Sultan of Brunei cars
In the realm of vehicular opulence, tucked away within the enigmatic enclave of Brunei, resides the Sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah, boasting the distinction of being the custodian of an extraordinary assemblage of automobiles. With a staggering tally of around 7,000 cars, a cache valuated at more than $5 billion, this collection remains hidden from prying eyes, discernible solely to those who can claim the title of a close confidant to the sovereign ruler of this diminutive yet oil-rich enclave on the northern shores of Borneo.
It is truly a regrettable circumstance that the general public will forever remain estranged from this mesmerizing array of automotive marvels. Among these vehicular treasures lies an array of unique specimens, specially commissioned by the Sultan and his equally automobile-enthusiastic younger sibling, Prince Jefri.
The Sultan’s illustrious passion for cars has been so profound and pervasive that some have speculated that he played a pivotal role in sustaining the fortunes of Rolls-Royce and Bentley during their most trying times. Remarkably, during the early and mid-1990s, nearly half of all Rolls-Royces and Bentleys were destined for the Sultan and his royal kin. Many of these were meticulously tailored to his preferences.
One of the most intriguing projects initiated by the Sultan was the commissioning of six Bentley Dominators, an SUV that predates the Bentayga by two decades. Much like many of the other cars in Brunei, this endeavor remained clandestine until a curious photographer happened upon one being loaded onto a cargo plane bound for Brunei.
Furthermore, the Sultan’s commissioned vehicles included the 1996 Bentley Buccaneer, a sporty coupe, along with the Bentley Camelot, Phoenix, Imperial, Rapier, Pegasus, Silverstone, and Spectre. If these model names seem unfamiliar, there’s no need for concern; Bentley never officially mass-produced them. They were bespoke creations, meticulously handcrafted under the veil of confidentiality. While an occasional photograph and tidbit have surfaced, their enigmatic aura endures. In total, the Sultan and his family preside over an estimated 380 Bentleys.
Among the Sultan’s most coveted possessions are his Rolls-Royces, constituting a fleet of 600 regal vehicles. This exclusive collection includes the Rolls-Royce Royale, Majestic, and Cloudesque, each a lavish and extravagant limousine shrouded in secrecy. Thanks to the occasional efforts of Southeast Asian paparazzi and chance encounters with tourists, some details about these cars have been unveiled. One Rolls-Royce that garnered wider recognition was the 24-carat gold-plated Silver Spur II, which graced the Sultan’s wedding day.
Not to be outdone, the Sultan’s assortment also features a selection of specially commissioned Ferraris, including the 456 GT Venice, a station wagon with only six units commissioned by Prince Jefri, a F90 supercar commissioned in 1988, and the 1995 FX (of which the Sultan ordered six). Within the rarified realm of Ferraris, the Sultan possesses two of the most coveted specimens—the 250 GTO, the most valuable of all Ferraris, and the F40, widely regarded as the epitome of Ferrari’s allure. In total, the Sultan’s Ferrari entourage comprises a staggering 11 of these iconic vehicles.
Those fortunate enough to secure an invitation will also be treated to a sight to behold, featuring an array of automotive gems, such as the McLaren F1, of which the Brunei royal family originally acquired ten (though it’s rumored that several have since been sold, leaving seven in their collection). Furthermore, the collection includes the Jaguar XJ220, a unique Brunei-commissioned Aston Martin Vantage ‘Special Series,’ a one-of-a-kind BMW Nazca M12 concept, and a Bugatti EB110. This splendid array of vehicles is housed in a sprawling automotive palace, with separate wings dedicated to the most distinguished marques.
Beyond his automobile penchant, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah resides in what is believed to be the world’s largest palace, boasting a staggering 1,788 rooms, including 57 bathrooms. As the second longest-reigning monarch after Queen Elizabeth II, he has been at the helm since 1967, gradually amassing his impressive car collection after ascending to the throne.
Yet, cars are not his sole extravagance; he maintains his own private zoo, home to a menagerie of 30 Bengal tigers, acquired a Renoir painting for a princely sum of $70 million, and is reputed to fly a barber in from The Dorchester hotel in London, an establishment he owns, to tend to his grooming needs. Notably, he also enlisted the legendary Jack Nicklaus to design his personal and exclusive golf course. The Sultan of Brunei, a connoisseur of the finest in life, guards his treasures jealously within the confines of his luxurious world.