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Hennessey Venom GT Spyder

In 2007, Road & Track Magazine held a shootout between some of the world´s fastest cars. McLaren SLR, Murciellago, Ruf Porsche 911 TT and the Bugatti Veyron were just some of the contenders. Hennessy was invited to bring their Venom 1000 Twin Turbo Viper which after the day had beaten everyone, in 0 – 200 mph it was 4 seconds faster than the Veyron.

Despite doing so well John Hennessy aimed to improve his creation. He wanted to increase the power but feared that the front–engined Viper wouldn’t have enough grip. A mid-engine setup would better serve the cause and the idea about mounting the Viper engine into the back of a Lotus Exige was born.

Until very recently Koenigsegg’s Agera R held the world record for fastest production car 0-300 km/h. The Venom GT which in January 2013 bested the Agera was built in Hennessy Performance Headquarters in Sealy, Texas. So far they have only produced seven cars which compared to Koenigegg’s one-hundred-something obviously isn´t a lot.

The tubs are donated by Lotus and sent to a Factory in England which finishes most of the bodywork before shipping it back to Hennessy. They install their outrageous 7 liter Twin Turbo V8, which is cockpit adjustable in three increments; 800 bhp, 1000 bhp and 1244 bhp.

From Hennessy’s Website:
0 – 60 mph 2.7 sec.
0 – 100 mph 5.6 sec.
0 – 300 km/h 13.63 sec. – Guinness World Record
0 – 200 mph 14.51 sec. – Production Car World Record
1/4 mile 9.92 sec. @ 163 mph
Standing Half Mile 206 mph
Standing One Mile 253 mph
Top Speed 278 mph

Pretty impressive numbers to say the least. They’re currently about $1.2 million, a bargain if you ask Steve Tyler from Aerosmith.
Check out the Video of the Guinness World Record run:

Author: Olle Elander Wistén

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Sea Force One

If you’ve ever spent a summer somewhere around the beautiful Mediterranean, there’s a small chance that you have seen the Sea Force One. Quite easy to notice, this extraordinary ship measures 177 feet or 54 meters.

It´s really a floating palace, a state-of-the-art fantasy extravaganza, product of the wild imagination of its eccentric genius owner Captain Magic, who gives Johnny Depp a run for his money as self-styled ‘Last King of the Pirates’.

With its attention to detail and astonishing level of luxury, Sea Force One has reduced more than one hard-bitten yachting journalist to a drooling mess of amazed disbelief, grasping for superlatives to relay the sheer awesomeness of this boat; with its 12-foot home cinema, three-tiered waterfall plunge pool, gym with padded leather floor, extensive DVD library, Jacuzzis, DJ setups, sundeck sushi-bar and metallic parrots.

Desgined and built by Luca Dini Design in Italy, SF1 won the 2009 Judged Commendation in the World Superyachts Awards in the 500GT TO 1,299GT (APPROX 50M – 59M) section. SF1 Is able to accommodate 10 guests and 13 in the crew.

Two of the Master Suite’s ‘windows’ double up as hydraulically lowered, glass-bottomed balconies on either side of the vessel, allowing you to sprawl languorously across the gigantic bed with its white seabed sculpture backdrop beneath the quadruple skylights, and gaze out across the open ocean….. Lol.

The onboard art absolutely stunning, the ship is more an art gallery than anything else.
”There are several remarkable pieces, including ones from American sculptress Kiki Smith and Latin American painter José Garcia Cordero, who both takes skulls as their theme. Italian artist Fabrizio Plessi was commissioned to create a sound and vision installation to divide the main deck, a wall of circular watery videos splashing as their light undulates.”
Suellen Grealy, Luxure Magazine

It´s available for charter, starting at €280.000 a week and you can choose to go anywhere around the Mediterranean.

Skärmavbild 2013-01-30 kl. 12.24.24

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

For the last six decades the two italian super car producers have battled it out in an epic fight for the throne. It really is the perfect rivalry!

As many of you may know Ferrari was initially created as a race team and Lamborghini by a frustrated Ferrari Owner. Ferrari cars to this day breathes automobile racing while Lamborghini tend to be a little more on the “brutal, explosive street car” side of life.

Ferrucio Lamborghini stated early that Lamborghini Automobili would not take part in any factory supported racing. He considered it to be too draining on company resources.

Obviously times are changing and it’s time to get acquainted with a Lamborghini that never was intended for normal roads. The street illegal Lamborghini Sesto Elemento.

The name Sesto Elemento (‘sixth element’) is derived from the periodic table, where carbon is classified as the sixth element. It is based around a monocoque passenger cell that was manufactured in one shot. A monocoque basically means that a frame of an object is integrated in the objects external skin as opposed to an internal framework with a “non-load-bearing” skin.

Almost everything on the car, including the wheels, is made from a material called carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP). This brings down the weight to an amazing 999 kg, making it the lightest car ever to come out of the Lambo factory.

Combined with a V10 that delivers 570 hp the Sesto Elemento has a power-to-weight ratio of 1.75 kg per hp.
Put that in comparison to the new Ferrari F12 that has 2.1 kg per hp and the new Veyron that has 1 kg per hp.
Lamborghini promises a 0-60 in 2.5 seconds, performance that earlier only was delivered by Han Solos Millennium Falcon. Actually the interior of the Sesto elemento resembles that of the Millennium Falco!

I’m a huge fan of the bat mobile style exhausts, almost the same as we’ll see on the 918 Spyder.

While you check out this video by Brian Zuk, you can start researching which of the current owners you will have to bribe to aquire this car (all of the 20 produced have been sold).

Mangusta 165 Yacht by Overmarine Group

Mangusta 165

The Overmarine Group, also known as Mangusta, has been producing boats out of Viareggio, Italy for the last 25 years. Mangusta brand has always stood for peak performance and luxury, setting new standards over and over again. Hulls are designed in house and tested in major European test tanks, in cooperation with pioneer Companies within fluid dynamic field.

The 7th yacht from Mangusta is also the latest; the Mangusta 165 is the fastest Maxi Open yacht ever built. Three 16-cylinder diesel engines, each delivering 4609hp, together with Kamewa water jets sends the 49.9-meter long vessel into speeds above 35 knots. Since the fuel tank holds a shy 40.000 litres it’s important to remember your spending pants whenever you intend to fill this bad boy up.

This Mangusta can be fitted with up to 5 bedrooms and house up to 14 people. In the stern you’ll find a Jacuzzi, a table for 14, a corner bar and a retractable TV, and at the bow you’ll find another lunch area. The fly bridge houses a second wheelhouse a barbecue unit and a sunbathing area. Beneath it you will find a garage holding a tender, several water skis, diving equipment and water toys. The Mangusta 165 also comes with a diving board and an inflatable slide from the fly bridge.

 

The Mangusta 165 has been nominated for the 2013 International Yacht and Aviation award and if you want one you’re going to have to shell out about €30 million.

Author: Olle Elander Wistén

Pablo Picasso's Femme assise prËs díune fenÍtre

Femme assise près d’une fenêtre by Pablo Picasso

Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Clito Ruiz y Picasso, better known as Pablo Picasso, was a Spanish painter and ceramist. Widely recognized as one of the most unique and influential artists of the 20th century, Picasso was also one of the founders of the cubism movement.

Being taught by his Father at an early age, Picasso displayed extraordinary skills. In his youth, Pablo studied art in Madrid though he never finished his college degree and at the age of nineteen, Pablo moved to Paris, where he would come to spend most of his life. 24 years old, Pablo had already made a name for himself internationally and his paintings became more and more desirable with collectors all over the world.

Throughout his life Pablo had passion for women. He was involved in several relationships outside his marriage, the most celebrated was the French Mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter, who was Picasso’s gratest love and principal muse. Her voluptuous form was the inspiration for Picasso’s greatest sculptures, including the “La Lecture” which was sold for $40.7 million and Femmes lisant which went for $21.4 million.

“La Lecture” 1932.

Marie-Thérèse Walter happens to be the portrayed individual of the painting “Femme assise près d’une fenêtre” which now art collectors around the world has chance of acquiring. The marvelous iconic portrait was painted on 30th October 1932 and is actually part of a series that first introduced Pablo’s golden mistress and golden muse.
The painting will be auctioned as a part of Sotheby’s upcoming Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale on the 5th Feb.

“Femme assise près d’une fenêtre” 1932

Author: Olle Elander Wistén

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The World’s Most Epic Homes

The world’s biggest and most expensive home is 27 stories. The Indian business magnate Mukesh Ambanis house is allegedly the first home in the world to be worth over a billion dollars. Living space is about 37.000 square meters and the house has 9 elevators, a ballroom, 3 helipads, multiple pools and bars, both indoor and outdoor. The first six floors consist of garages only. To keep this house running a staff of 600 people is required.

Villa Leopolda on the French Riviera is ranked number two. The palace is about 2600 square meters and has 11 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms. A Russian Billionaire supposedly tried to buy the ex-house of King Leopold of Belgium for about $720 million but failed to produce the money – he forfeited his deposit of about $60 million dollars. The house is currently up for listing

The four towers of One Hyde Park, designed by the architect Lord Rogers and backed by the Qatari ruling family, are aimed at what some would call the obscenely rich. A penthouse there sold for t 135 million pounds back in 2007 and has sex bedrooms and bulletproof windows. The view is what life is about.
Peculiarly enough, 80 % of the hyper apartments are registered in names of anonymous offshore entities in the British Virgin Islands.

Heart Castle outside San Simeon, California is one of the world’s biggest properties and it was built by the American newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst in 1919. 29 bedrooms, three pools, a full-size cinema, a nightclub and several tennis courts is just some of the perks of this house which took about 20 years to complete.

Yes it is real gold.

His Royal Highness, Bandar bin Sultan, The Prince of Saudi Arabia put his house in Aspen, the Hala Ranch, out for sale, asking $135 million. This didn´t work out to well for the prince who ended up selling it to billionaire John Paulson for a mere $49 million. The house includes 15 bedrooms 16 bathrooms, elevators and several stables.

Donald Trump bought Maison de L’Amitie in Palm Beach, Florida, for about $40 million dollars. Just a few years later he sold the property for $95 million dollars. Living space is 5700 square meters and there are at least 15 bedrooms.

(This is not the house that Trump owned in Miami but one he owns outside LA)

Fleur de Lys in Beverly Hills has been called one of USA: s most beautiful estate. It has been on the market since 2007 for a set price of $125 million dollars.

A motorevent held at Fleur de Lys. A reporter that attended the motor event held there later referred to the location as “Fleur de Lys Hotel” which of course is wrong.

The legendary producer Aaron spellings home was purchased at the price of $85 million by the 21 year old Petra Ecclestone. With 5200 square meters of living space spread over 123 rooms it is said to be the biggest private house in LA.

Author O.E.Wistén

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Fabergé Eggs

In the spring of 1885 when Tsar Alexander III and his wife, the Empress Maria Fedorovna, celebrated their 20th anniversary of their betrothal, the Tsar decided to kill two birds with one stone by giving his wife an Easter egg.

In Russia, Easter isn’t just any holyday but the most joyful celebration of those with the Orthodox faith. After devout visits to the church, families gather to exchange gifts of decorated eggs, symbols of renewed life and hope.

The Tsar needed a truly special gift, 20th anniversary and all, so he placed an order with a young jeweler, Peter Carl Fabergé, whose beautiful creations have recently caught Maria’s eye.

On Easter morning, Fabergé delivers to the palace what appears to be a simple enameled egg. But to the delight of the Empress, inside is a golden yolk; within the yolk is a golden hen; and concealed within the hen is a diamond miniature of the royal crown and a tiny ruby egg – both now lost to history.

Apparently, Empress Maria was so pleased that the Tsar appointed Fabergé ‘goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown’. The following year Alexander III commissioned another egg and after that Peter Carl Fabergé was given complete freedom to create the eggs in whichever way he desired. After this the eggs became more and more elaborate.

According to Fabergé family tradition the form the eggs would take were secret, the only requirement was that each egg should contain a surprise.
The Eggs that Faberge created for the royalty were extra-large and called “Imperial Eggs”. Of the 65 known large Fabergé eggs 57 have survived to the present day.

Ten of the Imperial Easter Eggs are displayed at the Kremlin Armoury Museum, Moscow in Russia. An auction of 9 Fabergé eggs was held at Sotheby’s in 2004 though the Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg purchased the collection in its entirety before the auction could even begin – the sum estimated between $90 and $120 million. Single eggs sell for at least $10 million dollars, pretty serious money for a jewelry egg.

I have a hard time expressing the feelings I get from watching the different eggs. Undoubtedly amongst the most visually enticing items I have ever laid my eyes upon.

Author: Olle Elander Wistén

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Singer 911

”If you could only have one car in your garage and you want to be able to take it to the track, commute AND fit a couple of kids in the back”
The words of creative director Rob Dickinson in Drive’s documentary about Singer Vehicle Design.

Founded in 2009 in Los Angeles, The Singer Company set out to further enhance the cars that in their opinion is the most important ones on the planet – The air-cooled Porsche 911’s. By cherry-picking between top of the line parts regardless of them being produced by Porsche, custom manufacturers or Singer themselves, Singer has managed to produce a car that leave testers with the smile of a newly lobotomized.

Singer uses chassis from the legendary Porsche 964’s on which they apply the beautiful old Porsche “Butzi” bodywork from 1964. The bodywork is rendered in the finest military carbon and the amount of work and time Singer put in to every car is extraordinary.

The Engines are stripped to pieces, then rebuilt and tuned by a titan within motorsports – Cosworth. Two different versions are available with the most powerful one being a 3,8 liter flat six cranking out 350 horsepower.
The gearbox has had a lot of rubber removed making it tighter and niftier, the brakes are from the 993 turbo and the carpets from Porsche 356 – the list goes on into eternity.

Chris Harris of Drive has driven countless of different ultra cars and it is a joy to watch him zoom around in the Singer 911 as happy as ever saying: “You could live with this every single day”

A Singer 911 starts at $350,000-ish and tops $500.000. If you still aren’t very convinced or awe-struck, check out the Drive video below.

Make sure to check out Singer as well.

Author: Olle Elander Wistén

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Ferrari 250 GTO

The 250 GTO is one of the most legendary cars ever produced. It is certainly second to none on the list of the most desired cars. If God would choose a car to drive on earth it would probably be the 250 GTO.

The “250” stands for each of the twelve cylinders volume in cubic centimeters. Hence, the 250 GTO came with a 3 liter V12 that is able to conjure 300 horsepower. It’s actually the same engine that was used in Ferraris most successful race through times, the 250 Testarossa.

The 250 GTO and other Ferraris that was produced in the 60’s all were constructed in the same fashion; hand welded tube frames, A-arm front suspension, live-axle rear end, disc brakes and Borrari wire wheels. In line with its racing heritage the GTO’s interior was extremely basic, to the point where a speedometer wasn’t even installed in the instrument panel. The Porsche 5-speed gearbox featured in the 250 GTO was revolutionary and it became the archetype for modern Ferrari gearboxes.

The racing organization FIA’s regulations demands the sale of a few production cars based on the race vehicle the manufacturer the wishes to enter and the 250 GTO was a homologation that allowed for Ferrari to enter FIA’s Group 3 Grand Touring Car category.

FIA regulations as they applied in 1962 demanded 100 road cars. By numberings its chassis out of sequence and skip numbers Ferrari was able to produce a lot let than a 100 cars – 39 to be exact. Because of the extremely limited production run customers had to be personally approved by Enzo Ferrari and his dealer for North American, Luigi Chinetti.

A Chinese Ferrari customer recently said: ”There are three things worth investing in right now: Warhol’s, diamonds and classic Ferraris”. This is particularly true with the 250 GTO. A specimen was purchased by a drug dealer named Robert C. Chris “Murray” in Beverly Hills for 250.000 dollars was later seized by the FBI and sold in 1987 for $1.6 million. British entertainer Chris Evans is understood recently to have sold his Series II 250 GTO for about £18 million, making a £6.5 million profit in just 2 years. In May 2012 a 250 GTO made for Sterling Moss was sold for $35 million.
Notable owners include Ralph Lauren and Nick Mason, with the Pink Floyd star often spotted driving around England in his model, which has the plate ‘250 GTO’.

Author: Olle Elander Wistén

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Audemars Piguet Carbon Concept Tourbillon.

It all began in 1874 when the 23 year old Jules Louis Audemars and Auguste Piguet, then 21, together went to Vallée de Joux to start working in horology manufacturing. After a year they founded their own company though due to different reasons the company didn’t open their first branch until 15 years later. Ever since its founding Audemars Piguet has been run directly or indirectly by members of either of the two families.

In 1925 Audemars produced the worlds thinnest pocket watch, at 1.32 mm and only three years later they produced the world’s first skeleton watch.

In 2008 Audemars presented the Carbon Concept Tourbillon. It was the first watch ever to have both case and movement made out of forged carbon, which is not woven at all but rather compressed in the presence of a special polymer at a high temperature.

The movement, a pure carbon 384 parts calibre 2895 tourbillon chronograph movement, is hand wound and features 34 jewels. The tourbillion alone is composed out of 70 parts and weighs a mere 0.45 grams. It features a twin-barrel system that provides a power reserve of mammoth proportions, 237 hours! Eight screws made out of PVD blackened titanium secure the gorgeous case back and the straps are black alligator.

Seen on the wrist of many epic personalities, Pharrell Williams and Swedish tennis player Robin Söderling to name two, this watch has with my friends been deemed the ultimate watch to match with a t-shirt. This is no feat to trivialize; the “match with t-shirt” category is probably the most prestigious and hard-to-win category of them all.

Getting a Carbon Concept Tourbillon is going to set you back at least $200.000 but truth be told, it’s like buying the cheat code to life.

Author: Olle Elander Wistén