NEWS NOTES: TIPS TO AVOID A CARJACKING; “MONA-LISA” OF CARS SELLS FOR $142 MILLION

by | May 19, 2022 | Cars, Motor

Carjacking is something that’s been in the news a lot lately, including in Toronto, where a big-name NHL hockey player had his pricey black Range Rover stolen from him in a parking lot outside a movie theatre last weekend.

Mitch Marner of the Toronto Maple Leafs has had a helluva week. His team suffered yet another first round playoff loss, this time against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Leafs haven’t won a playoff round since 2004. And Toronto is supposed to be a hockey capital. Marner, as the second highest paid player on the team, takes a lot of that heat. Then to be the victim of a carjacking, just hours after his team got knocked out, must have been too much to take.

Thankfully, relatively speaking, he’s fine:

Tips to avoid getting carjacked

We’ve spent the past few months watching coverage of carjackings in major U.S. cities, and it’s spread to Toronto in a big way. There have been 60 carjackings in Toronto so far this year, after just 59 all of last year. Thieves target luxury cars like Audi, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Range Rover. A police source tells us Toronto Police Services has set up a task force to deal with the uptick. Led by Marner’s situation, there have been plenty of carjackings around the Toronto area over the past week especially.

Talking to local Toronto police, here are some tips to avoid finding yourself in such a situation:

  • Trust your instincts and be aware of your surroundings.
  • If you suspect you are being followed, on the road or into your driveway, call 9-1-1..
  • If you are approached by thieves, remain calm and comply. Don’t fight back. Call 9-1-1 as soon as possible.
  • Call police immediately to report suspicious people or activity.
  • If possible, park your vehicle in a locked garage. Most vehicles are stolen from a driveway.
  • Use a steering wheel lock. It will also act as a visible deterrent.
  • Install a lock on the data port. This simple device can be purchased online and blocks access to the computer port where the thieves gain access to reprogram the vehicle’s keys.
  • Consider purchasing a quality video surveillance system.
  • Inspect your vehicle regularly and call police if you notice any suspicious potential tracking devices.

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Coupe sells for record price

Then there’s this: A road-racing car built by Mercedes-Benz in 1955, and kept by them ever since, has been sold at an auction for $142 million USD. The car was secured by British expert Simon Kidston for a client. Kidston had been lobbying the board of Mercedes for 18 months to consider selling the car “that would never be sold”.

The auction took place May 5 in Stuttgart, on short notice, and was by invitation only. All monies will be used by Mercedes-Benz to set up a charitable fund for young people. The 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Coupé was a development of the open two-seat sports-racing car built by Mercedes for the 1955 season and driven by Grand Prix greats such as Stirling Moss, Juan Manuel Fangio and Peter Collins.

The W196 S sports car was powered by a 302bhp, 3.0-litre straight-eight of great complexity, and dominated the 1955 World Sportscar Championship. Moss’s record drive on the 1955 Mille Miglia has been described as one of the greatest-ever feats of motor racing (he covered 992 miles in 10 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds on public roads).

The car that sold is the sister car to the one Moss drove. It was assumed that Mercedes would never part with one of the crown jewels of the company collection, considered the “Mona Lisa” because of its rarity, racing pedigree and unavailability. The final sales figure smashed the previous record for the sale of a car. That was believed to be $78 million for a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO in a private sale in 2018.

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