One of the fastest and most sought after cars under the NEC spotlights is the 207mph £313,465 Mercedes SLR McLaren which is being hand built at a high-tech bespoke plant in Woking, Surrey.
While most of the visitors to the Sunday Times Motor Show live might fantasise about putting the carbon-fibre shelled supercar in their garages, even those with sufficient funds will have to form a plutocratic queue.
Such is the clamour for the Anglo-German thoroughbred that those willing and able to put down the required £25,000 deposit will have to order in late 2006 for an early 2007 delivery.
Potential buyers are believed to include Arsenal's soccer superstar Thierry Henri, normally associated with promoting smaller Renaults.
Mercedes Benz and their McLaren Formula 1 partners are committed to building 3,500 V8, 5.5-litre, turbocharged SLRs over seven years, but for those waiting in line the company has not ruled out extending the production run.
Asked why Mercedes had chosen the SLR as its sole representative at the NEC, Rob Holloway, Mercedes UK's public relations' manager, said: "We believe the motor show should be a celebration of the brightest, best and newest. This car combines the best of both worlds with German and British technological expertise."
Asked for a list of patient celebrities and wealthy enthusiasts Holloway said: "We offer discretion as standard so we cannot name existing or potential customers."
He claimed that while the lightweight slingshot would catapult from zero to 62mph it would also provide practical everyday transport and "immense" braking power.Published 30 May 2004