There are undoubtedly more great enviable car collections than we know, but here are some of the better-known collections.
“Full throttle” doesn’t even begin to describe the energy level of the voice that comes thundering through the phone line as a big, jovial “It’s Brian Johnson, me boy” opens the conversation with the legendary front man of AC/DC.
His distinctive vocals have been the fiery fuel lighting the pyro behind the Australian-bred rock giants for more than 30 years. ‘Black Ice,’ their most recent studio album to date, went to No. 1 in nearly every country where there was someone present to buy it. You could forgive Johnson if he had just a bit of an ego as a result.
Brian Johnson is just about the coolest, most down to earth gentleman that you could ever hope to meet. Florida is his chosen home base, and he’s not against mingling with the locals. Spontaneous moments have found Johnson taking the stage with one of the area’s bar bands — hell, that’s one way to keep your voice in shape.
He loves cars a lot. Specifically, he loves to race cars and is an all-around voracious automobile lover and collector.
To listen to AC/DC, you’d think the band manager, insurance guys — someone — would keep front man Brian Johnson out of the driver’s seat. You’d think if he drives the same way he sings, nothing around him would be safe — birds included. In reality, your swimming pool is safe. The biggest risk he takes is riding his 1957 Vespa, just one component of his enviable car collection. Like Patrick Dempsey, Johnson is also a serious and competent racer, though he favors historic racing.
It’s said every Seinfeld episode has a Superman reference in the dialogue or as a visual. More often than not, you’ll see Porsche represented as well, which is how the comedian prefers to fly. Revered as one of the most serious Porsche ‘guys’, his collection is likely rivaled only by the factory museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. In Porsche’s documentary Welcome to the Family, he explains his appreciation of the synergetic form and function found in their vehicles. We’re not sure if the raw footage contained him following that compliment with, “Except for the Cayenne and Panamera.”
Ferrari is incredibly selective about who’s allowed the privilege of buying their vehicles, let alone testing them. So when Maranello declined the BBC’s request to use an Enzo on Top Gear, Nick Mason loaned his. The Pink Floyd drummer’s enviable car collection ranges from the Bentley his father raced nearly 60 years ago to another hallowed Ferrari: the 250 GTO. And from what we hear, the multimillion-dollar classic isn’t half bad in the snow. Mason reportedly schlepped his kids to school in the GTO on a winter morning when his daily drivers wouldn’t start.
A lot of celebrities happen to have enviable car collections. To enthusiasts, Jay Leno has an enviable car collection and happens to be a celebrity. Thanks to the sheer volume of photos and videos on his website, Leno’s is the most virtually accessible of any private collection. And if you’re in Los Angeles, there’s a good chance you’ll see him commuting in traffic with something from his diverse ranks; he drives as many as he can on a regular basis.
Most of us only read highlights of Ralph Lauren’s enviable car collection. A few occasionally see him at the wheel. Two get to peek in his garage. Among the lots for bid in the recent Ralph Lauren Pink Pony Charity Auction: a tour of his stash, led by the man himself. Valued at $150,000, the walk-through wraps up with a ride “in one of these world-class driving machines,” as the auction described. This may have been a polite euphemism to rule out his $30 million-plus 1936 Bugatti Atlantic.
1300 Rinehart Road
Sanford, FL 32771