Back in the seventies, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates was known as a real speed demon, getting lots of tickets (and one infamous mugshot) for tearing up the roads of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the company was then based.
So it’s no surprise that in a new Bloomberg interview, Gates reveals that as a “tiny bit of a splurge,” he bought himself a used Porsche 911 supercar as his first big purchase with his Microsoft money.
In fact, Gates says, it was the first car he ever owned — he was mostly driving borrowed cars before that, and once totaled a friend’s Porsche.
Gates tells interviewer David Rubenstein that he’d sometimes go out at night and “drive around at high speeds” through the New Mexico desert, just to clear his head and think.
“Fortunately, I didn’t kill myself doing that,” Gates jokes.
In 1979, when he’s said to have bought the car, Gates would have been preparing to move Microsoft out to Bellevue, Washington, very near Redmond, where it keeps its headquarters to this day.
In 2007, Gates told Gizmodo that he actually got three speeding tickets, two from the same cop, while driving this Porsche 911 up to his new home in Seattle (though Gates also said there that it happened in 1979, so the timeline gets a little fuzzy).
While he’s still a big fan of Porsche and luxury cars in general, Gates sold this particular Porsche 911 in the early 1990’s. In 2012, one of its new owners sold it at auction for $80,000.
You can watch Gates’ full interview here:
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