Since the beginning of rock and roll, young musicians have looked forward to the day when they could cash their first big paycheck and drive a hot rod off the lot. But unlike some people with money in the bank, these rock stars aren’t buying their vehicles as the symbol of wealth in their driveway. Rather, they’re honoring their inner child and entertaining their adrenaline as they add another classic vehicle to their car collection that offers nothing but speed and sex appeal. You’ll be surprised at how many classic cars these big-name musicians like Elton John, James Hetfield, and Eric Clapton have owned.
Pete Townshend’s 1970 Mercedes Was The Most Expensive Car Of Its Time
Pete Townshend was a cornerstone of the rock band The Who, as its co-founder, leader, principal songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist. His career spans 50 years, during which time the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee has written more than 100 songs.
Hailing from the UK, Townshend bought this Mercedes S 600 Pullman. It’s a classic parade car that’s also been purchased by Queen Elizabeth and Pope Paul VI to wave to the crowds from. In 1970, the Mercedes-Benz 600 was considered to be the most expensive production car available.
Jeff Beck Loves Hot Rods
One of the most influential guitarists of all time, Jeff Beck has played for the Yardbirds and several other groups since the 1960s. His incredible range has been noted by musicians across the decades. Beck blends rock, jazz, classical, and even Indian music together in a way that has mass appeal — no easy feat.
Another thing about Beck: he loves hot rods. He owns several vehicles, working on them himself, including a 1923 Ford coupe, 1962 Corvette Restomod (pictured), 1932 Ford Roadster, and ’32 Deuce coupe.
People Scoffed At John Lennon’s Rolls Royce
John Lennon’s Phantom V can be spotted from a mile away. Vocalist, songwriter, and rhythm guitarist for the Beatles, Lennon could be seen driving this psychedelic limousine around London in the late 1960s, which rubbed more than a few people the wrong way.
The car created controversy, as onlookers were horrified that Lennon would take a gorgeous masterpiece of an automobile like a Rolls Royce and decide on an eccentric paint job that quite possibly resembles a hallucination.
Keith Moon Should Not Have Let Someone Drive His Ferrari Dino 246 GTS
Drummer of The Who, Keith Moon purchased this Ferrari Dino 246 GTS in 1972. Not long after, it met its bitter demise. The Italian masterpiece is a dream for handling and hits a top speed of 235 km/h.
The story goes, one day while Moon was out driving his Ferrari, a few bikers who were admiring it asked to take it for a spin. For whatever reason, Moon obliged and handed over the keys. After waiting a reasonable amount of time with no return, Moon went out searching for the bikers and his car and found it in a ditch, with no one around.
Bassist Suzi Quatro Bought An Austin Ruby
Legendary bass guitarist and songwriter Suzi Quatro has a thing for guitars and cars. She purchased this 1938 Austin Ruby, a classic, a minimal car that saw a few variations throughout the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s.
Born in Michigan, Quatro must have been inspired by the cars she saw other musicians purchasing across the pond. Designed and built in Longbridge, Birmingham, England, the Austin Ruby is a rare choice for an American rocker.
Sonny & Cher’s Custom 1966 Ford Mustang Convertibles
All eyes were on husband-and-wife duo Sonny & Cher in the 1960s and ’70s. The two artists had incredible musical talent and style with hits “Baby Don’t Go” and “I Got You, Babe”. That’s why Ford contacted Sonny & Cher with an offering to create two custom 1966 Mustang convertibles.
Each artist was given the chance to customize their car. Sonny chose gold and brown, while Cher’s was an eye-catching pink. The black and gold manufacturer’s California license plates were only for this photoshoot, which was a wild success.
Miles Davis Wrecked His Lamborghini Miura
One of the most iconic jazz musicians in history, Miles Davis left his mark on the music world before he was gone too soon. His undeniable talent as a trumpet player and composer was drowned by his addictions, which were detrimental to his health. Still, Davis lived an incredible life.
He purchased this beauty of a vehicle, a green Lamborghini Miura that was built between 1966 and 1973. Davis would end up crashing this car in 1972 while attempting a tight corner going too fast. The wreck led to two broken ankles and time spent recovering in the hospital. Although the wreck prevented him from performing, Davis went out and purchased another Lamborghini to replace it.
Janis Joplin’s Rare Porsche 365 Cabrio is Worth Millions
Janis Joplin, a fateful member of the “27 club,” lived life out loud. The rock, soul, and blues artist sang of longing to own the cars of her dreams. When she had the means to do so, she bought a rare Porsche 65 Cabrio. Porsche only made a small number of this 356 C 1600 SC cabriolet model.
Joplin paid Dave Richards $500 to paint the car with images of her band, Big Brother and the Holding Company. Richards also painted “The Eye of God” on the hood, and a California landscape on the driver side door. In 2015, Joplin’s Porsche was sold at an auction for $1.76 million.
Elvis Presley Loved Cadillacs
Elvis Presley had a car collection that many would envy, including his infamous pink Cadillac. The King of Rock and Roll owned a 1955 Cadillac Fleetwood 60, a 1975 Ferrari Dino 308 GT 4, a 1956 Cadillac Eldorado, two BMW 507s, and a 1960 Lincoln Continental Mark 5.
He also owned two limos. Like Lennon, Elvis also drove a 1963 Rolls-Royce Phantom V Touring Limo that included a telephone and a 1960 Cadillac Series 75 Fleetwood Limo. That’s not even all of them! Here, he’s in a Ford Thunderbird.
Bruce Springsteen’s Iconic 1960 Corvette
In 1978, Bruce Springsteen posed with his Corvette in front of photographer Frank Stefanko’s home in Haddonfield, New Jersey as Stefanko took his picture. The photo would end up being the cover of Springsteen’s autobiography, Born to Run.
The legendary artist purchased the Corvette in 1975 after releasing his third album of the same name. He also owned a C2 Corvette String Ray convertible and a yellow 1975 Chevy Bel Air, which was sold to a fan for $450,000.
Elton John Owns The Cream Of The Crop
Renowned pianist, singer, songwriter, and composer Elton John is another English musician who enjoys building his classic car collection. Pictured here is John, sitting on one of his motorbikes at his house, in front of four of his more than 20 cars which include a Rolls Royce and a Mercedes.
Other cars in Elton’s collection include a 1956 Bentley S1 Continental Sport Saloon, a 1997 Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550, 2005 Maserati Quattroporte V, and a 1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur.
The Truth About Keith Moon Driving A Rolls Royce Into A Pool
Another vehicle in The Who drummer Keith Moon’s car collection is this classic Rolls Royce. There’s an urban legend that Moon drove a Rolls Royce into a swimming pool. However, Pete Townshend says it’s not entirely accurate. Rather, Moon left the handbrake off of another car, and it rolled into an emptied pool.
In another instance, Moon reportedly drove a new car into a muddy pond on his property after the band refused to pay for it. This Rolls Royce was not totaled.
Mick Jagger’s Morgan Plus 8 Roadster
The frontman of the Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger has purchased quite a few classic cars over the years. Here he’s pictured in St. Tropez, France, behind the wheel of his Morgan Plus 8 roadster. The black and white image from 1971 doesn’t do the yellow roadster justice.
Jagger has also owned an Aston Martin DB6 and Bentley, both of which he damaged in accidents. Rolling Stones band members Bill Wyman and Keith Richards also owned classic cars, an MGB and a 1966 S3 Bentley Continental Flying Spur, respectively.
John Bonham Imported His Model T Ford And Customized It
Pictured here is Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham driving his 1923 Model T Ford after he put in a Chevrolet engine and a long list of customizations. Passionate about the Model T, Bonham tapped Andy Brizio, based in San Francisco, to build his car in the early ’70s.
He then had the vehicle shipped from the U.S, to his home in Hagley, Worcestershire, England. It’s been featured in the film The Song Remains The Same. When he passed, the car went up for auction for £250,000, equal to $311,150 USD.
James Hetfield’s 1934 Packard “Aquarius”
Metallica vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield is the owner of an extensive customized classic car collection. Pictured here is Hetfield’s 1934 Packard “Aquarius,” designed by builder Rick Dore. The accentuated size of the body portrays the classic style of the ’30s. The Aquarius features a 6.2-liter LS V8 engine.
Hetfield isn’t shy about showing off his collection. His cars have been featured in exhibits, including the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
James Hetfield’s 1948 Jaguar u201c Black Pearl
All of the classic cars in James Hetfield’s collection are remarkably pristine. This is his 1948 Jaguar “u201cBlack Pearl.” Again, the incredible body style captures the eye as the Black Pearl, made entirely out of aluminum, was also designed by Rick Dore.
This model is equipped with a 302 cubic inch Ford V8 engine. Other vehicles in Hetfield’s customized collection include a 1953 Buick Skylark, Slow Burn, and Blackjack that you could only hope to catch in person.
Eric Clapton Collects Ferraris
Rock legend Eric Clapton has owned over 20 beautiful vehicles, including this 1964 Ferrari 250 gt Berlinetta Luso. This Ferrari features a V12 engine that can reach 150 mph. Are you surprised this is Clapton’s car?
A three-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Clapton has also rewarded himself with a custom Ferrari SP12 EC, Ferrari Enzo, 1968 Ferrari Dino 206 GT, and others. Would you like to have a garage like that?
Bob Seger Owns Several American Classic Cars
Bob Seger’s songs and voice are cemented in rock music history forever. Seger has sold more than 75 million records during his career and recorded numerous hits including “Night Moves,” “Turn the Page,” and “Like a Rock.”
Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, and retiring in his home state, Seger has always had an appreciation for American classic cars. He reportedly owns a Buick 225, a Deuce, a Buick Electra 225, 1969 GT350 Shelby Mustang, and this Ford Thunderbird.
Dave Grohl’s Ford Falcon Kombi Van
The frontman of the band Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl has never been short on personality or musical talent, recognized as a highly-skilled drummer, guitarist, and vocalist. A former member of Nirvana, Grohl was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 and has taken home 15 Grammy awards.
Grohl admits that he’s careful with his money, as he has a wife and three kids at home. Typically, he’s driving what he describes as a “family car.” We’re not sure if this Ford Falcon Kombi Van is the family car that he’s referencing, but it is a thing of beauty.
Slash’s 1966 Corvette Went Up For Auction
Lead guitarist of Guns N’ Roses, Slash has been named one of the 10 best electric guitar players of all time by TIME magazine, while Rolling Stone ranked him at number 65. Slash collects quite a few things, including skulls and model dinosaurs. He also has an eye for cars.
When Slash opted to auction off a collection of his belongings, he included this 1966 Corvette, equipped with a big block 427 cubic inch V-8 engine with 435 horsepower, 4-speed manual transmission. Its estimated value is between $90,000 to $100,000. Slash told Reuters, “I know that somebody would love to have that car because muscle cars are very, very popular.”
Marky Ramone’s Chrysler Imperial Was On The Green Hornet
Marky Ramone is best known for being the drummer of The Ramones from 1978-1983, and again from 1987 until 1996. He won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2011 Grammys, has his handprints in the Hollywood Rock Wall, and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Here, Marky poses with his 1965 Chrysler Imperial at Coney Island. The car was famously featured in the 1960s television series The Green Hornet, starring Britt Reid as the superhero.
Morrissey’s Fiat Reflects His Love For Italy
Morrissey first gained widespread recognition for being the frontman of the 1980s band The Smiths. He since has had a successful solo career as a musician and author. The rock star has won numerous NME Awards including Best Male Singer, Best Solo Artist, and Best Songwriter.
While living in Rome, Morrissey developed a love for Italian products. His Fiat 500 is the Estate model, which runs larger than other editions. Known as the ‘Giardiniera,’ the car was manufactured between 1960 and 1975.
Johnny Cash’s Cadillac Was Inspired By His Song
Johnny Cash is one of the best-selling recording artists to date. He has been inducted into not only the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but also the Country Music and Gospel Music Halls of Fame. His baritone voice complimented somber songs, and later in life he covered hits by Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden, and Depeche Mode.
Cash’s Cadillac resulted from his song “One Piece At A Time,” about a man who steals car parts to build a makeshift Cadillac. Mechanic Bruce Fitzpatrick constructed the car to match what was described in the song.
Freddie Mercury’s Champion Saved Studebaker
British singer and songwriter Freddie Mercury rose to prominence in the rock band Queen. The frontman had a famous four-octave vocal range. Freddie has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the UK Music Hall of Fame.
Being that the Champion was Studebaker’s most popular model, its no wonder that the rock star owned one. The model proved vital for the American manufacturer as it saved them from bankruptcy!
Dave Clark’s Jaguar E-Type Was Part Of The Band’s Image
Dave Clark was known as the drummer and leader of the band The Dave Clark Five. The 1960s group was a part of the British Invasion, gaining popularity in both the UK and the US. Considered a top threat to The Beatles, The Dave Clark Five achieved 15 consecutive Top 20 hits in 1964.
The band posed with Dave’s Jaguar E-Type for various promotional images. The car became synonymous with the group, making it almost a symbol of ’60s beat music.
Tony Iommi’s Jaguar E-Type Was One Of Three
Tony Iommi is known as the lead guitarist and one of the founding members of Black Sabbath. He lost the tips of two of his fingers in childhood, which contributed to his guitar style. Rolling Stone deemed him the 25th Greatest Guitarist of All Time.
Like Dave Clark and many other rock stars, Tony Iommi was passionate about his Jaguar E-Type. He was so taken by the car that he had not one, but three!
George Harrison’s Aston Martin DB5 Was His Childhood Dream
George Harrison came into the international limelight as the lead guitarist of The Beatles. His love of Indian culture led to an incorporation of Indian instrumentation in his music. After the band broke up, George had a successful solo career. He was ranked number 11 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarist of All Time.
Guitars weren’t the only thing George dreamed about as a child; he had a deep love for fast cars. Indeed, the rock star landed himself a dream car: the Aston Martin DB5.
Ginger Baker’s Jensen FF Featured Anti-Lock Breaks
As the drummer and co-founder of the rock band Cream, Ginger Baker is known for his fusion of African rhythm and jazz. His love for African music even prompted him to move to the country in the ’70s.
Ginger has been inducted into both the Modern and Classic Halls of Fame, as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His 1966 Jensen FF was the first four-wheel drive with anti-lock breaks. He purchased the car in 1969.
Bryan Ferry’s Messerschmitt KR200 Is All About Charisma
Bryan Ferry came into the limelight as the founder, lead singer, and songwriter of the rock band Roxy Music. The group had three albums that hit number 1 in the UK from 1972 to 1982. Simultaneously, he delved in a solo career, for which he had a number 1 album in 1985.
Bryan’s Messerschmitt KR200 may not have been the safest or most realistic for the everyday driver, but the car’s charisma was enough to win over the glam rocker.
Dolly Parton’s Cadillac Is In A Museum
The multitalented Dolly Parton holds the record for having the most top-10 country albums with 41 total. She’s won 10 Grammys and 10 Country Music Association Awards. She’s composed more than 3,000 songs and has 110 career charted singles.
The highly successful star settled for a Cadillac DeVille in the late ’90s. The model is a D’elegance, and here she’s seen packing her guitars into its trunk to head on tour. Today, the car is on display at the Hollywood Star Cars Museum.
Bill Wyman’s Citroën SM Was Love At First Sight
Bill Wyman is most widely known for spending 30 years as the bassist for The Rolling Stones. Since, he has formed his own band, Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings, wherein he is the bass player and lead singer. He also has worked as a producer and has scored film and television.
Bill obtained his Citroën SM back in 1971 when he was living in France. Bill said about the car, “They showed me that amazing engine and the double headlights, and I thought, incredible! I fell in love with it.”
Alan Whitehead Was Young When He Got His Jaguar
Alan Whitehead is best known as the drummer of the Scottish pop-rock band Marmalade. After signing with Decca Records in 1969, the group’s song “Reflections of My Life” peaked at number 10 in the US. Alan later established himself as a manager, represented groups such as Modern Romance and Belle Stars.
As we’ve seen, Jaguar E-Types were all the rage among rockstars in the ’60s and ’70s. At just 22-years-old, Alan Whitehead poses here with his E-Type in 1967.
Stevie Nicks’ Mercedes Appeared On A Walter Egan Album
Stevie Nicks rose to fame as a singer/songwriter for Fleetwood Mac. She has produced more than 40 hits that have made it to the US Top 50. Her song “Dreams” is Fleetwood Mac’s only single to hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
Stevie is the only woman to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. Here she is posing with her black Mercedes. The car was featured on Walter Egan’s 1977 album “Fundamental Roll.”
Neil Peart Was A Born Car Lover
Neil Peart rose to international fame in 1974 when he replaced John Rutsey as the drummer of Rush. Almost a decade later, Neil became the youngest person to be inducted into the Modern Drummer Reader’s Poll Hall of Fame. In addition to drumming, Neil also was a lyricist for the band.
Neil has called himself “a car lover since infancy,” so it’s no surprise that he had an impressive collection. Here, he poses with his Aston Martin DB5.
Sully Erna’s 1934 Ford Coupe Sold For Just $60,000
Sully Erna is the rhythm guitarist and lead singer of the heavy metal band Godsmack. The multi-instrumentalist is also a professional at the piano and harmonica and is a percussionist. Hit Parader ranked Sully 47th on their Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalist list.
It’s surprising to hear that the rock star parted ways with his 1934 Ford coupe. Complete with TCI Engineering suspension and a 700 R4 transmission, the car is a perfect cross between vintage style and rockstar luxury. It sold to one lucky buyer for $60,000 in 2013.
Marilyn Manson’s Lincoln Continental Was In “Tainted Love”
Marilyn Manson is known for being the lead singer of his band, also called Marilyn Manson, which he co-founded in 1989. Despite his controversial image, Marilyn’s group has seen two of their album hit number 1 in the US. Hit Parader ranked Marilyn number 44 on their list of Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists.
Marilyn’s 1969 Lincoln Continental was used in his music video for “Tainted Love.” Complete with customizations done to the grille, steering wheel, air suspension, and more, the car now resides at the Ford Motor museum.
Eric Clapton’s Lancia Astura Cabriolet Is Worth Half A Million
Eric Clapton has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a whopping three times! His success first came when he was a member of the Yardbirds in the mid-’60s. From there, he moved on to the band Cream and later pursued his solo career.
Today he is considered one of the greatest and most influential guitarists of all time. Eric’s former 1936 Lancia Astura Cabriolet is far from just any ordinary car. It is priced at $500,000!
Chuck Berry’s Cadillac Is On Display At A Museum
Deemed the “Father of Rock and Roll,” Chuck Berry came to prominence in the mid-’50s with hits like “Maybellene” and “Johnny B. Goode.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, making him one of the first.
Rolling Stone ranked him fifth on their Greatest Artists of All Time list. Chuck’s famous, bright red 1973 Cadillac is today on display at the National Museum of African American History & Culture.
Bob Seger Loves His Mustang
Bob Seger is a singer, songwriter, and musician who grew to prominence in the 1960s and ’70s. In addition to his own stream of hits, Bob co-wrote the popular Eagles song “Heartache Tonight.”
He has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Like many rock stars, Bob has a deep love for classic cars. Here he is, smiling out the window of one of his Mustangs.
Michael Anthony Has A 1933 Ford
Michael Anthony has been in the rock music scene since the late ’60s. In 1974, he rose to prominence as the bassist and background vocalist of Van Halen. After decades with Van Halen, he transitioned to the two groups he’s with today: Chickenfoot and The Circle.
Michael famously owns over 100 bass guitars, so it should come as no surprise that he takes pride in his cars, as well. Here he is posing with his flashy 1933 Ford.