Ultimate Holiday Hot Rods:The Cars of Neiman Marcus

By Sam Jemielity

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Ultimate Holiday Hot Rods:The Cars of Neiman Marcus:

Got an extra $354,000 to spare? Or better yet, have a close friend who has that cash on hand and owes you an extravagant holiday gift? Neiman Marcus has the ideal present for the well-heeled automotive aficionado in the 86th edition of its iconic Christmas book. Turn to pages 70 and 71 of the catalog and feast your eyes on the 2013 Neiman Marcus Edition McLaren 12C Spider, a Volcano Red supercar with a 616-horsepower V8 twin turbo engine capable of sprinting from 0-60 in a scant 3.2 seconds and hitting a top speed of 204 miles per hour (or a meager 196 miles per hour in convertible mode). But you’ll have to be on top of your game to get one as McLaren is limiting production to twelve.

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While Neiman Marcus have included buzzworthy vehicles in their catalog over the decades, they embarked on an annual tradition of choosing coveted rides for the Christmas Book in 1995. That year, Neiman Marcus teamed up with BMW and super-spy James Bond, who eschewed his signature Aston Martin for a special edition 1996 BMW Z3. With the 2012 holidays fast approaching, we look back at some of the other jealousy-inducing automotive marvels that have graced the pages of the Christmas Book over the years.

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When James Bond returns to screens with Skyfall later this month, he’ll be back at the wheel of the classic Aston Martin DB5. That sleek silver coupe first appeared in Goldfinger and has appeared in several additional Bond movies, including its latest supporting role in Skyfall. Bond’s original DB5 boasted lethal upgrades including machine guns, tire slashers and an ejector seat. But when Bond paired up with BMW in 1995’s GoldenEye—the spy franchise’s first partnership with a non-British automaker—the Z3’s weaponry got short shrift, as the coupe only made brief appearances. There were no weapons on the limited edition 007 James Bond Z3 roadster, but when Neiman Marcus announced that 20 would be available for sale, 100 would-be buyers placed orders so BMW and Neiman Marcus revised their plan and made 100 wannabe international men (or women) of mystery happy for the holidays.

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In 2002, Cadillac got into the Christmas Book act with a limited edition 2004 Cadillac XLR roadster. With a custom purple paint job called Ultra Violet and a two-tone interior, the custom XLR boasted GM’s Northstar V8 with a top speed of 155 miles per hour and a sub-six second 0-60 sprint, with a sticker price of $85,000. Cadillac produced 101 of these exclusive XLRs, of which two were auctioned off for charity.

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One of the most expensive vehicles to make the Neiman Marcus list, the 2005 Maserati Quattroporte, graced the pages of the 2004 Christmas Book. With a list price of $125,000, the Italian luxury sports sedan had a 4.2-liter, 392-horsepower V8, a 0-60 gallop in 5.2 seconds and a top speed in excess of 170 miles per hour. Only 60 rolled off the Maserati factory lines, each decked out with a Bordeaux Pontevecchio finish, 19-inch alloy wheels and an ivory Poltrona Frau leather interior. Subsequent editions of the Christmas Book began to push the price boundaries. In 2007, Neiman Marcus tapped the $139,000 BMW M6 convertible and in 2008 anointed the 2009 BMW Individual 7 Series sedan with a ballpark price of $160,000. In 2009, Jaguar produced 50 $105,000 exclusive 2010 XJL Supercharged sedans for the Christmas Book.

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Sticker shock hasn’t stopped buyers from clamoring for these exclusive rides. In 2009, the Celestial Black XJLs sold out in four hours and four minutes. That seems like an eternity compared to the three minutes it took 100 $75,000 2011 Neiman Marcus Edition Chevrolet Camaro convertibles to sell out in 2010. On the other hand, the ten 2012 Ferrari FF Neiman Marcus editions sold out in 50 minutes in 2011, although in fairness, the Italian supercars cost more than five times the Camaro, at a price of $395,000. Painted an exclusive gray called “Grigio Caldo,” the FF price tag included a trip to the famed Ferrari Winter Driving Experience in Aspen.

As for the McLaren, the dozen gorgeous Volcano Red Spider convertibles went on sale on October 24 and sold out within two hours. Didn’t get your name in on time? There’s always next Christmas for the newest exclusive ride.

Browse the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book.


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