Top 5 celebrity car collections

For these celebs dropping a cool six-figures, or more, on a new car can be a monthly or daily occurrence. And it’s not only brand-new, out-of-the wrapper models, it’s cool classics, one-of-a-kinds and even cars that are literally out of this world.

There are some pretty impressive car collections out there but here’s our top 5.

Jay Leno

He arguably has one of the most famous and varied car collections in the world. Most famous for hosting the US comedy late night chat show, “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”, he reportedly has a collection of almost 290 cars and bikes and was once valued at around $50 million. Short change for someone reportedly worth around $350 million. Some of his most notable cars include a Duesenberg Model X of which only 5 still exist, a 2006 EcoJet which wasn’t made for production and was built in his own garage and a unique 1906 Stanley Steamer – not only powered by steam but made entirely of wood. Luckily for us, Jay loves to share his collection with others and offers fans a glimpse of his most popular cars in his CNBC show ‘Jay Leno’s Garage’.

Rowan Atkinson

He may be remembered most fondly for playing the role of the hapless Mr Bean driving around in a yellow Mini Cooper, but the real-life actor’s taste in cars couldn’t be further from his quirky character. His collection contains some of the most tasteful and classy cars in existence from an Aston Martin V8 Zagato to a Bentley Birkin Muslanne. What you may not know, is Rowan’s passion for racing, he even crashed the Aston Martin V8 while competing in an owners’ club event. Sadly, that wouldn’t be the only time he crashed one of his prized possessions, famously crashing his rare purple McLaren F1 not once, but twice! But don’t worry, he sold the McLaren in 2015 for £8 million. He’s a collector that feels the joy of getting behind the wheel of his cars and not keeping them locked away, saying “I’m not a collector. I don’t like the toy cupboard syndrome that causes so many good cars to evaporate. It depresses me that they are hidden away like investment art, or gold ingots in a Swiss vault.”

Lady Gaga

Not the biggest car collection by any means, but considering she only passed her driving test in 2016, Gaga already has the beginnings of a seriously impressive collection. It’s obvious she loves a good American muscle car, like her mint blue Chevy Nova SS and black Chevy El Camino. But she also loves a nice classic such as her Mercedes-Benz W123 and Ford F-150 Pick Up which she was famously pulled over in just two weeks after she passed her driving test. But it’s not all classics for Gaga, she loves a bit of luxury too by adding two Rolls-Royce Phantoms to her fleet, along with a Porsche Boxster and Lamborghini Huracán. We can’t wait to see what else she adds!

The Sultan of Brunei

Maybe not technically a ‘celeb’ but with a collection of almost 5,000 cars and worth around $300 million, it would be hard to keep him off the list! He’s one of the richest men in the world and owns the largest car collection in the world, with a mix of high-end vehicles, priceless classics and concept cars. Not only that, but his collection contains one of the world’s priciest cars, a $14 million custom Rolls-Royce Spur Limousine packed with 24k gold. Although his collection has never been fully accurately reported, there is speculation that it contains 300 Ferraris, 11 McLaren F1’s and 600 Rolls Royce’s. Ok, we are officially jealous.

Ralph Lauren

Being the owner of a multi-billion-dollar fashion empire, it’s not a surprise that Ralph has made that small leap from fashion to cars. He’s estimated to be worth around $5.8 billion so what else is he going to spend his hard-earned cash on? With nearly 70 cars in his collection, they include stylish numbers like a McLaren F1, Lamborghini Reventon and a 1930 Mercedes-Benz SSK “Count Trossi”. His collection is rumoured to be worth around $350 million and has even featured in some of his catwalk shows, surrounded by other stunning models. Not only are the cars impressive but also the garage where they are housed. The two-floor museum like structure was built in an old car dealership in New York, with black floors, white walls and stunning lighting. There’s a workshop next door, small living space, office and library.

Thinking of adding to your own car collection? Or even just starting out? Search over 200,000 used cars including cool classics and up to date models from dealers throughout the UK.

Powered by women – Women in the motor industry

Although the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, regarded as the world’s first vehicle with an internal combustion engine, was designed by Karl Benz, it was actually his wife Bertha that financed the project. She was also the first person to drive it on a 121-mile round trip. You could say that was the world’s very first car road test.

In 1914, Florence Lawrence made history when she invented brake lights and the turn indicator. However, Florence failed to patent the turn indicator with Oscar J.Simler going on to do it himself. Another key safety feature we couldn’t be without is the windshield wiper, patented by Mary Anderson in 1903.

It’s not just in design where women were changing history, take Denise McCluggage, in 1959 she was the first female driver to win the feature sports-car event at Thompson Raceway driving a Porsche RS. She’s also the only automotive journalist inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

More Women at the Top

Although we’ve certainly seen changes in the past few years, to many, women are still filling the periphery roles with just a few managing to break through to the top. But we need more female leaders.

It was recently announced that Aston Martin’s Laura Schwab, who is their President of Americas, will open Autocar Great British Women in the Car Industry – Rising Stars event in the summer, held in association with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Schwab was appointed Aston Martin’s first ever female President of Americas in 2015, having joined the firm from Jaguar Land Rover, where she worked for more than 15 years, holding senior roles in marketing, communications and sales operations.

She commented: “The auto industry is full of creativity and innovation, now more than ever. As one of its few female leaders, I’d always eyed the corner office, but never had a woman to look upon for inspiration.”

The thinking behind the event, which began in 2016, was to put a positive focus on the opportunities that can be found within the industry, not only for men, but for women too.

Schwab hopes that her story will encourage more women to continue their climb to the top of what she describes as a “wonderful industry, where a diverse approach to leadership will be a welcome change to the status quo.”

Other notable women in the automotive industry include Barb Samardzich, who after many years working at Ford is now on the Board of Directors at Adient, a company that is a global leader in automotive seating.

Also, it is good to see that in January this year, Louise O’Sullivan was appointed as Network Operations Director for Renault UK after working as head of their Dacia business and Mandy Dean became Ford of Britain’s new Marketing Director.

Technical Trades Explored at VW

For women to truly be part of the industry means not just achievement at the top, but many more being part of the hands-on, day-to-day work that keeps the wheels going.

That’s why the initiative by Volkswagen to invite over a thousand female students from grades 6 to 10 to ten different locations throughout Germany for Girls’ Day 2019 was very welcome. The girls gained an insight into technical trades and found out from other young women and training staff why such trades are varied, exciting and future-proof.

“Diversity is a main priority at Volkswagen,” said Martin Rosik, Head of Human Resources at the company. “Our goal is to have mixed teams of employees with very different backgrounds, experience and skills.”

He was pleased that Girls’ Day gave female students the opportunity to find out about the many technical trades that are open to them. Volkswagen has said it is steadily working on increasing the share of women in technical trades.

Being Recognised in Service

Women offer an invaluable service to the industry that needs to be recognised. For example, Olivia Dunn from the Kia Stoneacre Wallasey branch has recently won her way to represent the UK at the KIA Service Advisors Skills Cup World Finals, in Korea later this April.

But, until the time that your fully qualified technician in your local garage is just as likely to be a woman as a man, there is still a long way for the industry to go. It’s a long journey, but one that is under way.