In the course of my job, I regularly peek into the lifestyles of people with massive disposable income—you know, the people who fly their Ferraris over to China for a track day, or who nonchalantly bought two 50-inch plasma TVs back when that was a $40,000 investment. As such, I’ve developed a well-honed sense of which luxury baubles I’ll require should I suddenly acquire the means to buy my own island (and not one that’s some dumb frozen rock in Maine—I mean a cool Richard Branson one). Specifically, I know which machines I’ll be cramming into my aircraft hangar. And they’re not cars.
Sure, cars can be luxurious. But I’ve driven everything, and the difference between a $2 million Bugatti and a $20,000 Golf is simply a matter of degree. Either way, it’s a car, and you won’t get very far if you drive it into a lake. (Which, a few years back, one Bugatti driver famously learned firsthand. It’s OK; I’ll wait while you go to YouTube.) Now, an Argo 8×8? That thing can plunge into a lake and keep right on going. And that’s what luxury really means—attaining the ability, Iron Man-style, to do things that you have no business doing. Like riding a jet board. Or crushing a car with a tank. Or taking off from the East River and soaring above the gridlock outside Manhattan on your way out to Montauk. With that in mind, here are 10 luxury machines to make you glad you bought that Powerball ticket all by yourself and not with your dumb co-workers.
Up in Maine, the Pemaquid lobster boat races include a class called “fastest lobster boat afloat.” I’ve always wanted to go up there with a boat that clearly violates the spirit of the rules, a Miami go-fast with a trap hauler strapped to the side to render it a “lobster boat.” Well, Cigarette now makes center-console fishing boats that could actually haul a fair load of traps, if you were demented enough to have a sternman onboard instead of the standard-issue bikini ladies. Out of Biscayne Bay, I helmed a new 41′ GTR—equipped with four 400-horsepower Mercury Racing outboards and slated for delivery to the Sultan of Johor—that maxed out at about 80 mph, which would definitely be enough to take the checkered flag in Pemaquid. But since money is no object, I might go for the new SD GT3, which packs 1,110-horsepower twin-turbo V8s. I drove that one, too, but did not max it out, because that boat just set the center-console speed record at 104 mph. Just think of how fresh those lobsters would be.