Sunday,21 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1359, (7 - 13 September 2017)
Sunday,21 April, 2019
Issue 1359, (7 - 13 September 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Dodi’s dolls

Dodi Al-Fayed, a serious contender as the future husband of Lady Diana before the Paris crash 20 years ago that killed them both, had a penchant for fast, pricey cars. Mohamed Abdel-Razek reports

Known best as Lady Diana’s partner who lost his life with her in the tragic car crash in Paris in 1997, Emadeddin Mohamed Al-Fayed, nicknamed Dodi, loved cars – the fastest, most expensive kinds.

Dodi was reportedly the first person in Los Angeles to own a Hummer H1 Slant Back in 1995, according to his old friend Jack Martin, a gossip columnist in Hollywood. According to his ex-personal assistant, Dodi had monthly pocket money of £400,000 and knew how to spend it well, especially on high end automobiles.

Dodi’s 1995 Hummer H1 in black is being sold now in the US with an eye boggling price tag of $5 million. The car is in mint condition. The engine has been swapped for a 2006 Alpha 6.6L Duramax Turbo Diesel, 6 speed Allison transmission. The interior is untouched, with its original black leather, but some modifications were added through the years, including DVD player, backup camera and electronic sunroofs.

Maserati Merak

Dodi also owned a 1972 Ferrari Daytona who his father, the Egyptian tycoon Mohamed Al-Fayed, got him as a present. The car, previously owned by several celebrities, was sold, along with others by Al-Fayed in 2011.

The Daytona had bad luck. It was bought by an Italian mechanic, a panel beater, Enzo Ceravolo, who shipped the car to Australia where he was planning to retire and enjoy his $2 million Ferrari, but this was never to happen. In 2015 the car was stolen from the garage he kept the car in for minor restorations and was found burnt days after. The car is beyond restoration, according to Ceravolo.

The ultra rare 1973 Maserati Merak 3000 was also in Dodi’s fleet. The car was bought new by Mohamed and was passed down to Dodi. It was special; only 781 were ever made in the 1970s. It had a gold plated badge with Mohamed Al-Fayed’s name on the dash. According to The Sun, Mohamed Al-Fayed bought this car from the Maserati factory in 1973 and in 1980 he shipped it back to the UK. The car has a 3.0L V6 engine delivering 190bhp. It has done only 17,000km, rarely used, and is currently being sold 20 years after Dodi’s death in the auction site Catawiki, according to The Sun.

Hummer H1

In 2011, Al-Fayed decided to sell a big part of his Ferrari and Rolls Royce fleet, most of which were probably driven by Dodi. The cars were sold in Bonhams’ Paris Sale of Motor Cars the same year. They included a 1979 Ferrari 400i Coupe (estimate: €12,000 – €18,000); 1988 Ferrari Testarossa (€30,000 – €40,000); 1988 Ferrari Testarossa (€36,000 – €48,000); 1972 Ferrari 365 GTC/4 Coupe (€55,000 – €75,000); 1966 Ferrari 330 GTC Berlinetta (€110,000 – €140,000); 1930 Rolls-Royce 20/25hp Sedan de Ville (€45,000 – €65,000); Ex-Duke of Kent 1963 Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limousine (€120,000 – €150,000); John Lennon’s 1965 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Coupe (€120,000 – €170,000); 1969 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI Limousine (€145,000 – €175,000); and a 1992 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI Landaulet (€300,000 – €400,000).

Ferrari Daytona

Dodi’s passions extended beyond cars. He loved cinema especially after he attended productions his father used to finance back in Egypt in the early 1960s, including Cleopatra. After he graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the UK, Dodi went to the US where he was much attracted to the Hollywood lifestyle. With the help of his father, he founded his own production company, Allied Stars Ltd in the late 1970s. In 1981 he produced his first film, Chariots of Fire, incorporating with 20th Century Fox. Father and son each paid $6 million. Stunningly the film won four Oscars and was listed as one of the best ever movies in the history of British film.

Dodi owned properties next to Hollywood’s top draws, dating some of them, including Jennifer Lopez.

Being the son of a billionaire helped Dodi build his own empire, cars et al.

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