We all know that London has become a hotbed for supercars in recent years, particularly those owned by summer vacationers from Arab countries who essentially have more money than God.
The thing is, they don't always play nice. They drive recklessly in their Ferraris and Bugattis, flagrantly disobey traffic laws, and keep people awake at night with their roaring engines. The drivers are also followed by exotic-loving photographers and videographers dubbed "Carparazzi" who document their every move.
At least, that's what the residents of the tony Knightsbridge section of London say. They're ramping up their complaints against the people they call "Gulfies" and trying to get the police to clamp down on them.
The Mail spoke to several Knightsbridge residents who are unhappy with the high-dollar hooliganism, including this woman whose name is Panda:
Knightsbridge resident Panda Morgan-Thomas, 59, has been leading a campaign to clamp down on the unruly driving - and she said it has become a constant pain every summer in recent years.
‘I'm inundated with local residents complaining, not being able to sleep and I think people's tempers are getting somewhat jaded. It is quite difficult to be sleep deprived and carry on with a normal life.'
Knightsbridge resident Justin Downes added: ‘I've seen the area move from being a very quiet, residential area to being cosmopolitan in a way which is rather extreme.
‘I think the supercars are a manifestation of too much-ness. These cars are brought in by what we call the "Gulfies".
‘They come in to the area around Harrods to show off their cars and drive recklessly in a way that if you were a UK citizen you would be prosecuted for dangerous driving.'
London police have come down on these tourists for insurance and registration violations, often impounding their cars. The residents say that hasn't really put much of a dent in the problem.
But one thing about the newspaper's story surprised me. While the Londoners have complained to police, none of the people who were interviewed admitted to ever having talked to the drivers of these cars. One 27-year-old Saudi supercar owner said that if people were to complain to him, he'd listen. So what's the real issue they have with these guys? Is it a legitimate complaint about hooliganism, or is it motivated by xenophobia or even jealousy? I have to wonder if the residents aren't missing out on a chance to build some bridges and solve things by talking it out.
Hey, London Jalopnik readers: Give us your take on the situation. How can this issue get worked out?
Hat tip to Jonathan
Photo credit Ed Callow/torquespeak