Orange County Operator Goes For Golden Clients

Posted on June 16, 2010 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

The fleet addition of a Maybach 62 S enables operator Robert Vaughan to appeal to the most monied slice of California’s Gold Coast.

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — Want to make your Lincoln Town Car clients feel like they’re taking a cab?

Then charge $300 per hour for use of a MAYBACH 62 S, the most advanced and luxurious chauffeured sedan in the world behind only the Maybach 62 S Landaulet.

Robert Vaughan, owner and president of BEST WORLDWIDE CHAUFFEURED TRANSPORTATION of Huntington Beach, now can put an extra strut into the street stride of any client willing to pay the hourly rate, which could cover about four airport transfers in a typical Lincoln Town Car. Best has temporary use of the Maybach 62 S courtesy of a wealthy client who owns the Maybach and lets Best use it when he is not.

The client and Maybach owner, who lives in southern Orange County, hired Best three months ago to garage his Maybach and chauffeur him in it about three to four times a week. When not serving the client, Best can use the Maybach for other runs at $300 per hour.

The 2008 Maybach 62 S cost $518,000 new. A 2010 Maybach 62 S has a listed base price of $456,500. The Mercedes-Benz-built high-end luxury sedan has a twin-turbocharged V12 engine with more than 600hp. Its rear compartment has ample legroom and reclining bucket-lounger type seats. It also comes with an ice chest, a chauffeur partition, curtains, TV screens, and rear seat entertainment. “The rear compartment is like a private jet on wheels,” Vaughan said.

So far, the Maybach 62 S has been reserved for about six as-directed runs since it joined the fleet three months ago, Vaughan said. The bookings have come for “ultra-V.I.P. clients” staying at Orange County’s top luxury resorts, such as the Ritz-Carlton, the Montage, and Pelican Resort, Vaughan said. Orange County spans California’s Gold Coast, which includes the oceanfront cities and communities of Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Balboa Island, Laguna Beach, and Laguna Niguel.

Vaughan had a team of three chauffeurs specially trained to drive the Maybach. A professional driver/instructor for Mercedes-Benz North America familiar with the Maybach requirements was brought to the Best facility to teach the chauffeurs the ways of the Maybach.

Vaughan conceded that neither he nor most operators in the industry could actually purchase a Maybach outright and make money on it. It would take a large operator based in Los Angeles with access to entertainment industry clients to make the vehicle profitable, Vaughan said.

“It’s a very unique vehicle,” Vaughan said. “Most people are not willing to pay $300 plus per hour. If they can afford it, they usually have their own car and driver.”

And how long will the Maybach grace Best’s fleet of about 40 vehicles?

“It’s open-ended, but the owner is looking at replacing the Maybach with a Rolls Royce Phantom, so we may have a Phantom soon,” Vaughan said.

— Martin Romjue, LCT Magazine

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