• Apr 6th 2009 at 4:27PM
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While the idea of the supercar club has yet to take hold here in The Colonies, across the Atlantic in jolly old England, the notion developed into a popular alternative to the costly prospect of owning and maintaining high-priced exotica. The idea, in a nutshell, was to provide customers with the opportunity to occasionally borrow vehicles from a stable of supercars. Since most privately-owned supercars sit around unused most of the time, membership in a supercar club seemed – and, for a while, was – a logical alternative, offering most of the benefits with none of the hassle.

Unfortunately, the weakened global economy has meant that many of these supercar clubs have had to close down. With membership dropping and fleets of supercars losing their value, these businesses haven't been able to stay afloat. Over the course of the past year, Seagrave, Group 20 and Club Velociter – all supercar clubs based in the UK – shut down, and now the grand-daddy of them all, P1, has gone into court-administered bankruptcy.

P1 International was the first such club, founded in 2000 by former F1 world champion Damon Hill and business partner Michael Breen, and it was arguably the most successful, with 300 members and a fleet of 40 supercars – including Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches, Aston Martins and Bentleys – in two locations. Hill, now the president of the British Racing Drivers' Club, withdrew from the company three years ago, but claimed he was still owed money. A legal battle ensued, resulting in the club being put into bankruptcy by local courts. What this will mean for the club's members remains to be seen, but with used supercar values in the dumpster, it is reasonable to think that some well-used Astons and Ferraris will be up for grabs in short order.

[Sources: F1-Live and Car]

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