Billionaires Who Drive Lincolns, Not Lambos

Billionaires Who Drive Lincoln's, Not Lambo's

You would think that a self-made billionaire who could drive any car they ever dreamed of would choose a Bugatti or Ferrari. After all, even the exorbitant running costs of those vehicles are peanuts for a billionaire. You would be surprised, however, to find out that some of the richest people in the world rather drive a Buick than a Bugatti.

Billionaires and their rides

For example, Microsoft chaiman Steve Ballmer, drives a 1998 Lincoln Continental. Clearly, he is not concerned with impressing his cohorts at Microsoft.

The second wealthiest person in the world, Warren Buffet, recently traded in his 2001 Lincoln Town Car for a 2006 Cadillac DTS. Bill Bartmann, author of Billionaire Secrets to Success, says that “Typically, it’s not the billionaires that are seeking status with a Lamborghini or a Ferrari in the garage, but the people worth $10 million to $50 million.”

How about Google’s co-founder, Sergey Brin? Well, even though he is the 26th richest person in the world with a net-worth of around $16.6 billion, his ride of choice is the Toyota Prius. Says Tom Stanley, author of The Millionaire Mind, “His vehicle of choice [a Toyota Prius] reflects his desire to stay on the leading edge of green technology.”

Many billionaires, it seems, are more concerned with philanthropy and family values than flashiness and impressing the non-elite. Very noble, however, if I was a billionaire, it would be hard for me not to drive a Bugatti Veyron to and from work. Maybe these billionaires just do not have a passion for automotive perfomance.

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Pulling the Motor out of My RX-7

This weekend is going to be quite intense. On Sunday, my roommate Josh and I are moving to a new apartment in Scottsdale that is around 15 minutes north. It is a much nicer part of town, but a less expensive apartment. That is because it is not across the street from all of the clubs and bars where we currently live here in downtown Scottsdale.

Then on Monday or Tuesday, my roommate’s dad is going to help me pull the motor out of my 1993 Mazda RX-7. My motor blew up a few months ago and I haven’t had the time to fix it until now. I am going to be rebuilding the motor with stronger parts and shooting for around 450-500whp. Before, it had a stock motor but with a single turbo (among other mods) and dyno’d at 392whp @ 14psi.

If you want to learn more about my car, check out this project gallery from Extreme Performance, the shop that I used to bring my car to when I lived in Washington.

Here are some recent pics:

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Hopefully my car will be put back together by May or June. I have been waiting forever for it to be running again, but once it is, it will be worth it. Not to mention, a Ferrari-killer, especially with 500whp!

The New Toyota Sportcar…A Hybrid?

The New Toyota Sportscar...A Hybrid?

There have been rumors for years now that Toyota has been prepping a replacement for its flagship Supra sportscar.

The Supra was one of the most popular tuner cars of the ’90’s and continues to be regarded as one of the ultimate Japanese rockets.

At the recent Detroit Auto Show, Toyota shocked the world with what may be the actual Supra replacement. Currently dubbed the FT-HS concept, this super-Toyota is actually a hybrid! It is powered by both an electric motor and a 3.5 liter V6 motor, good for over 400 horsepower. You know this is car is coming close to supercar territory when it promises to propel you to 60 mph in around 4 seconds!

This sports car is a 2+2, meaning that it seats four. These photos don’t show us how big the back seat actually is, but I’m assuming that it’s painfully small. Rather than call the FT-HS a 2+2, Toyota should just say that the FT-HS has a deep package tray behind the front seats.

Many modern sportscars have engines in the 300-400 horsepower range, but the acceleration isn’t always there as today’s rides are heavier than ever. The FT-HS, on the other hand, is designed to be as light as possible. Given that, it is impressive that the FT-HS contains an automatically retractable hard-top!

Personally, I think this car is an amazing achievement in engineering. It will get excellent gas mileage being a hybrid and promises to be a true enthusiast’s sports car. Now you can impress your environmentally-conscious mom and wow your girlfriend at the same time!

Before getting too excited about this wonderful offering, remember, it is still a concept, meaning it has not gotten the final word to go to production just yet. Toyota should be revealing more details about the FT-HS concept within the next 6 months, including its planned release date.

A few people have asked what the estimated price point might be. I have read several places that Toyota is looking to price this car in the mid 30’s. Seems a lot more reasonable than the last car I wrote about — the 8 Million Dollar Mercedes-Maybach!

Click on a picture for a larger (1400×1050) desktop-size view.

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The 8 Million Dollar Maybach

The engineers at Mercedez-Maybach have built a truly amazing supercar. The Maybach Exelero is a one-of-a kind, handbuilt, 700 horsepower monster. The Exelero was originally commission by the Fulga Tire Company, who wanted to build a car of vast size and capability to prove they could make extra large low profile tires that could carry 6000 lbs and go 200 mph. The final cost? Eight million dollars. No other sports car in the world has tires this large.

What kind of vast size are we talking about? This car is 19 feet long, has 23 inch wheels and a gas mileage of 2.5 mpg at full throttle. Maybach insists that another Exelero will never be built. However, the worldwide reaction to the car has been so strong that Mercedes execs admitted they are considering a Maybach two-seater, although officially “there are no immediate plans.”

Click on a photo for a larger (1600×1200) desktop-size view.

Maybach Exelero Front Maybach Exelero Side
Maybach Exelero Interior Maybach Exelero Rear

The Ultimate Streetcar: The GEMBALLA Mirage GT

Gemballa Mirage GT

The Porsche Carrera GT is regarded as one of the premier supercars in the world. Its German engineers have managed to pump out 612 horsepower out of the 5.7 liter mid-engined V10. It tops out at 205 mph and you can find one for around $400,000. This is a backbreakingly fast car, but the mad scientists at Gemballa, a Porsche tuning company, decided this was not enough.

Gemballa slapped twin-turbos on the GT’s V10, upping the power to an unbelievable 1000 horsepower and 886lb-ft of torque. All this power needs extra downforce, so they proceeded to design entirely new bodywork. With the GEMBALLA body modifications, the Mirage GT fits perfectly into the starting line-up of any FIA-GT race. Not least also because of the materials used by Gemballa – all parts of the body of the Mirage GT are made of carbon fiber, a material common in the world of racing. The new hardtop has an integrated roof scoop to provide cold air for Mirage GT’s the massive twin turbos.

Gemballa requires $2 million for the Mirage GT conversion. A hefty pricetag, but this car will be able to smoke any modern day supercar, including the almighty Bugatti Veyron, which weighs 1000 lbs more. Porsche produced 1500 Carrera GT’s, a relatively high number for such an exotic and expensive car. So if you ever find your Carrerra GT becoming commonplace, you will always be able to stand out from the crowd with the Mirage GT conversion.

Click on a photo for a larger (1600×1200) desktop-size view.

Gemballa Mirage GT Front Gemballa Mirage GT Side
Gemballa Mirage GT Interior Gemballa Mirage GT Rear