At v-bulgaria, we are fortunate to be invited to a number of events for launches of new cars, showrooms and shows. Admittedly, the zeal and ardor to rise before the sun and attend three to four affairs a week can become a little tiresome. However, when Pagani sent us an invitation to their showroom, we pushed the blasé thoughts back as we knew the launch of their all new UK headquarters would be like nothing we have attended before. We were not left disappointed.
Our invitation included the opportunity to join Pagani on a very special gathering and roadtrip, known as a “Raduno”. Before that it was time to explore the showroom and service centre that would be the official Pagani headquarters in the UK.
The new facility is situated very close to the hustle and bustle of London in a busy industrial estate. From the outside it could be mistaken for a Royal Mail delivery unit if the ubiquitous Pagani logo was missed, the story behind the frosted glass could not be disparate. Step into the building and you are greeted by pictures of the company’s founder, Horacio Pagani. The walls are a timeline that pay testament to Horacio’s work that made Pagani the undeniable success story that it is today. As you progress further past the reception desk, there are a number of intricate components such as the beautifully delicate dials and gold suspension parts that are a hint to just how much attention to detail Pagani insist each and every part of the Huayra incorporates.
As we turned the first corner it felt as if we had stepped out of grey gloomy London and into the warm hills around Modena. The ceiling had been painted with ocean blue skies and wispy cumulous clouds, the surrounding walls finished with an authentic rustic brick imported from Italy. As impressive as this Italian take on Narnia may have been, the next sight is yet again breathtaking, a Bianco Perla Huayra complete with with every possible option and more carbon than you could ever desire sat looking desperately pretty on its Zonda R wheels.
The drama of such a sight was heightened by the equally artistic wall opposite the car that comprised of a huge mirror that was broken up by thick white beams, each reflective shard accentuating each angle and of the car it was reflecting. Behind the car, the customer configuration room fitted with a large LCD screen and a large glass table surrounded by leather chairs that made us been as if we accidentally stumbled into a corporate boardroom, this is the space that customers would go to in order to discuss the specifications for their new cars.
Beyond the showroom there was another space where a menacing Zonda appeared to be floating. Upon further inspection, the magic illusion was quashed, the reality being that the car was raised in the flawless workshop. We circumambulated the Zonda and it quickly became clear that this was no ordinary Pagani but the unique Zonda Nero that features striking details such as the aggressive Cinque carbon snorkel intakes that would not look out of place in a Gotham City heroes cave.
Having been impressed beyond our expectations, we moved around into the final part of the facility, what we expected to be an empty storage space. We were wrong. The Huayra and Zonda Nero were quickly forgotten as the magnitude of the sight to behold in front of us was being comprehended and absorbed. No less than three jaw-dropping Huayras and a lovely Zonda S Roadster lay idol.
We instantly recognised two of the cars; the blue Huayra is arguably the most famous Huayra in existence, chassis number 001 owned by a prolific collector in Dubai while the second white Huayra from Saudi Arabia is usually guarded by the mammoth beast that is the Mercedes-Benz 6×6. Both Arab cars have regularly seen sauntering around the streets of Knightsbridge and Chelsea.
Speaking with Francis Falconer – Head of European Sales for Pagani – it was clear that the efforts that had been put into the UK Headquarters came from a deep rooted passion for what is arguably the most exclusive car brand in the world. He described the months of painstaking work that had gone into creating a space that Pagani owners can call their own, his own obsessive attention to detail and the goals for the future of Pagani UK. “Horacio is an inspiration on many levels and I want Pagani UK to emulate this on many levels. Everyone in the Pagani family strives to deliver the very best support in sales and aftersales and the Pagani UK headquarters marks a very important investment in that commitment”.
As the afternoon progressed, it was time for Pagani UK to begin preparing for the VIP dinner that was due to take place later that evening. The large space with the three Huayras and Zonda was the setting for the evening and the cars had to be moved outside to make way for the tables. They looked even better out in the open with natural light beating down upon them and after a few more photos we headed out to catch some rest before the mornings big show, the Pagani UK Raduno.
Arriving on yet another dreary British morning our damp spirits were swiftly lifted by the sight of no less than three Huayras and three Zondas along with a mouthwatering Lexus LFA sitting in the corner like a schoolboy dunce for not being a Pagani.
The Raduno was set to depart in a couple of hours, the destination was Salon Privé 2015, a concours and supercar show that v-bulgaria were official media partners for. Blenheim Palace was the venue for this year’s event, a glorious setting where Winston Churchill was born. Based in Woodstock, the convoy would travel just over 50 miles with two quick stops on route. The convoy was not just exclusive to Pagani cars, a number of owners and collectors were invited to join the cars on the road. As well as those joining the convoy, a number of very special cars met at the new headquarters including a black Porsche Carrera GT, Ferrari 458 Speciale and more.
After another short rain shower, it was time for the Raduno participants to start the journey and the convoy looked liked nothing else we had ever experienced before. Aside from the Pagani cars, a Ferrari F40, Porsche 918 and the LFA added to the train of cars that looked tremendous on the public roads.
The convoy was an assault on the senses, the sight of such cars all together is something we will never forget. The smell of unburnt fuel being fired out of quad exhausts was enough to make us weak at the knees. The most unforgettable thing of all were the sounds. When taking tracking shots of the cars, there was nothing to shield us from the whooshes of the massive turbocharged V12s of the Huayras, the howls from the LFA’s V10 and the growl of the legendary F40.
That said, two cars stole the show. The two Zonda C12 models in the convoy and their naturally aspirated AMG V12’s made noises that we have never heard before. Snarling downshift and shrieks under acceleration, we hope that such sounds are not consigned to the history books. As we continued to cruise with the convoy we approached the legendary Chassis 001 of 100 car that was being piloted by none other than Horacio Pagani himself with his wife in the passenger seat, both grinning ear to ear each giving us an approving thumbs up. It was apparent that the entire Pagani team still convey such passion and spirit that few others can match.
Following a few quick stops to regroup the stunning grounds of the Palace came into sight along with some of the largest crowds of fans we had ever witnessed. As the cars trundled along the gravel drives and manicured lawns the crowds grew in size as did the excitement levels. The convoy lapped the house on the parade route and in formation were guided to their resting places. The Paganis proved to be a highlight of the show. Horacio could not help but display his happiness at seeing droves of spectators ogling over the fleet of cars, young and old jostling for a quick glimpse and photos of the group. After a Mediterranean lunch and a few hours inspecting the impressive collection of cars on display it was time to bid farewell to the Pagani team and Salon Privé.
The Pagani UK facility is one that is vital for the success of the marque in the UK and Europe. On the day of the launch we were pleased to see a number of UK registered Paganis and hope to see many more in the future. The new facility means that the cars can be serviced in London under the care and expert knowledge of the Pagani mechanics. Furthermore, the new showroom promises to help future sales of Pagani cars, with the production of the Huayra Roadster set to begin in the near future. We wish the UK team the best of luck in all of their endeavours and hope to work with them again in the coming weeks and months.