Monday, May 16, 2011

Which Celebrity Has The Coolest Car?


Celebrities love cars, and they're willing to spend a pretty penny to get just the vehicle they want. Dig this gallery of some of the most incredible whips driven by the rich and famous.

Birdman's Maybach Excelero


OK, so Jay-Z drove the $8.8 million Maybach Exelero in his video for "Lost One," but it took Cash Money's Birdman to actually shell out the ducats to own the thing. This luxe concept car was introduced in 2005 by the German automaker as a tribute to their classic limousines. Commissioned by Fulda Tyres to test a new wider radial, only one of these cars is in existence. Maybach has stated that they'll make more if anybody wants to pay for them, but that's a heavy case of sticker shock.


Chad Ochocinco's CXT


Goofy Bengals wide reciever Chad Ochocinco is an odd duck by any standard, but you have to give him props for going all-out in his vehicular choice. For his 32nd birthday, he treated himself to one of the most insane tricked-out trucks ever seen, a custom big rig that took six months to build. Based on an International CXT truck model, the Ochocincomobile has a massive stereo system and a plaque bearing the player's name over one wheel - you know, just in case he parks it next to another one.


Paris Hilton's Bentley GT


Leave it to Paris Hilton to basically drive around in a life-size Barbie car. Her pink Bentley Continental GT combines performance and luxury with an absolutely ridiculous flake pink paint job from West Coast Customs at a pricetag of over $200,000. Hilton's rationale for the pricy purchase? "I've just always wanted a pink car." Oh, if only it was that easy.


Busta Rhymes's Mercedes G500


A number of rappers have chosen the Mercedes Benz G500 SUV as their ride of choice, and for good reason: the enormous cargo capacity of this vehicle means you can pack a whole hell of a lot of speakers in it. Busta uses his ride as a way to preview mixes of his albums - the custom stereo system even has a cassette player so he can hear what stuff sounds like on the lousiest format. At over $100,000 stock, that's a pretty expensive listening booth.



T-Pain's Rolls Royce Phantom


Rapper and autotune overlord T-Pain is a serious gearhead - he's even part-owner of Auto Extremes, a specialist tuning shop. So it's no surprise that when he buys a car, he goes big. The Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead is one of the rarest cars in the world, and T-Pain's custom 2009 model was the first one off of the assembly line. Titanium hood, teak and leather interior, and custom 24-inch rims all combine to bring this thing in at over $400,000.


Gucci Mane's Ferrari 458 Italia


I kind of feel bad for Gucci Mane - I mean, first there's the whole ice cream face tattoo thing, and then his Ferrari 458 Italia gets recalled for safety reasons. The platinum-selling rapper was the first person in America to own one of these unreal machines, and he had it tricked out with sweet rims and a custom yellow paint job. Unfortunately, the $230,000 car had to be brought back to the manufacturer because a few of them had randomly caught fire.


Kat Von D's Chevrolet Deluxe


Insane celebrity cars don't have to be the latest things out of the factory - some stars like to go retro. Case in point, L.A. Ink star Kat Von D's classic 1951 Chevrolet Deluxe is over half a century old but couldn't look hotter, with custom gold paint, awesome chrome and whitewall tires. Seeing this thing out and about is a joy to behold.



Jerry Seinfeld's Porsche 959


I think it's fair to say that a few dudes might show up more than once on this list. Some rich Hollywood bros really like to sink cash into cars, and Jerry Seinfeld is no exception. The sitcom star has a garage full of sweet cars, and one of the best is his Porsche 959. One of only 337 ever constructed, when Jerry imported it he wasn't allowed to drive it because Porsche refused to get the model emissions tested. They retail for around $700,000, and amazingly it's only one of Seinfeld's 46 Porsches.



Alfonso Soriano's Hummer


I have to say that Hummer drivers don't impress me that much - is there really any need to have what is basically a rolling refrigerator? Their military cachet has pretty much evaporated. Still, I have to give props to Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano for his absurdly pimped-out model. Soriano is pulling in $136 million on this three-year contract, so he obviously can afford to shell out for a massive speaker system in the back and a chrome plaque on the hood with his name and number on it.



Patrick Dempsey's Jaguar XK120


From the ridiculous to the sublime - Grey's Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey goes classic with an amazing Jaguar XK120 roadster. This sweet ride was only in production from 1948 to 1954, so naturally getting ahold of one is more than a little difficult. Dempsey has kept his in perfect condition and it looks as good as the day it rolled off the factory line.



Matt Damon's Tesla Roadster


It must be hard for celebs to balance their desire for fancy cars with their desire to seem environmentally conscious. Matt Damon seems to have found a solution, driving around Los Angeles in a Tesla Roadster. These fully electric sports cars clock in at over $100,000, and Damon was one of the first 100 people in the world to get one - the company even let him borrow a prototype to cruise around in before he wrote a check. Going from zero to 60 in 3.5 seconds completely silently is a little better than a Prius, I have to say.


Ralph Lauren's McLaren F1LM


Fashion designer Ralph Lauren has one of the world's most exclusive car collections, boasting dozens of amazing automobiles from all over the world. One of the most recent additions is the McLaren F1LM, still the fastest naturally aspirated car on the road today. Only five of these beasts were ever built to commemorate the original F1's victories in Le Mans, and Lauren has one of them. With a top speed of 225 miles per hour, this is one amazing ride.



Diddy's Maybach 62S


Leave it to Sean Combs to kick off the Maybach trend among rappers - the megastar bought his Maybach 62S in 2007 and single-handedly made the luxury car brand a must-have. With a top speed of 155 miles per hour and a price tag that falls around $700,000, this ride is a serious investment. The interior boasts a mini-fridge and integrated champagne flutes. Diddy showed his brand loyalty by purchasing his son Justin Dior Combs a $360,000 Maybach Zeppelin for his 16th birthday.



Jay Kay's Lamborghini Miura SV


Sticking on the musician tip but hopping across the pond, Jay Kay (better known as acid jazz mainstay Jamiroquai) is one of the biggest car collectors in England, with a garage full of a diverse selection of vehicles. One of the hottest is his tomato-red Lamborghini Miura SV, which he showed off on an episode of Top Gear. The Miura SV is one of only 150 in the world, and it boasts a top speed of 171 miles per hour.



Jay Kay's Lamborghini Miura SV


Sticking on the musician tip but hopping across the pond, Jay Kay (better known as acid jazz mainstay Jamiroquai) is one of the biggest car collectors in England, with a garage full of a diverse selection of vehicles. One of the hottest is his tomato-red Lamborghini Miura SV, which he showed off on an episode of Top Gear. The Miura SV is one of only 150 in the world, and it boasts a top speed of 171 miles per hour.



Jay Leno's EcoJet


It took us this long to get to Jay Leno? That just goes to show you how much deep research I did on this feature, that we're more than halfway through without bringing up the Tonight Show host once. Leno's love of cars is well-documented, but the EcoJet concept car might be the utmost expression of his gearhead drive. Fueled entirely by biodiesel, this turbine-powered monster is housed in a carbon-fiber and Kevlar shell and can get over 150 miles per hour, but let's be frank: the draw here is that it has a damn jet engine in it.



Wyclef Jean's Pagani Zonda C12


A lot of the stars on this list seem to go for the big brands - Lambos, Maybachs and the like - but the real exclusive gearheads opt for something a little more exclusive. Pagani manufactures less than 20 Zondas each year, so getting your hands on one involves playing a serious waiting game. Wyclef's cherry red Zonda joins a fleet of other high-performance cars, which I suppose make him feel better about not being elected President of Haiti.



Nicolas Cage's Ferrari Enzo


Don't feel too bad for Nicolas Cage. Sure, his recent bankruptcy has forced him to sell his castle, his cars, and even his pet octopus. But he did get to own an amazing Ferrari Enzo. This supercar, first released in 2002, was named after the founder of the company and is powered by a superlative V12 engine that keeps it gliding along at breakneck speeds. Cage's car was bought at a great price by a lucky dude who drives it on the regular.


Darius Miles's Coupe De Ville


One of the funniest and awesomest trends in athlete automotive purchases involves taking ordinary rides and donking them out to the point of parody. The most brilliant example of this so far is Darius Miles, last seen signed to the Memphis Grizzlies before being cut to save room on their salary cap. Miles' absurdist Chevy Coupe De Ville has been jacked up, given insane rims and most awesomely there's a huge airbrushed mural on the hood that features naked women and Benjamin Franklin smoking a joint.


Ludacris's Chrysler ME 4-12


Ludacris is a dude who isn't averse to spending money, and his choice of rides makes that abundantly clear. His Chrysler ME 4-12 is proof of that. This was a prototype of what was intended to be a high-end racing machine from Chrysler, but after extensive development the decision was made to not go into full production. Only two prototypes exist on Earth, and Luda has one. Boasting a light, powerful 850HP engine, this baby really sings.


Chris Brown's Lamborghini Gallardo


Chris Brown is pretty much a sucker, but he does know how to trick out a car. His custom Lamborghini Gallardo is sporting a paint job designed to mimic the style of Air Force jets - and Brown's wish for the car to be as Top Gun as possible didn't end there, as it originally had a fighter jet seat as well. The seat had to be removed due to safety issues, but Brown still flies high in this baby.


Neil Young's Lincoln Continental


Iconoclastic musician Neil Young is the kind of guy who follows ideas to their absolute end, so when he got the idea to convert his sweet 1959 Lincoln Continental over to hybrid drive, you better believe he pulled it off. The LincVolt is just part of Young's quest to make a purely electric car with the classic '50s styling he loves, and the end goal is to make a car that does better than 100 miles on a single gallon of gas.



William Gallas's Mercedes McLaren


I truly doubt that Tottenham Hotspur soccer player William Gallas has any care about fuel efficiency. If he did, why would he chrome out the entire body of his Merceded McLaren. Coming off the line as the fastest production car in the world, this much chrome can't do anything for the car's handling but boy, is it ever shiny. Screw chrome rims, those are for amateurs.


Simon Cowell's Bugatti Veyron


American Idol is all the poorer without the acerbic presence of Simon Cowell ripping wanna-be stars a new hole, but I guess all that time off lets him explore his other pursuits, such as driving around in his Bugatti Veyron. This beast boasts over a thousand horses under the hood and a top speed that just tickles 250 miles an hour, so it's doubtful Cowell ever gets the chance to really open it up. Considering it retails for over a million bills, that's kind of a shame.


Bill Gates's Porsche 959


Yes, even supernerds like sweet rides. The awesome Porsche 959 is one of the automakers best cars, but for quite some time they were illegal to have on the streets, due to not passing regulator approval. When Gates bought his, it had to be kept in storage at the Port of Seattle for thirteen years until the Show and Display law was passed that made exceptions for limited-use vehicles to be imported if they drive it less than 2,500 miles a year. Thank heavens, because this thing is a beaut. Paul Allen has one too.
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