“I HATE driving in Los Angeles—the traffic makes you want to shoot yourself,” says Dr Dre, a rapper. So he buys wheels from Becker Automotive Design, a Californian firm that customises rides for the rich and gridlocked. His latest purchase is a stretched Cadillac Escalade with a flat-screen television and a digital system that allows him to browse his home film library in the car. “I like to close the curtains, relax and watch Martin Scorsese films,” says Dr Dre.
Todd Doney, a property broker, used to spend three or four hours a day stuck behind the wheel of his Bentley. Now he spends that time talking to clients on the telephone, returning e-mails, and going over documents. His chauffeur-driven car is, in effect, a tricked-out mobile office. “I feel like I’m beating the system because I can work while everyone else is stuck in traffic,” he says.