Why do rock stars buy expensive, odd looking, badass cars? Well, because they can of course. From the beautiful to the plain absurd, here’s a look (in no particular order) at some of the most exotic and sometimes outrageous cars ever owned by those that have graced the stage.
David Bowie’s Mirrored Mini
The king of style both on and off stage, David Bowie always made a statement wherever he went. So, it was no surprise that in 1998, Mini asked three British celebrities to design Minis to celebrate the iconic cars 40th anniversary they asked Bowie to be one of the designers. Bowie was the only musician asked and his design was flawless in our eyes. His mirrored Mini Cooper is a classic, and let’s face it, for collectors of fine cars or memorabilia this car is a must.
Janis Joplin’s Porsche 356
Janis drove all over Los Angles in the late ’60s in this beauty. Her Porsche 356 was even supposedly stolen once, but perhaps realizing how hot the car was, the thief even tried to paint the Porsche grey, criminal right? Once recovered and returned, Joplin reapplied the paint job. Following Joplin’s death in 1970, the car was used as a courtesy car by Joplin’s manager, Albert Grossman, and eventually found its way home to Joplin’s family, who restored the mural with a paint job that would last. The Porsche spent the next two decades on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and then in 2015, the one of a kind 356 was sold at auction for a massive $1.76 million. Crazy considering the car was expected to be sold for around four to six hundred thousand dollars.
Jack White’s Tesla Model S
Jack White is an interesting one. Whereas he loves old vinyl, and all that comes with it, preferring to record on tape etc, this doesn’t seem to affect his decision to buy modern day gadgets that are on the market today. One of those high-tech items would be the Tesla Model S. Talk about mixing old with new, it has been said that White uses the sound system in his motor to listen to mixes of his music. Keeping it real though, it has also been said that once White has the finished mixes in hand, they are then played through the car using an FM transmitter. You’ve got to love that…
Eddie Van Halen’s Miura S
Van Halen changed the sound of rock n roll forever, and one member of the band especially changed the way guitar players played rock music, Eddie. You’d have to agree that his killer solos were and are, intricate and fast at times, right? Well, as fast as Eddie is 1972 Lamborghini Miura S has him beat. This monster Lambo was even featured in the music video for Panama and is still owned by Eddie to this day.
Mick Fleetwood’s 1930 Austin 7
This baby is a true classic. Fleetwood’sAustin 7, circa 1930, came to the drummer in a pretty unconventional way. The story has it that Mick saw the Austin every day as he traveled to the studio. Falling in love with the car he left the owner a note that he left under the wiper saying if the car ever needed a new home, to give him a call. It was a few years later that Mick’s mother called him about a strange phone call she had received about a car. Mick, of course, purchased the vehicle but couldn’t afford a new starter for it, that being said, he would push it down the street, jump in and slam it into gear to get the car to turn over. He eventually left the car in Eric Clapton’s stable, sixteen years went by and Clapton’s manager called Mick about removing the vehicle from the property. With a serious clean-up and the help of an enlisted a professional restoration company, Mick’s adorable Austin 7 was back and better than ever.
John Lennon’s Psychedelic Rolls
This was one of the most expensive vehicles ever designed. It was in 1965, that John Lennon decided to pimp out his black Phantom with some serious modifications. It was a laundry list of alterations that included one-way passenger windows, a cocktail cabinet, writing table, reading lamps, portable television and a refrigerator in the trunk. It didn’t end there. Following a road trip to Spain in 1967, the paint job on the car had been battered by swirling sand and the occasional bad driving, the Rolls returned to the shop and emerged as a brand new and improved monster of a car. Now featuring a backseat that could convert into a double bed, massive ashtrays embedded into the armrests, the obligatory dodgy carpeting of the time throughout the cabin, and a floating record player that used a state-of-the-art suspension system to prevent the needle from jumping while the car was rolling. There was a tape player in a specially built cabinet, an upgraded TV, and the biggest statement of all was the paint job. The matte ‘Valentines Black’ exterior was gone and had been replaced with the brilliant Sgt Peppers style paint job we all recognize. Still iconic, the television, tape player, and spare tire have gone missing over the years, and the sound system is no longer functional but hey, it’s still easily one of the most recognized cars in the world.
George Harrison’s Mini Cooper S
This little beauty had the same kind of paint job as John’s Rolls, only smaller of course. Bright red paint with images from the hip book at the time Tantra Art: Its Philosophy and Physics. As well as the over the top paint job, Harrison’s ‘66 Mini was fitted with VW lights, recessed fog lights, a full-length sunroof, and rosewood veneered dash. Now if the car looks and sounds somewhat familiar to you Beatles fans, that may be because it was featured in The Magical Mystery Tour film, and for Mini fans, you may remember that in 2009, Mini released an updated version of George’s car as a 50th Birthday edition. That 50thedition also featured a gold trim that was similar to George’s, but they omitted the fog lights. George’s wife Olivia has kept the car restored and since his death in 2001, the car has been featured at certain car shows.
David Gilmour’s Ferrari F40
Pink Floyd brought prog-rock to the masses, and on the way became one of England’s most iconic bands. With that in mind, the fact that two of Floyd’s members, David Gilmour and Nick Mason, would drive something that was equally one of a kind. Both avid car collectors, the pair bought matching Ferrari F40s back in 1988, and let’s face it, the car is about as iconic as the band itself. Late 2000 Gilmour’s car was almost destroyed when the F40’sengine bay caught fire. Luckily the guitarist had enough in the bank to invest another $400,000 restoring his iconic Ferrari. Oh, the life of a rock star.
Johnny Cash’s One Piece at a Time Cadillac
One of the many famous songs recorded by Johnny Cash is “One Piece at a Time,” that very same song was also the inspiration for what has been sometimes called ‘Frankenstein’s monster of a car.’ The song was a hit for Cash in the ’70s, and as a part of the songs PR package, the Cadillac that was described in the song was cobbled together as part of the promo. The song came and went, and so did the car, destroyed not long after the songs promotional period ended. Enter big Johnny Cash fan, Bill Patch. He created the very same car that was mentioned in the song and drove it to Cash’s home. The Man in Black apparently loved the car so much that he kept it and played a free concert in Patch’s hometown. And sure enough, just like the song, the car had three headlights and a single fin on one side of the rear.
Sir Elton John’s Golf Cart
This one’s a little bit of fun. It’s safe to assume that Sir Elton John has the most pimped out golf cart of all time? Screaming “out of the way” in gold and glitter, this little beauty was hand built for the Rocket Man. Of course, it turns heads, it’s Sir Elton John’s. The hood is seriously outrageous, on the hood is an oversize replica of the superstar’s star-rimmed glasses, and in a wonderfully tacky addition, Sir Elton’s name is plastered across the front, not once but twice.