I feel like a secret agent. After weeks of chasing and being passed from one contact to another, we’ve been given the all clear to visit the biggest private supercar collection in Bahrain. First, we’re given a general area to head to, a short drive from the capital Manama, then told to wait for a dropped pin detailing the exact location. We’re eating a burger when the message comes through… I half expect it to self-destruct after reading.
I can understand the owner’s caution. If you had £100 million worth of supercars stashed in your garage you would be, too. We’re not even allowed to mention his name, which is curious given you can follow him on Instagram @the_collection1. Still, his cars, his rules, I’m just happy to be here, and can’t stop grinning like a child with the keys to Cadbury’s World.
There’s construction work going on (a garage extension, naturally, to house the ever-swelling ranks) hence dustsheets on half the cars. To be honest, it only heightens the anticipation: a wing silhouette here, a flash of alloy there, I find myself pointing and guessing, frantically. Then I turn right into the main atrium, the prize paddock with double-height ceilings and his 14 favourites parked cheek to cheek, and my stomach does a back flip.
I walk the line, emotions a mess - something between extreme jealousy and pure joy. At the end perched on a turntable his baby, a McLaren F1, chassis number six, bought from a Japanese collector who had three. Next to it a P1, also number six, then a chronological history of Ferrari hypercars: LaFerrari, Enzo, F50, F40, 288 GTO and a 599 GTO for good measure.
Opposite is the really special stuff. A Porsche 918 Spyder then a 911 GT1 Straßenversion (one of only two in existence, he was recently offered $21m) and next to that another homologation special from the same FIA GT Championship - the Mercedes AMG CLK GTR. The Maserati MC12 is definitely better than the Enzo on which its based, I decide, before drinking in his brand-new Chiron and the Hermes Veyron next to that. Not bad, and that’s barely half of it.
I’ll let you click through to experience the rest, but in case you were wondering how or when he gets to drive this obscene group of cars, let’s just say having an F1 track ten minutes down the road and enough money to use it as your own private playground, helps.
So, any glaring omissions from the collection? Let us know what you would add, money-no-object, in the comments below.
Photography: Mark Riccioni