|Theworld's most expensive…|
1967SEAT 850 Coupe ?
|History and Documentation of a Billionaire’s Folly|
|In the early nineties one of the world's 200 richest men purchasedthis tiny Spanish-built 4 seat coupe in Madrin, Spain and had itshipped halfway around the world. He then spent a king's ransom to havethe little car restored to showroom condition at one of the world's mostrespected and expensive automotive restoration facilities. When the carwas completed, he presented it to his fabulously rich and sophisticatedwife as if it were the only jewel that her marvelous collection lacked.It is assumed that she was non-plussed. |
Built in Barcelona in 1967, this simple Seat 850 Coupe was originallypurchased new by Maria Fernanda Fernandez Posada of Madrid, Spain, whoheld on to her registrationpermits, warranty coupon booklet, manuals, and technical inspection documentsthroughout the life of the car. Ms. Posada registered & inspected thecar yearly during her 26 years of ownership, and travelled only a littleover 89,000 kilometers (55,000 miles) in that time, an average of lessthan 2200 miles per year. In early 1993 Ms. Posada sold the modest coupeto an agent ofbillionairemedia mogul Emilio Azcárraga “Tiger” Milmo, for reasons bestunderstood only by “The Tiger” himself.
The Coupe was subsequently imported to Los Angeles, where it was deliveredto an eager Mr. Azcárraga. Tiger's agent dropped the car off atthe Hollywood Chevron at 1934 Cahuenga Boulevard on March 9th 1993 fora smog test, where station personnel recorded an odometer reading of 89,200kilometers on the invoice.Perhaps Mr. Azcárraga decided then and there that the car neededmechanical attention of a higher level, because the car was soon parked& disassembled inside the renowned automotive restoration facilityof Hill & Vaughn in MarinaDel Rey, California for a thorough cosmetic and mechanical restoration.At least 377documented billable hours and possibly many more undocumented oneswere spent on the humble coupe by Hill & Vaughn specialists, who normallywork their magic on such PebbleBeach Concours icons as Hispano-Suiza, Delahaye,Bugatti, pre-war Cadillacs, and the like.
The completed coupe was inspectedand released by Hill & Vaughn on May 23rd, 1993, and ownership wasofficially transferred to Mr. Azcárraga by the California DMV onthat same day. Soon afterward, as the story goes, the multi-billionairegave the car to his current wife PaulaCussi as a present. A Latin-American celebrity in her own right,Ms. Cussi had risen to fame and popularity via her appearances on popularSpanish language variety shows which aired throughout the Latin-Americanworld. At the time of her gift, she was in the midst of a highly regardedsecond career as the Managing Director of the Cultural Center for ContemporaryArt in Mexico City. It is not known why The Tiger would present the carto Paula Cussi, a rich and worldly woman who one would assume would havelittle time or interest in such a modest vehicle. Did he do it as an elaboratejoke? A romantic reminder of simpler times? What we do know is that PaulaCussi did register and insure the car in her name as a daily driver forthe next five years. The car remained hers past the date of her divorcefrom Mr. Azcárraga and his later marriage to Adriana Abascal, MissMexico and 5th runner up in the 1989 Miss Universe pageant. Indeed, PaulaCussi remained the registered owner of the diminutive Spanish coupe beyondthe date of Mr. Azcárraga’s untimely death of cancer in 1997.As might have been expected, Paula did not use the car regularly, as ithas only covered 600 kilometers (373 miles, or about 2 tanks of gas) betweenits arrival in the United States and its eventual sale to a baldingyet curiously pointy-haired Network Engineer in late1999. Said engineerwas only looking for a cheap and fun daily driver, and did not know thehistory of the lovely Coupe until after he had purchased it. He is quitesurprised about the car's unique and unexpected pedigree, and enjoys thecar regularly, but only on special jaunts, not as a daily driver. The caris fantastically reliable, and is literally as new as it was in 1967. A550 kilo 50 hp time machine, and likely the only one in the world in thiscondition.
Please email: Seat850@home.com
At least people have now seen a Seat 850.