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ITH – Halo 2.0 – The Interview {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

6 Dec 2017

We love a Halo Car here at BOTB – they usually embody everything we love about performance cars with more power, more tech, more kit, more of everything really! So we were definintely looking forward to seeing what our endorser this week, Craig Williams had chosen. He’s a Director of Auto Vivendi; one of the most amazing private member’s clubs in the world, where they have a collection of amazing supercars members can use along with plenty of trips and experiences in which to enjoy them, so he was never going to choose rubbish cars! Here Craig explains his choices…

VW Golf R 5dr DSG Performance Pack

The Golf R was already a superb hot hatch, but now VW have released their new Performance pack, it’s become an even more track focused machine. Tick the box on the spec sheet and you’ll be given larger brakes, a rear wing, 19-inch wheels and a full titanium exhaust system manufactured by Akrapovič. Add these together and it makes for the consummate cross-country weapon.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

It’s an SUV, with a 503bhp, bi-turbo Ferrari derived V6 engine and it comes with one of the most evocative badges on the planet. The Stelvio is Alfa’s contribution to the performance SUV market. Pushing all that power through all four wheels, it was able to smash the lap record for its class at the Nurburgring by eight seconds, a record previously held by the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S. Coupled with ceramic brakes and double wishbone suspension, it looks set to be sensational. I simply cannot wait to do the school run in this car! 

BMW M3 CS

Start with an M3 Competition Pack, throw carbon fibre all over it, fine tune the 3.0L twin-turbocharged straight-six even more, tweak the chassis and you’ve got yourself a BMW M3 CS. The question is, would you pay an extra £22,115 for 10 extra bhp and 25kg less weight? Bavaria’s finest are usually worth the extra pennies so I’m sure they won’t be short of buyers and who knows, if the last CSL and CS are anything to go by, it could be quite collectable one day.

Audi R8 Spyder V10 Plus

The Audi R8 Spyder V10 Plus (quite the mouthful!)  is Audi’s fastest convertible yet, no surprise there really as its pushing 602bhp from that incredible V10 engine, it’s a 204mph savage. The power gets to the wheels through a lightning fast seven speed dual clutch transmission that feeds the renowned Quattro system, enabling up to 100% of the torque to be sent to just one axle if the conditions call for it. The R8 is an incredibly exciting package and with the operatic wail from that V10 with additional pops, snarls and crackles on the downshift, what’s not to like?

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So we know about the cars now, but what about the man? What makes Craig Williams tick? We found out…

Almost as soon as he swapped his Mini 1000 for a Fiat X1/9, it was clear Craig was destined for the finer things in life.

The fact that it fell apart shortly after, while actually driving it, is neither here nor there.

“I was the classic kid with pictures of a Testarossa and a Countach plastered across the bedroom walls,” Craig remembers. “I just thought there was a real gulf between the everyday cars on the street and the ones I would idolise from the posters.”

Little did he know that these were the seeds of a motoring career which has seen him get behind the wheel of the worlds finest supercars.

Life as a broker in the City certainly enabled him to afford the lifestyle he demanded, and cars came top of the list.

“As soon as I started earning some decent money I bought myself a 911 with a massive whale tail,” he smiles, although you get the sense that smile disappears when considering how much it would be worth now.

“But I’ve had all sorts of crazy cars, from a TVR Griffith 500 to a Ferrari 355 to a 911 Turbo. I was the cliché city boy in many ways but I turned into a career.”

Craig, along with some pals who had equally jaw-dropping motors, set up Vmax 200, a private driving event where supercar owners can put their machines to the test on a secluded runway.

“We all wanted to push our cars to the limit but we didn’t want to do a track day and run the risk of trashing it, or have someone crash into you. This was the perfect solution.”

From that, Craig became a director of Auto Vivendi, a private members club offering members access to a collection of the world’s best supercars, as well as organising a host of global supercar lifestyle events, including exclusive driving tours, trips to motor shows by private jet, wine and champagne tastings, and glamorous F1 experiences.

“It’s an incredible job, even though it’s pretty much 24/7,” he points out. “We typically buy 14 to 16 supercars a year which means our members have access to 30 or so incredible cars in a 12-month period.”

And all for the price of a second-hand Vauxhall Insignia.

“A lot of our members drive nice cars but the club offers them the chance to really get a feel for the latest supercars on the market without the hassle of ownership, servicing, maintenance and insurance. All they have to do is put the petrol in.

“We’ve got a couple of McLaren 720s, a Lamborghini Aventador S, a Lamborghini Huracan Performante, a Honda NSX, an Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante, a new 911 GT3…the list goes on.

“But more than this we’re offering other lifestyle benefits that fit with the supercar world, such as a full lifestyle concierge, gold Mr and Mrs Smith membership, private jet experiences and we also buy and sell cars for our members. It’s the ultimate package.”

As you’d expect, his own stable of cars is pretty delectable, given that he gets to drive the rest as part of his day job.

“I’ve got a Fiat 500 Abarth Competizione which is fabulous at nipping around town. I’ve got a Porsche 928 which I adore as well as a Mercedes 500 SL, straight out of the Bobby Ewing era. Each one gives me a different experience and the same goes for our supercars.”

But although he loves a two-seater, there’s only one problem.

“I’ve got four kids,” he laughs, “so a lot of the time I drive a Mercedes G Class which is the dullest thing you can imagine!”

 

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