The world is in crisis. Europe is sinking under a sea of debt, the UK’s budget deficit is nearing £1 trillion and BP is spewing thousands of gallons of Mother Nature’s finest crude all over the Gulf of Mexico. The people are getting poorer; unemployment is rising, taxes are rising and average incomes are going down. But not everyone is worried. This year the world’s ten richest men are worth $342 billion. In 2009 that figure was $254 billion. There were a reported 793 billionaires worldwide in 2009. In 2010 there are 937.
So not everyone is worried about recessions and rioting on the streets. What does the man who is worth several billion spend his money on? I know what I’d do but we’d be here all day, so let’s keep it simple. Houses, obviously. Lots of houses. And boats. Every billionaire’s got to have a few super-yachts dotted around the world. Cars? They’re nothing special to a billionaire. Most of us take a loan out to buy a Ford Mondeo. The most expensive production car in the world is the Bugatti Veyron at $1,700,000. Pah! Small change. I’ll take two please.
With this in mind the worlds luxury yacht and car makers must be rubbing their hands with glee (house builders too but this is a motoring website). Surely there’s no need to stoop to the standard tricks employed by normal retailers who flog their low-grade gear to the general public. Is there? There is now. Strand Craft, a maker of luxury yachts, has decided that in order to flog more boats they’ll have to stand out from the competition with a new promotion. Buy the boat and we’ll chuck a supercar in for free. Specifically, buy a Strand Craft SC122 super yacht and get the world’s most exclusive car thrown in. The yacht itself looks a million dollars, well seventeen million actually. Even to the nautical novice like me the figures look impressive. 122 feet long, two diesel engines producing a combined 18,000bhp (no I didn’t add a nought by accident) with a top speed of 55 knots. Think the figures are impressive? Take a look at the shape of it.
So that’s the yacht, what about the car? It does, after all, come free with the yacht. Well, actually it’s not a car. Strand Craft call it a tender. It’s a tender with an 880bhp, twin turbo engine and a 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds. The top speed is 234mph and it weighs 1179kilos. Stunning. I want one. But I can’t. They’re only making six. Those six lucky owners will be able to berth in their favourite exclusive resort, pop the hydraulic ramp out of the back of the SC122 and drive the car (sorry, tender) straight onto the road. Fantastic. In fact I saw something very similar recently. A canal boat where the owner had fashioned a metal channel on which he parked his 125cc Honda motorcycle. He merely had to attach another channel to the one on which the bike was parked and then he could ride the bike onto the tow path. Genius.
Back to the SC122. Which of the world’s billionaires will end up buying one? My personal opinion is that the first in line will wear a grey suit, have a scar across his face, be completely bald and he’ll sit in a large chair laughing manically whilst stroking a white cat.After all, which self respecting Bond villain wouldn’t want a massive yacht which hides a car inside?