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


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


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


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


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

29 11 09 004

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


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


Space Travel by Virgin Galatic

All of a sudden, when you’ve achieved everything in life, a melancholic and claustrophobic sensation might grow root in your mind. Money has gotten you everywhere and the world is simply not enough. One might very well assume that it was feelings of this kind that led Sir Richard Branson to found Virgin Galactic.

Virgin Galactic, founded in 2004 and based in New Mexico, aims to, within the near future, provide sub-orbital spaceflights to space tourists. Sub-orbital means the vessel is launched in such a trajectory that it exceeds altitude higher than 100 km above sea level but does not complete a full orbit.

New Mexico Spaceport (commissioned by New Mexico)

In 2009, Sir Branson, unveiled the SpaceShip Two, which is based on the first ever private vessel in space, the SpaceShip One. The 18 meter long SpaceShip Two holds a crew of two and six passenger and is powered by a hybrid rocked engine.

The SpaceShip Two will be carried to about a 16.000 meters by its mothership, White Knight II, before undertaking the rest of journey to 21.000 km by itself.

It´s planned trajectory will overlap the Earth’s atmosphere at 21.000m giving the space tourists about six minutes of weightlessness (you’re allowed to release yourself from your seat during the period weightlessness). The total travel from takeoff to touchdown will last approximately 2.5 hours.

A ticket will set you back $200.000, with an initial deposit of $20.000. As of June 2012, Virgin Galatic already has over 550 paid deposits. Ticket-holders include Stephen Hawking, Tom Hanks, Ashton Kutcher, Katy Perry, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jones. In other words, mostly people tired of their terrestrial existence.

It’s marvelous to behold where humanity’s insatiable lust for conquest and adventure.

Author: Olle Elander Wistén


American Express Centurion Card

When it comes to symbols of power and wealth, the Amex Black Card is second to none. It all began in the 80′s with rumors of a no-limit black credit card that would allow you to get a Concorde for yourself or purchase the horse Kevin Costner used in the Dances with the Wolves (1990). They said it was easier to acquire than George Clooney’s cell phone number.

It’s not impossible that the urban legends about American Express’s top-tier-card were bestowed upon the market by Amex’s own marketing team.
The real card, the Amex Centurion, incarnated the myths and hit the market in 1999 and to make it more exclusive they made it out of (and still does) anodized titanium.
Initially it was “invite only” and it was estimated that the top 1% of American Express’s clientele received an invite.

The Requirements?
• Blemish-free credit history
• An annual spending of at least 250.000 dollars
• Accept an introduction fee of 5.000 dollars along with an annual fee of 2.500 dollars
• Have a “major” net worth.

The Benefits that comes with Amex Centurion has varied some over the two last decades:

Amongst the most famous benefits offered to Centurion Cardholders is the state of the art Concierge-service. They hold the keys to almost everything in the world. It is no problem getting a table at a fully booked restaurant, getting on the guest list for any hot nightclub, or front-row tickets for the Vienna New Year’s Opera.
A few years ago, my friend’s car broke down on the way to a ski resort and the Black Card concierge team had a tow truck and a rental car there within the hour.

Travel Benefits:
Originally the Black card featured automatic first-class upgrade on any airline and sometimes holders even got a free complimentary ticket with one first class ticket purchase, however, the amount of airlines currently offering these services has dwindled noticeably.

You still, however, get access to all V.I.P.-lounges and platinum status with most car rental services. You also get one of the most extensive travel insurances around and priority at check-ins and security controls at airports.

Centurion Card Exclusivity:
Often as a Centurion cardholder you don’t even need the concierge service, just the mere sight of a black card unlocks a lot of closed doors.
As a cardholder you will receive invites to very special events around the world such as champagne tasting and dinners with Sir David Attenborough (of course at your own expense).

Over the years the Black Card has received some criticism, mainly the cost/benefits ratio being to degressive.
Since 2010 the Black Card has gone from invite-only to being a card you can apply for. This has led to a growing membership base – but also the loss of some exclusivity feel.
The hefty card can also bring troubles. A friend, different from the one above, were renting skis in the Alps of France when his black card got stuck in the card machine, it took the staff almost two hours to get it out.
In one of the more fashionable parts of Stockholm, supermarkets has put up notices saying that they’re not being able to handle black cards, stating that the cards have destroyed too many terminals.


Wally-Hermès WHY

Monaco based Wally is amongst the top producers of naval vessels in the world. While Wally vessels are very photogénique, the pictures rarely do the real thing justice. You really have to see one in real life to see what the fuzz is all about.

Currently best know for their spectacular millennium-award-winning Wallypower 118 that might be about to change.

In 2009 Wally announced a joint venture with legendary French fashion house Hermès called WHY (Wally Hermès Yacht). Hermès was involved in every step of the process, from concept to realization. The common value and complementary expertise of the two brands are sure to deliver an outstanding product.

As you can see from the pictures the WHY is enormous, it’s bigger than most mansions. Really, it is all about substantiating a dream. The CEO of Wally, Luca Bassani says it to be: “A new and unique way to live on the sea while caring about it”. The hull, which was tested in a secret facility in Gothenburg, Sweden, measures 58 x 38 meter and is driven by a diesel electrical engine. A surface of the photovoltaic panels, which measure approximately 900 square meters, provides a large portion of the power needed to subsist the boat.

The WHY addresses the very real problem of consumption; it is efficient enough to cross the Atlantic four times without refueling. All the components required to produce a WHY are chosen with environment in mind, from the water resistant buffalo leather to the beautiful teak deck.

The teak deck that surrounds the vessel serves as a coastal-path-inspired jogging track and in the forward end there’s a 25-meter long swimming pool.
The construction of the hull allows for the boat to create a totally flat surface of calm water behind it, like an Olympic size pool, where you can swim in total peace.
The roof opens like Venetian blinds and has been designed to flood the interior in natural light.

As of yet, not order has been placed on the WHY, still Wally has created a WHY-team because of the interest the market has shown.

Author: Olle Elander Wistén