When the big money McLaren supercars rolled into town this week, they were very keen to put on a show.
They courted the media photocalls, parading their wonderfully exotic multi-million dollar cars to interested media.
But when the most ostentatious of the fleet, a grey McLaren F1 sports car, with an estimated value of $20m, crashed near Queenstown yesterday, all of a sudden they weren't so keen on the attention.
The F1, one of only 64 road-going cars of its kind ever made, was taking part in the first Epic New Zealand Road Tour, a convoy of 31 McLarens from across the world, travelling from Auckland to Queenstown.
Freelance photographer James Allan was the first newsman to arrive at the crash scene on the Queenstown-Glenorchy Rd.
There was an 80m skidmark where the car appeared to have done a 360 degree spin before coming to rest in a ditch.
Stewards had already laid a sheet over the car and were trying to stop him from taking footage of the scene.
As he began snapping pictures around midday on Saturday, he was approached by a couple of people believed to be stewards involved with the McLaren rally — the Epic Tour.
"After taking photos I was approached by one of the organisers and he said "how much to make this problem go away."
"The guy who came up with the idea was an organiser. He just said 'what's it worth to you' and I said X amount for the memory card.
"No other media turned up, I was the first there."
Allan, who's been working the freelance beat in Queenstown for several years, said he was considering taking the offer.
But he knew his surprise payday was over when other media showed up an hour later and began filming.
"Then I knew they weren't going to go through with the payment."
The same minders tried to shut down other media from taking footage of the crashed car, telling one cameraman they "didn't want it on the news".
Newshub duly showed the footage on their 6pm news.
Allan hung around for several hours waiting for the F1 to be lifted into by crane onto a removal truck.
While he was driving off, he said the organiser waved a thick wad of $50 notes in his direction — "just to be a smart ass".
"What else would you do it for?"
Allan said he was stunned to be offered the money in the first place, and a little put out they didn't make good on the pledge.
"Everyone's got their right to be there. I was really surprised that they tried that."
A spokeswoman for the Epic Race has not yet responded to requests for comment.
The driver and owner of the supercar, a 65-year-old Australian, was taken to the Queenstown Medical Centre with minor injuries to his thumb.
The sole passenger was uninjured.
The crashed car was a 1994 McLaren F1 capable of travelling at almost 400kmh, and police will be trying to work out if it had been travelling at excessive speeds.
Former owners include the Mr Bean actor Rowan Atkinson, who crashed his F1 twice, racking up a repair bill in the millions of dollars.
McLaren Automotive Asia Pacific marketing manager Geoff Tink said all of the drivers taking part in the rally had daily safety briefings, and the F1 was not driving at excessive speeds.