Despite having written for How To Spend It for 18 years, I was still momentarily taken aback when former Swiss corporate financier Florian Lemberger matter-of-factly informed me that the value of the average car collection owned by members of his decidedly exclusive Supercar Owners Circle was “around £20m”.
It turns out, however, that Lemberger – whose own “motorhouse” contains a Ferrari F40, a Porsche GT2RS and a 1967 Shelby GT350, among others – was only ever interested in attracting ultra-high-end members when he decided to establish the Supercar Owners Circle in 2014 as a club for owners of the rarest and most valuable classic cars and supercars ever produced, all of whom are welcomed in by invitation only.
Once part of the SOC, supercar enthusiasts are invited to attend a carefully curated calendar of meetings staged around the world, the next of which will be based at the Chedi hotel in Andermatt, Switzerland, where Lemberger has organised a series of events on September 1 and 2 that should hold the attention of even the most difficult-to-please petrolhead.
Attendees will receive special presentations from Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Manifattura Automobili Torino, RM Sotheby’s and tyre manufacturer Pirelli. They will also discover the Octo Tourbillon Sapphire SOC wristwatch, designed by Bulgari specifically for Supercar Owners Circle members, before being invited by the brand to take part in its Haute Horlogerie Watchmaking Showcase.
The highlight of the weekend, however, will take place on Sunday morning, when supercar owners will be able to drive a section of the nearby Oberalp Pass that Lemberger has ensured will be closed to the public so SOC members can exercise their steeds to the full. He has also revealed to How To Spend It that he has secured access to both a local airfield and a sub-alpine railway station that was never put into operation – but offers great potential for high-speed driving fun.
Non-members who wish to attend the Andermatt event may apply to do so through the SOC website. Criteria for entry, says Lemberger, include having “a very special car”, being deemed a suitable “fit” and paying a fee of £2,500 – which, coincidentally, is the current annual membership fee.
Although around 1,000 people have attended the various SOC events held around the world to date, Lemberger has capped actual membership of the club at 150 – and says only a few spaces remain.