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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

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1st Month

A month has passed since we launched our new website. It´s has been an exhilarating ride to say the least and what started out as a farfetched vision of not only a shop for the wealthy, but also a source of enlightenment, has gradually morphed into something we´re really proud of.

Our aim has had nothing to do with materialism but rather to provide elements in life that are visually appealing since it is proven that an attractive environment contributes to ones well being. Most of us can probably relate to the feeling of a new home, the smell of a new car or just a spectacular view.

The Billionaire Shop is a tribute to the satisfaction that comes from acquisition, a subject that has held interest with humans since the dawn of time. We chose to create a framework about the acquisition of rather extravagant items, which also could serve as a motivator for those individuals who consider our content to be just that.

Almost 500.000 viewers from 191 countries all over the world graced us with their presence and we have yet to see our visitor graph change its path into that of a diminishing one. To our delight we were featured in many respectable forums such as mashable.

Americans seems to be the ones that are most interested in what we consider to be the “good life” but neither Brazilians nor Swedes are far behind. We´ve had visitors from the Cook Islands, Uzbekistan, Haiti, Lichtenstein and even from international waters to name a few. Maybe a few yacht owners has paid us a visit?
The future holds a lot of interesting perks in store for The Billionaire Shop.

Stay tuned!

Author: O.E.W

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Maybach Exelero – The $8 million car.

It´s not every day you come across a factory made one of a kind road legal vehicle, especially one from such a revered organization as Maybach. The Exelero is an outright beastly two-seater based off the legendary Maybachs from the 1930’s. It is powered by a twin turbo V12 which delivers a stunning 700hp, pretty wild considering that the car was presented in 2005.

So how come the Exelero even exists?
Well, apparently the German tire manufacturer, Fulda Tires, used a 1939 Maybach SW 38 to test tires back in the 40’s and in 2005 Fulda tires wanted a new Maybach to test a new generation of tires. They commissioned the Exelero, which turned out to be more than just a show car – In tests on the Nardo high-speed oval, the prototype reached almost 350 km/h despite weighing over 2.66 tones.

The design is a result of a competition amongst students at the Pforzheim Polytechnic Department of Transport Design. A contribution from a 24 year old named Fredrik Burckhardt won and Fredrik got to work closely with Maybach during the development of the car. The Exelero project took shape out of the ashes of a Maybach 57 limousine.

When Fulda no longer required the service of Exelero it was purchased by a diamond industrialist by the name of André Action Diakité Jackson for 5 million euros. Jackson allowed Jay-Z to use it in his Lost One music video before selling it to a “European Entrepreneur” named Arnaud Massartic. In 2011 Arnaud announced that the Exelero was for sale yet again, and Bryan “Birdman” Williams almost immediately notified Arnaud that he was willing to pay a whopping 8 million dollars for it.

A few months later there was quite a few articles suggesting that Birdman had failed to present the money and nothing has been heard about it since. Who knows where it is now?

Author: Olle E. Wistén

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Sunseeker Predator 130

Sunseeker is a brand known for its serious yachting. From Dorset, England, they have been making boats since 1979 and they currently have dealers in 61 countries around the world. In 2008 they were featured in The Sunday Times list of Britain’s fastest growing private companies.

With a workforce of 2,100 employees and a next level factory they are able to maintain a decent delivery period and offer a huge range of different yachts. Most epic of them all is the Sunseeker Predator 130.

The ship, which requires some 180,000 components to build, weighs in at a massive 180 ton. If you’d go for the biggest engine option (twin V12’s) your Predator would be pulled by almost 8000 raging horses and every time you’d fill her up the gauge would stop at 22,200 liters. In this setup, cruising at 12 knots, the Predator 130 would be able to cover 1500 nautical miles. Should you opt for Kamewa Water-jets the Predator will top 30 knots, a very serious machine indeed.

Wood grains, walnut, wenge, granite and glass are just some of the materials offered when it comes to interior. Almost all things on the ship are customizable, you could for example get a gym, a complete one-off sky deck saloon, saunas and hydraulic-controlled wide balconies.

Its onboard garage holds two jet skis and a 190hp tender, which should suffice for you average day of water sports. I personally feel that Sunseeker has done incredible well with the design of the Predator 130; aggressive, beautiful and majestic. It’s no wonder Sunseeker ships have been featured in the four last bond movies.

A Predator 130 will set you back at least 13 million dollars though you can legitimately call yourself “The Boss” for as long as you keep it.

Author: Olle Elander Wistén

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Ferrari F40

As I’ve previously stated, the late 80’s was an exhilarating time for motor sports. The Group B rally, which was almost unregulated when it came to performance of the cars, really spurred the producers to develop their automobiles. Group B regulations demanded road versions of every rally car in order for the manufacturers to participate (which has left us with some truly awesome cars).

In order to challenge Porsche’s 959 in the Group B, which at the time was the fastest and most advanced car in the world, Ferrari produced 5 rally cars which they called the 288 GTO Evoluzione. With the sudden termination of Group B, Ferrari had no forum to use these cars and decided to use them as prototypes for a road car.

The result is legendary. Said by many, including the Top Gear guys to be the greatest super car the world has ever seen. It is comparable to the release of the Ferrari Enzo or the Bugatti Veyron.
You can tell that the F40 is based on an 80’s rally car, the wide body kit complimenting the Ferrari shape well and combining function with beastly looks.

Because the twin turbo V8 only has to move a total of 1,100 kg the F40 is blazing fast. It was the first road car ever to break the magical 200 mph barrier and it held the title as “the fastest road car in the world” for four years. Let’s not forget that this is a car without any driving assistance such as ABS, power steering or anti-spin.

Fortunately for most, Ferrari Produced a total of 1,315 Ferrari F40’s, which makes them somewhat reasonable in price and easy to find, should you want one. In contrast, 36 of the Ferrari 250 GTO were produced and they currently fetch prices around $30 Million dollars.
Below is a video about a repainted F40 (the only color choice offered by Ferrari was red) and its German owner. Curiously enough, he seems to be wearing a Patek Philippe 5960P.

A race version of the F40 was also produced; the F40 LM. I’m sorry about the bad quality but the clip delivers the feeling I’m after. The high pitched noise comes from the F40 LM’s straight-geared dog box. While writing this article I found myself repeatedly listening to this clip. I think I’m going to set it as my ring tone.

Author: Olle E. Wistén

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Billionaire of the week: William Henry “Bill” Gates III

“Philanthropy etymologically means “love of man”, in sense of caring for, nourishing, and enhancing the quality of life for human beings”; that’s what Wikipedia has to say about the beautiful word “Philanthropy”. Perhaps the world would be a better place, should the word be used more frequently. However, one might safely presume that Bill Gates is mentioned in the majority of worldwide conversations regarding philanthropists.

One can’t help but to marvel at Bill’s history, the Seattle native, who at the age of 13 wrote his first computer program. Shortly following, Gate wrote the school’s computer to schedule students in classes. He modified the code so that he was placed in classes with mostly female students. At the age of 18, he scored 1590 out of 1600 on his SAT and he enrolled at Harvard. There, he didn’t have definite study plan but instead spent a lot of time using the schools computer. After a year he dropped out of Harvard and formed Microsoft with Paul Allen.

Just a few days before his 32nd birthday, Bill was listed as a billionaire in Forbes. With a net worth of $1.25 billion, he was the youngest self-made billionaire ever. He currently holds 6.3% of the Microsoft Stocks.

On April 29th, 1975, at the age of 19, Bill was arrested by the Albuquerque Police department (arrest record #52090). The charges were speeding and driving without a license.

His last full time day at Microsoft was June 27th 2008, after which he devoted is time solely to his humanitarian project he started in 2000: the Bill & Melinda Foundation. Through the foundation Gates has donated around $28 billion dollars which in turn has saved about 6 million lives, more than Spiderman, Batman and Superman together.

In December 2010, Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffet signed a promise they called “Gates-Buffet Giving Pledge”, in which they promise to donate half of their wealth to charity over the course of time.

Amongst the more interesting acquisitions I’ve read about in a while is the one Gates did in 1994 when he purchased the Codex Leicester for a mere $30.8 million dollars. The Codex is a memoir written by non-other than the legendary Leonardo da Vinci.

Author: Olle E. Wistén