars in a location to match."
The new building is also the first of its type to target (and on track to achieve) a 5-star Green Star Design rating.
"Environmental sustainability is a growing focus throughout the motor industry, and we want to lead the way locally with this build," said Giltrap.
The development will also house Giltrap Group's headquarters. The company was founded in 1960 when a young self-confesesd car-mad Colin Giltrap opened his first luxury car dealership in Hamilton, Monaco Motors.
Recognised with a knighthood in 2012 for his services to motorsport and philanthropy, Sir Colin's automotive empire has has gown to 13 locations with 16 different vehicle brands.
Sir Colin continues his interest in the business and motor racing, but sons Michael and Richard have taken management of the group, continuing the legacy their father created.
The new dealership, at 119 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn, opens to the public from 10am-2pm today.
"Bring the whole family, including the kids," said Summerfield.
"If you love cars, you need to come down and check it out."