If you ever wondered what the worldâ€™s most expensive garage looked like, this is probably as close as you will get to seeing it. Secretly filmed footage takes viewers on a 1Â½ minute tour of a garage apparently owned by one man, that is stuffed full of the most desirable cars in the world. It is impossible to count all of them but a conservative estimate is that there are upwards of 40 supercars on show.
The video was posted recently on the web and caused a sensation among car fans. Within hours, hundreds of thousands had viewed it, with hundreds posting comments.
â€œI want to work there,â€ said one.
â€œThereâ€™s no way one person owns all that. The maintenance and upkeep on all of those would employ someone for life,â€ said another.
Watch the clip and youâ€™ll see why. Itâ€™s filmed inside a multi-storey car park through the side window of a car as it climbs up through the levels. The grainy footage shows the back of a Ferrari and a Lamborghini dead ahead. Then the camera pans right and picks out an orange Porsche. Up the ramp to the next level, and on the right is another Porsche, then a Maserati.
The driver of the car says: â€œHe used to have a Porsche  Turbo too, but itâ€™s not here today. Maybe itâ€™s out.â€
The man doing the filming interrupts. â€œOh, oh,â€ he says excitedly, â€œthis is an Enzo and an FXX [actually itâ€™s an F50, but letâ€™s not quibble].â€ The car stops and the camera lingers over the two limited-edition Ferraris.
The video clip gives no obvious pointer to the identity of the owner. The world of supercar ownership is a closed one at the best of times. Those who can afford to pay the average price of a house for a car tend to keep a low profile â€" especially in these austere times. So the mystery billionaire with a garage worth more than the GDP of a small country was understandably shy about coming forward.
There were, however, some clues in the video. First of all, while there are many rich people who have expensive car collections, there are only a few collections like this. Second, at least 10 of the cars include 888 in the registration â€" 8 is considered a lucky number in China.
Then there are the cars themselves. Clearly the owner likes performance motors. In total there are 12 Ferraris, worth at least Â£2m, including, in addition to the Enzo and F50, an original late-1960s Dino 246 and a Testarossa 512 M.
Also in the collection are high-performance versions of less exalted brands. A Nissan GTR, a BMW 750i, a Lotus Elise and a Mercedes CLK DTM, a machine inspired by the companyâ€™s victory in the 2003 German touring car championship, the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters.
Only 100 were made, each one selling for â‚¬203,500 in 2004 (about Â£138,000 at the time).
There are his-and-hers Porsches, a pair of 911 GT3 RS models (the latest 997 variant) in viper green and special orange. Complete with colour-co-ordinated roll cages in the cabin, these are as close as it gets to driving a race car on the road.
Looking a little average beside all the other expensive metal is a Rolls-Royce Phantom coupÃ©, which costs a shade under Â£300,000 new; and let it not be said that the owner lacks a sense of fun: among all the exotica sits a Mini Cooper S.
Having studied the evidence, like Loyd Grossman in a car-themed episode of Through the Keyhole, we came up with a shortlist of five Hong Kong-based businessmen who have both the passion and the cash to create this automotive Aladdinâ€™s cave.
After a bit more investigation we decided that the most likely candidate is Sham Kar-wai. Sham is the chairman of a company in Hong Kong called IT Limited, which deals in fashion and accessories, and owns the local franchise for French Connection. He started with a single shop 20 years ago and has expanded the business to more than 100 shops across China.
He is as colourful as he is successful. Married to Chingmy Yau, a movie starlet, he has just employed the model Agyness Deyn as the face â€" and body â€" of his latest ad campaign. His passion for cars is shared by his friend Aaron Kwok, a well-known singer in Asia. There is some rivalry between the two: Aaron too has an exotic car collection, including a Ferrari F50, Enzo, 599 and F430 and a Lamborghini MurciÃ©lago and Gallardo Superleggera.
It is not clear whether Sham was aware of the footage. He was unavailable when we contacted his office last week. The suspicion must be, though, that if it is his collection he must be secretly proud that it has been made public. After all, whereâ€™s the fun in curating an exhibition such as this if no one ever sees it? Certainly the worldwide audience was appreciative.
Except for one viewer, whose comment goes to show that there is no pleasing some people. â€œCall that a car collection?â€ wrote CarBuffyTheSlayer. â€œWhereâ€™s the Bugatti Veyron?