The temperature’s rising, the traffic lights are on red and my passenger, located somewhere behind me in the far reaches of the car, is late for his business meeting.
It’s the perfect test for my long-wheelbase Rolls-Royce Phantom. If it cannot perform here, relaxing my passenger with its opulence and air-cooled comfort, it has failed as a luxury limo. More to the point, if I can’t perform here, I’ve failed as a chauffeur.
You see, I’m learning to be one; a student of Abbass Zadeh, founder of AZ Luxe, whose company motto is: ‘Arrive in luxury, depart in style.’ Today, I’ll test that claim – hopefully, not to destruction.
At least I won’t be able to blame my teacher. Abbass, as he’s known, knows his business and he’s as entrepreneurial as any of his customers.
“I financed my new company with the proceeds from selling my house,” he tells me. “One of my first cars was the Phantom. It’s the former company car of Rolls Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös and is very special.”
It has since been joined by a Rolls-Royce Wraith, two Mercedes V-Classes and three S-Classes, two Lamborghinis, including a Huracán Performante, and a Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster. With the exception of the Phantom, all are new cars. His house must have been very big.
To get a feel for chauffeuring, Abbass says that this afternoon, I can take one of his customers to a meeting in the Phantom.
“He usually has the S-Class but I offered him a free upgrade,” Abbass explains.
First, however, I must study the company bible, a guide covering everything from the required colour of his drivers’ ties (black or navy) to matters of etiquette such as not asking for a selfie with your passenger.