PaddlUp visits The Shmuseum - Pt 2
Welcome back for part two of our exclusive interview with Tim Burton, or as he is known to his legions of online supporters, Shmee150.
The PaddlUp media team visited the Shmuseum and spent an afternoon with Tim, but there were simply too many questions to fit into one sitting, so we had to have another bite at the cherry...
Are there any cars you regret not buying? What is 'the one that got away'?
"Hindsight is a wonderful thing and all that. In the current market it's moderately hilarious to think back to what cars were offered and what prices were linked to them back in time. There are certainly two cars that crossed my radar and stand out to me, neither of which I could quite stretch to at the time which is why they didn't happen. Looking at their values now, I certainly should've done. One was a Lexus LFA which was priced at just under £200,000 and now would be many multiples of that and it's one of my favourite cars.
"The other is also one of my favourite cars, I think it was £220,000 for a Porsche Carrera GT, I was buying my McLaren MP4-12C at the same time for £125,000, it's unusual to say now but at the time I couldn't stretch to that, it's not something I could feasibly consider. Obviously, a 12C was a fairly new car under warranty whereas a GT was over 10 years old already. Now you see auction prices for GTs hitting several million so that happened fast!
"F50s have never been at a price that I could afford. They're tracking above what I can afford unless I sell everything. I wouldn't do that though, I love having a garage of multiple cars that gives many opportunities for different driving experiences. Different events, different manufacturers, going out with friends and being in convoys are way better than one car."
Is there a car you regret selling?
"I don't believe I can regret selling something because if I sold it I consciously decided I'm selling it, so to speak. I have since bought back my V8 Vantage Roadster which was the first 'Shmeemobile', the first video I made was speaking to camera while driving in that car and it was the first iconic car of my online presence. I don't regret that I sold it because at the time I didn't have the funds to buy a second car, so I had to sell it to buy the next one. I feel very lucky that I was able to track it down and buy it back and it's still in very good shape, typically you sell a car and it will get written off.
"A lot of people think one of the most iconic cars of the channel was my 675LT Coupé which was in a pretty one-off colour – the same colour I have on my Senna actually – and I've kept in touch with the two owners who have had it since. I saw the guy who owns it currently very recently and a lot of people might think that is the car I regret selling but if I hadn't sold it, the things that came next wouldn't have happened. Everything is circumstantial."
What is the most atypical or out of character car in your collection?
"The car in my collection that is the least me is far and away my Lamborghini Huracán STO. I'm not your typical Lamborghini owner and that's part of the reason when I chose the specification that I went for something so ridiculously brash and loud because it was already pushing the boat to purchase it in the first place so I went full guns blazing, let's do this, let's cause discussion and make it a talking point. Why Not? It certainly has been, it's quite amusing how many people get slightly rustled by the specification I've gone for.
"It's partly a social media experiment. It's not literally, there's more to it than that but partly, in a world where 'everybody' shares flashy cars left right and centre, it's like 'if I do pink and yellow will even more people share it?', does it stand out from all the greens and oranges and all the one colour bright cars out there and the answer is 'yes!' without a doubt."
If you woke up tomorrow with nothing but £150,000 in your account, what is the one car you'd buy?
"I have a car of exactly that kind of value, the AMG GTR Roadster. It's both lovely to drive and very fun if you track it or drive it on a proper twisty road, but it's also a Mercedes and it's reliable, it works properly and ticks every box – one very nice car to use for everything! I drive my cars quite hard and the Mercedes can take it, it's rarely let me down."
What is the money is no object car?
"A lot of people when you get this question just jump to the most expensive car you can think of so in the current day, a Mercedes 300 SLR for example or a Ferrari 250 GTO or a McLaren F1, those are the cars people will throw out just because. If we think about it more like you have the car and you can never sell it, running costs are covered, what car would you actually like to have and that for me is the Ferrari F50."
Is there something about you, that not many people know that you think they should know?
"I think this is where social media is very interesting because a lot of people know me as Shmee through my content but a lot of people don't know that Shmee is effectively the character I portray online. Shmee and Tim are actually slightly different people in many ways which is a hard concept to get your head around but Shmee is the 'hey the camera is on and lots of people are watching' guy as opposed to Tim which is a little more of a normal car guy I think."
What is a niche automotive feature from your garage?
"A feature that is really cool and always wows everyone you show is when you put the Ford GT into track mode, it drops two inches at the press of a button, the whole car locks out with some hydraulic actuators, pops it down onto its race suspension, it looks amazing because it just moves instantly and anybody who sees it, you see their faces and it's like 'wait what? How?' so that's really fun."
You've been lucky enough to drive a lot of different roads in a lot of different cars, what's the one road that stands out to you?
"I've been lucky enough to drive a lot of very cool roads around the entire globe, from Jebel Jais and Jebel Hafeet in the UAE to the Pacific Coast Highway in California to mountain roads in the Alps in Italy and Switzerland and Austria, so it's very hard to choose. One of my favourite things about driving is discovering somewhere new, to be exploring new locations, I would struggle to recall off the top of my head which particular road stood out the most but one of my favourite places ever to drive would be Sardinia. The island has some beautiful scenery, the roads aren't congested, they have some lovely new tarmac, it's like somebody dropped some spaghetti over the mountains. It's wonderful.
"Each time I've been with my Cayman GT4 when I had it – I took the Ford GT as well – I've come away thinking that was the greatest day of driving ever. It has a great mix of corners but it comes down to the number of cars on the roads I think. You're going to have the best time when you're not frequently stuck behind someone going very slowly up a hill. To go and drive there with the GT, I took an overnight ferry there for eight hours on the island and then an overnight ferry back because the car had no luggage space so it was literally a spare t-shirt and washbag. It was worth it!"
If Monaco is the jewel in the F1 crown, what is the jewel in the automotive event crown?
"There are two global events for me that stand out and each time I go to one of them I think that's the best and then I go to the other one and it flip flops back and forth. It's either the Goodwood Festival of Speed or all of the events of Monterey Car Week, Pebble Beach and Quail, all of the events that form that week in California.
"They are the two events that attract the greatest cars of every type, both are very experience led. You're taking part in things, driving cars, seeing action with a lot of community around them and they bring so much more than the traditional motor show let's say. So those two stand out above everything for me.
"I've been up the hill many times, I would guess around 50 times. I've done nearly every day for the past 10 years. I've been lucky to go up the hill in the who's who of hypercars, Zenvos, Koenigseggs, Paganis and every modern car that's been shown there. It would actually be quite fun for me to go back and look through my videos to be reminded of the list.
"Last year alone was the SF90 Spider, the Rimac Nevera, the Aston Martin V12 Speedster, and the Aston Martin Valkyrie – that was cool!"
If you were starting your collection from scratch again, would your decisions be led by nostalgia or the latest technology?
"I like a mixture. Even within my garage, you have for example an SF90, 1000bhp hybrid, twin-turbo monster and a few cars down you have the Vantage GT8 which is very analogue with a manual heavy clutch. They're polar opposites quite literally and I think that's part of the fun of driving is the variety of different experiences.
"Obviously, we could skew back to the investment side of things because this is where old school is quickly appreciating in value because those kinds of things will never exist again and that's something that really stands out now. Arguably, like many I guess I would've loved to buy more of the cars that I would now love to add before they shot up in price as much as they have. Probably the one thing I wish I had done more of sooner was owning more Ferraris.
"Ferrari is the supercar brand above any other for me, while I'm lucky to have owned four of them now, I think I should've experienced more Ferraris sooner. I know that sounds weird having owned four of them but three have all been the same - the FF, the Lusso and then another Lusso so they've all been the same V12s and I'd have loved to have tried more of the range. I would've loved to have owned the 458 Speciale, perhaps even Pista, more of the V12 cars, the F12, 812, 812 GTS. Ferrari is an amazing family when you're around the cars and when you make it into the community, it's very welcoming and a really fun place to be."
If you had a crystal ball, what would be in your collection in 10 years' time?
"My crystal ball says business is going to continue to go amazingly well! Realistically, a lot of the cars I own I think I will still have. I love having bought a car from new and owned it throughout its life. It's really enjoyable when you know the full story of a car and I'm sure a lot of the current cars will still be in my garage.
"I would love it if my top three, all of which we have mentioned were to join it. The Ferrari F50, the Porsche Carrera GT and the Lexus LFA. Those are the three on my unequivocal, continuous list."