The video of a Rolls-Royce Phantom tearing sideways through the British countryside went viral and for good reason. The real mystery of the video was who was behind the wheel of the $400,000 car. Now we think we know the identity of the Stig's uppercrust cousin.
The news comes to us from British website Car Throttle, which found out that this particular Phantom is a press car. The Roller was handed over to the Editor-in-Chief of What Car? magazine, Chas Hallett, just days after the countryside drift video with nearly two million views was filmed.
Who had the car before Hallett? Allegedly it was Jon Hunt, a British real estate entrepreneur with a private car museum and a son making his name as a professional rally driver.
The video appears to have been shot at Heveningham Hall, the Hunt's estate in Suffolk. Car Throttle reports that it is a Grade I Palladian country house, built in the 18th century with 25 bedrooms, 19 bathrooms, 12 receptions, and a plentiful 460 acres of land. There's plenty of room to film Bugatti burnouts as well as flame-spitting Ferrari 288 GTOs and F50s, all released on the seven-month-old YouTube channel TaxTheRich100.
It seems obvious that Jon Hunt's son, Harry Hunt would be driving the cars in the videos. He is currently leading the International Rally Challenge's 2WD championship in a lime green Citroën and won the championship in his debut year, 2010. If there is anyone in the family that you would ask to drift a Rolls-Royce press car through the gates of a 230-year-old country hall, it'd be Harry.
Jon Hunt reportedly made £370 million for selling Foxtons, the aggressive real estate agency that he founded. Now he is running what seems to be a high-octane version of Downton Abbey, and plans to dig an underground garage at his second estate to house all his cars. He told the Daily Mail, "I'm building a private car museum. I love old Ferraris and old Art Deco French cars. I've got a list of 100 cars I'd like to put together. It's all about engine numbers and chassis numbers."
The Hunts hold a charity fair at their estate every year, but the greatest service they do is show the world what some of the most exclusive, fantastic supercars look like when pushed beyond the limit. We will see if they keep making videos, now that the identity of their Stig has been revealed.
UPDATE: TaxTheRich has responded to our request for comment and denied that they are Jon and Harry Hunt. The full text of the e-mail is given below.
I did enjoy the article that you wrote - and love Jalopnik. I had been in contact with Patrick George, who I believe also writes for Jalopnik before the article was written.
One of the main reasons why we do these videos as anonymous is because we would prefer to stay out the limelight and let the videos showcase themselves. There has been a lot of speculation behind who is behind these videos however, I can assure you that the names you think are behind it are 100% not involved in any of the videos.
I would hope that Jalopnik would prefer to write stories about cars rather than Investigational journalism. I am glad that you have emailed me first to ask as I would hate for you to have defamaed the persons below.
Should you have any additional queries please feel free to contact me, otherwise I look forward to sending you our next jaw dropping car video in the near future!
With kind regards,
We would like to point out that we're capable of writing both about cars and doing investigative journalism.