Welcome to wheels, Lisa! We all love a loud, fast wagon and your 2006 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG combines speed with outrageous character! How did you come across this beauty?
First of all, thank you for featuring me and my rides in wheels!
Well, I have had the Mercedes for just over two months now but I spent quite a while trying to find one. It was imported from Japan and I wanted one for quite a few months as they are very rare in the Middle East and something very different to everything else on the road.
I have always been a Dodge fan and have owned a Charger and Challenger and very nearly went for another Challenger — but in the end I decided on the Mercedes which was a brand that I had not owned before.
Now, this is my daily driver, and I would say it is more of a cruiser now (but it still has plenty of power!) it was built for luxury combined with speed.
Tell us about AMG’s 469 horsepower hand-built 5.4-litre supercharged V8 and overall hHow well does your Merc handle? Does it give you any problems?
It’s an incredibly smooth ride in fact I was surprised by how quick it was whilst feeling like it was no effort at all.
However, as expected for a 15 year old car, the air suspension has just been replaced with coil overs but the car was looked after very well by the previous owner in Japan so apart from that maintaining it isn’t too difficult but parts can be tricky — you just need to go to the garages that specialize in German brands. It is all in original shape but there are plans to spruce up the exterior a little bit and maybe get a new exhaust system, but I will leave the engine and transmission alone for the foreseeable future at least.
What do you like best about it — and is there anything that you don’t like?
The rarity of it and the overall look, I have had the exterior de-chromed and the wheels painted black in order to achieve the stealthy look that I wanted.
As for dislikes, there aren’t many, apart for the breaking distance. Occasionally, the computerized voice of a woman shouting in Japanese comes through the speaker! I have still no idea what she is saying.
Also, when you unlock the doors with the main button inside the car, the traction control turns off as the buttons are jammed together… makes for fun times!
I get a lot of thumbs up from other drivers especially if they are in classic cars, people are often surprised when they see what I drive while my family and friends, who are passionate about cars, love it.
Moving on to your 2018 Lamborghini Huracán Performante — what an eye catcher! How do you cope with all the attention that it gets?
It doesn’t make a quiet entry anywhere, but I think more and more women are owning supercars here in the UAE, especially in Dubai, and so it is becoming more common to see them behind the wheel of all sorts of exotics. In fact, that is the reason that I set up the Ninth Degree Ladies Club to cater for female supercar enthusiasts.
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Tell us a little more about the club…
Well, we launched the club in December last year as a branch of the Ninth Degree Supercar Club — and I run it my spare time as a hobby. We have 35 members now and our events are activity based which include karting and a convoy drive, but we have also done other events including shooting, escape room challenges, and kayaking to name a few. On top of this we also take part in events with the mixed main club including track drives.
Nice! We hope the club continues to grow. Back to the Lambo — this track oriented variant’s 5.2-litre V10 makes 631 horsepower; how often do you take it to the track to stretch its legs?
We have track days regularly with the club and we are lucky that the Dubai Autodrome has many open track days too and so I make sure that I get out there every every few weeks.
It has a stiffer ride due to all sorts of chassis upgrades compared to other Huracán models which help to keep it glued to the road — but what is it like to live with on a daily basis?
Dubai roads are generally great so it is not an issue, however the outskirts of town on certain desert roads can be interesting to say the least!
Which one puts a bigger smile on your face, the Lambo or the Merc?
Hmm that’s difficult to answer, I don’t think you can compare them really as one is a luxury cruiser and one is a track focused supercar so I am going to say they both do equally for different reasons.
What sparked your passion for cars?
It crept up on me since my late teens and my father has always owned multiple classics so I think it must stem from that.
I’ll never forget my first car — it was a Ford Fiesta Mark II with a manual choke, what a drive! Since then, I have had some rather more interesting cars including the two aforementioned Dodges, a Ford Mustang, Porsche 911 GT3 RS and a McLaren 650S.
The best car I have driven has to be the Lambo — it combines comfort and power which is not often the case in track focused supercars. I am looking to expand into the classic supercar segment hopefully in the not too distant future.
What is your dream car?
I would love to own a Morgan, classic or modern — I think they are beautiful.