Many celebrities not only have the cash for flash rides, but also seek to make a statement with their choice of opulent transport (even if that statement is just “Look, I have the cash for this opulent transport!”)
Here are some of the more interesting, eccentric and perhaps surprising stars’ cars.
In 2012, Black Eyed Peas rapper Will.I.Am announced that he was starting his own car company, IAMAUTO, to “bring jobs to the ghetto that I came from”. But the “prototype” he unveiled was in fact a heavily modified DeLorean DMC-12 (I saw the car’s build in progress at California’s West Coast Customs, where it was brilliantly dubbed the “DeLor.I.Am”). Sadly, little has been heard of Will.I.Am’s admirable start-up idea since, and the kit car-like IAMAUTO proto resembled a Star Wars stormtrooper helmet (without the retro charm).
DAVID BECKHAM’s SUVs
Becks is not just a soccer legend and sex symbol, but also a devoted father of four. So, as well as his Porsche 911 Turbo, Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe and Ghost, Bentley Mulsanne and Continental Supersports, and an Audi RS6 Avant (which he crashed in England in December), the fit Brit has also owned some super-swanky SUVs: a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, a Range Rover (Beckham is a “brand ambassador” for Land Rover sister brand Jaguar and his wife Victoria was “Creative Design Director” for the RR Evoque), and a Cadillac Escalade – all blacked-out, natch.
TRACY McGRADY’s MERCEDES-BENZ CL600
If you’re looking to actually own a celebrity’s ride, recently-retired NBA great Tracy McGrady’s 2001 Mercedes-Benz CL600 is (at the time of writing) currently listed on eBay for $38,950 (down from an extremely ambitious $150k). The problem is not just that this potentially stunning V12 coupe is baby blue, but that this decidedly acquired-taste color scheme is one of its classier “personalizations” (by West Coast Customs), which include matching pastel interior trim and rims, “T-Mac” logos in the headrests, and Gucci upholstery. On the upside, McGrady’s ex shows just 32k miles.
ROB DYRDEK’s CHEVROLET CAMARO
While most celebs opt for shiny new mega-cars, some also have a love of vintage wheels. Skateboarder-turned-entrepreneur/actor/reality TV star Rob Dyrdek augmented his prodigious fleet of more practical rides (which has included a white Porsche Panamera Turbo with matching rims, blacked-out (and apparently later all-white) Chevrolet Tahoe, and Bentley Continental GT) with a 1969, LS3-powered Chevy Camaro, with a sleek black custom job by Michigan’s All Speed Customs. Dyrdek’s Glam-aro was listed on eBay in 2013, but the high bid of $32,200 fell well short of its $55k reserve.
KATY PERRY’s SMART FORTWO
It says much for Katy Perry’s meteoric rise to fame that, less than seven years ago, the singer – who these days travels incognito – was having to drive around in a custom-painted pink car with her name on both sides in order to draw attention to herself. OK, her Barbie-ready Smart ForTwo was probably just smart marketing, but it made a nice change from celebs’ traditionally big (and usually black) rides, and was typical of the sunny surprises (dancing sharks, anyone?) that have helped hone Perry’s public image.
JAY LENO’s GM ECOJET
Perhaps the world’s most famous car collector, comedian Jay Leno took his auto obsession a step further by actually collaborating with General Motors in the development of the EcoJet – a fully-functioning concept car, assembled by his own “Big Dog” crew of master mechanics, that uses a Honeywell gas turbine helicopter engine and is designed to run on both clean-burning jet engine fuel and biodiesel. Sure, it smells like French fries if you’re stuck behind it (being basically fueled by refined cooking oil), but this street-legal, (relatively) planet-friendly supercar is truly something to behold.
KIM KARDASHIAN’s FERRARI 458 ITALIA
It seems only appropriate that the Double-K should drive a car that’s curvaceous, high-maintenance, and stacked with non-original parts. Her $325k white 458 Italia – which may or may not have been bought by Kim’s then-beau Kris Humphries – was made special by L.A.’s Platinum Motorsports, and is one of a million-dollar fleet of aspirational rides – including a Rolls-Royce Ghosts in both black and white, a blacked-out Bentley Continental GTC, and the celeb-obligatory flat-black Merc G63 (all also customized by Platinum) – owned by the famous-for-being-famous reality TV beauty.
DASHON GOLDSON’s EVERYTHING
Former San Francisco 49ers safety Dashon Goldson told DUB Magazine recently that his love of head-turning autos is rooted in childhood memories of riding around L.A. in his dad’s attention-grabbing 7-Series Beemer (“sitting on some nice Giovannas”). Pop’s car wouldn’t come close to making the cut for the NFL star’s current collection, which includes a Fisker Karma, Rolls-Royce Wraith and Ghost, Mercedes-Benz G550, Jaguar XJ, Range Rover, and a Dodge Charger (with a Lamborghini apparently on its way). Good thing Goldson signed a $41-million contract with Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013.