For many of us, one of the things that we would do first if we were to become millionaires or billionaires is to create a collection of expensive cars. Though they don’t really appreciate in value, there are still plenty of classic cars that we want in our garages just to admire with the occasional drive on a nice day. Here are five celebrities who were able to amass enough wealth to get deep into the hobby, putting together amazing classic car collections.
There are two celebrities who are known for their classic car collections so much that they’ve been displayed in their own TV series. The first of them is Jerry Seinfeld, the stand-up comedian who launched the hit sitcom “Seinfeld” in the late 1980s. The series became one of the most popular in television history, and the residuals from the show have made Seinfeld hundreds of millions.
In the series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”, Seinfeld has been able to display some of his best classic rides. Some of the ones that Seinfeld loves the most include the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the 1969 Jaguar XKE Series 2 E-Type, and the 1970 Porsche 911S. “I’ve been car crazy my whole life since I was nine years old,” Seinfeld said. “It’s just something I’m very aware of.”
The other celeb who has had shows about his classic car collection is Jay Leno. The former host of “The Tonight Show”, Leno has a net worth of around $350 million, and has spent a good chunk of that on cars.
Some of the coolest classic cars that Leno owns include a 1969 Lamborghini Miura, a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, and a 1955 Buick Roadmaster. “I never set out to collect cars,” Leno admitted. “I just bought what I liked.” That turned into a garage filled with cars because he likes ones that have historical significance, look good, and are fun to drive.
Some bands simply define an entire genre of music, and for heavy metal, that band is Metallica. The group has been led by singer/guitarist James Hetfield since the beginning, and it has made Hetfield worth $200 million. After rising to fame, Hetfield was able to get some of the rarest cars in the world, including a 1932 Ford Roadster Blackjack. Other amazing cars that Hetfield owns include a 1934 Packard Aquarius, a 1937 Lincoln Zephyr, and a 1948 Jaguar ‘Black Pearl’.
When talking about his car collection, Hetfield said that he almost considered selling, but instead decided to showcase his cars at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. “They weren’t doing me much good sitting in my garage,” he said. “I loved looking at them, but I didn’t want to auction them off and have them spread all over the world. This is a collection. It marks my life.”
If you’re talking about the most successful fashion designers in world history, you have to mention New York City native Ralph Lauren. Lauren started his company in the 1960s as a necktie business and is now worth billions of dollars. Because of that, he has been able to pursue a passion for collecting classic vehicles including a 1957 Jaguar XKSS, a 1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, and a 1930 Mercedes-Benz SSK.
Lauren has compared his home to the Batcave where Bruce Wayne/Batman has kept all of his fancy vehicles and accessories. He sees his cars as art pieces that can be collected, even though he does like driving some of the more expensive ones. “I saw them as moving art,” he said of his cars. “I saw it long before most people did. It’s my eye: I love the way cars look. I could stand there and look at the tailpipes…I grew along with the cars, and my sensibility and my taste developed and changed.”
Adam Carolla has been in the entertainment business for a long time, getting his big break in the 1990s after being a host on the hit TV series “Loveline” with Dr. Drew. This spawned an entire media empire for Carolla as he went on to create “The Man Show” with Jimmy Kimmel, then started his own podcast that became wildly successful. His net worth might not be the highest on the list, but he has plenty to collect expensive classic cars.
While a lot of other celebrities who have classic car collections go for a more luxurious Art-Deco aesthetic, Carolla loves vintage race cars, especially if they were driven by legendary actor Paul Newman. “Once I started developing the Newman collection, I started to look around and realized that while I knew the story of Paul Newman and his racing, many others didn’t.” With that, he took some of the cars like the Dick Barbour Porsche 935 and the Datsun 510 and made a movie about Newman’s life in racing.