Daimler Ag

Kidnap-proof motoring a snip at $20m

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 February, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 February, 2005, 12:00am


Related topics

They say that in some of the more dangerous parts of the world, life is cheap.

But while life itself may not carry a high price, protecting it does. And there are those who will pay up to $20 million to have theirs protected by a fully armoured Maybach, a luxury car so tough its passengers can lie back, sip champagne and watch the bullets bounce off its 5cm-thick windows.

The car, which weighs almost as much as an elephant, can withstand grenade attacks, gassings, fires and flat tyres.

'It is fitted with the highest level of protection of any car,' said Richburg Motors' chairman Eric Wong. 'Only the United States presidential limousine has more.'

To prove just how secure the car was, the dealer yesterday hosted a mock bungled kidnapping at its Jordan showroom - with real guns.

'We have to use blanks,' Mr Wong said, 'otherwise someone would get killed when the bullets bounced off.'

Moments later, the show began with a wealthy businessman and his tai tai being escorted to what appeared just an everyday, super-luxury Maybach 57.

Suddenly two evil AK47-toting would-be kidnappers attempted to abduct them. Thinking quickly, the couples' bodyguards pushed them into the car.

The vicious assailants mowed down two hapless bodyguards and loosed off a few rounds at the vehicle. But their faces registered bewilderment as the make-believe bullets pinged harmlessly off the paintwork.

'Don't waste any more of your bullets,' said despondent kidnapper A - played by Raymond Tsang Sau-ming. 'See how expensive this car is? We don't have enough firepower to get in.'

His voice was almost drowned out by the Maybach's sirens. A loudhailer is also included, which allows the vehicle's occupants to talk to those outside.

As the 'police' arrived to save the day, a jubilant wealthy businessman - played by Richburg's Billy Chan Kin-leung - taunted the evil ones.

'You idiots,' he cackled as he stepped over the bodies of his fallen bodyguards. 'Didn't you know the car was armoured. Look at you now. Ha, ha, ha!'

Mr Wong later pointed out the car was aimed at buyers in more dangerous areas of Southeast Asia and the mainland.

'Hong Kong is a pretty safe location, so we don't think anyone here will need one.'