It's perhaps the weirdest car trade-in ever attempted: a crystal-covered Mini Cooper has been swapped for a bright red Ferrari made entirely of yarn.
Naturally, the bizarre switcheroo was organized by the folks at Ripley's Believe It or Not! who used a massive crane to move the vehicles through the roof of the company's London Odditorium, located in Piccadilly Circus.
Going was a one-of-a-kind 2004 Mini Cooper covered in more than one million Swarovski crystals in designs inspired by iconic American emblems, such as the White House, the American flag, Mount Rushmore, the Hollywood sign and the Statue of Liberty.
Coming in was a life-size bright red Ferrari made entirely of yarn. The fabric-covered Ferrari car was made by British artist Lauren Porter, who hand-knitted it from 12 miles of yarn stretched over a steel frame.
In order to make the trade, Ripley's received special permission from the Westminster City Council so the streets of the normally busy district could be closed in the early hours Saturday morning and the giant crane could be put in place for the intricate lift.
Meanwhile, workers inside the Odditorium had to shift other quirky exhibits out of the way -- including a two-headed lamb and the skeleton of a now extinct cave bear -- to ensure the Mini could be driven to its exit point safely. Even then, there were only inches to spare on either side of the narrow gap.
Since the crystal Mini Cooper is believed to be the most valuable car of its kind, Ripley's employees really felt driven to do the job right.
"The crystal Mini Cooper is one of Ripley's most prized possessions, so the pressure was really on to get it out without a scratch," said Tim O'Brien, VP of Communications for Ripley Entertainment Inc.
The yarn-covered Ferrari will soon be on display in London and the Mini Cooper will be shipped by boat across the Atlantic to a new Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium planned for Baltimore, Maryland.
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