An abandoned Ferrari Enzo, worth over $1 million dollars, was nowhere to be found at a government auction of abandoned Emirati cars, The National reported.
Thousands of expatriates fled high-flying Dubai after its economy crashed in 2009. Fearing debtors prison, formerly rich foreigners simply left their supercars at the Dubai airport parking lot, where the vehicles accumulated dust and, eventually, the attention of the government.
On Wednesday, car enthusiasts hoped to find the fabled Enzo at a government auction. But they were sorely disappointed. Emirates 24/7 said the car was not auctioned right away because it may be evidence in a trial for other crimes. The cars are usually auctioned off in a batch - not as individual vehicles - as a way of recouping unpaid fines, the National wrote. Jalopnik estimated the car could go for between $1.4 and $1.85 million.
The owner reportedly racked up thousands of dollars in parking fines before flying away, tail between his legs. One can only imagine that the debt-drowned playboy thought his expensive, red car meant the rules did not apply to him.
A Lebanese man told the paper, "We were all day figuring out where it was and when. We called everybody. It was very hard to get information. We were going around to all the police offices trying to find out where it was."
The New York Times wrote in 2009 that up to 3,000 cars had been abandoned near Dubai's airport as foreigners - laid off during the economic downfall that struck Dubai after the mortgage crisis hit the United States and set off a global market panic - were forced to flee.
The bubble burst had a marked effect on Dubai's massive, multi-lane highways, which were once choked with shiny, expensive traffic. "So many used luxury cars are for sale," the Times wrote in 2009, that "they are sometimes sold for 40 percent less than the asking price two months ago, car dealers say."
At the time, The National waxed poetic about the sad emblem of Dubai's quick decline. "There is little sadder than the sight of a once proud sports car slumped in the gutter, its top down, tyres all but flat and its gleaming black paint job lost beneath an ever-thickening layer of dust."
The Ferrari Enzo is one of the most expensive and fastest cars ever produced by the luxury Italian carmaker. Made of carbon fiber, its top speed is 350 km/h, or 217 mph. Only 400 Enzos were made, but at least three have run into bad luck. Aside from the Dubai orphan, a Canadian Enzo crashed into a chilly lake, and a speedy turn on a Malibu, California stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway ended in death, destruction, and intrigue.