Ralph Lauren might not be known as a car connoisseur, but boy is he. The fashion mogul is worth an estimated $6.8 billion, while his company is worth another $7.4 million, making him the 10th richest fashion icon in the world. Ralph was once the owner of a small tie store, but he grew to notoriety when Neiman Marcus ordered 1,200 of his ties, and then he started his own company, of which he owns 82% of the voting rights (despite it being public since 1997).
And what does he do with all his money? Well, as he once said: “I don’t design clothes, I design dreams.” And he also buys dreams: Lauren owns one of the most exclusive, rarest, and expensive car collections in the world. His $300-million car collection is housed in a $100-million garage filled with blow-ups of magazine covers, an administrative suite, scale models, an archive, a workshop, and of course the 43 cars he owns. Luckily for him, he bought most of his more expensive cars in the 70s and 80s, before the classic-car-buying craze really hit its stride. For instance, he bought his 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO for $300,000 in the ‘80s, when just recently the car has sold for more than any other car in the world, ever, for $70 million.
The fashion entrepreneur has always had a love for cars—but he only buys cars he likes from brands he likes. He doesn’t buy into hype. He owns 11 Ferraris (more than any other marque), five Jaguars, and five Bugattis. He owns some Porsches. But you’ll be surprised to hear that he doesn’t own any Rolls-Royces or Maseratis. For him, it’s all about personal taste.
Let’s take a look at 20 of the coolest cars from Ralph Lauren’s ridiculously expensive car collection.
20 1930 Mercedes-Benz SSK “Count Trossi”
The Mercedes-Benz SSK, which Lauren calls “Count Trossi,” is a truly classic automobile. It was designed by Ferdinand Porsche and ran on a supercharged straight-six engine that could pump out nearly 300 horsepower, which was unheard of in the 1920s. It had a top speed of 120 mph, making it the fastest car of its day.
The SSK was one of the nominees for the “Car of the Century” award in 1999. Only 40 of these cars were built, and only four or five originals remain, of which Lauren owns one.
They’re one of the most sought-after cars in the world, and a 1929 model was sold in 2004 for $7.4 million, making it the second-most expensive car ever sold at that time. Lauren’s “Count Trossi” won Best of Show at both the 1993 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the 2007 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. It also might be the inspiration behind the original Batmobile…
19 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Scaglietti
The Ferrari 250 GT SWB (“short wheelbase”) is one of the most notable race cars of its time. Its short wheelbase gave the car better handling, and only 176 of these cars were ever built. The engine ranged from a 237-hp to a 276-hp V12. The car was designed and developed by Giotto Bizzarrini, Carlo Chiti, and Mauro Forghieri, the same team that later made the infamous 250 GTO. The SWB Berlinetta won Ferrari the GT class of the 1961 Constructor’s Championship.
It’s one of the most highly sought-after cars in the world, and in 2004 Sports Car International placed the 250 GT SWB seventh on its list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s. Motor Trend Classic placed it fifth on a list of the “10 Greatest Ferraris of All Time.”
18 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Volante Drop Head Coupe
The Aston Martin DB5 was famous for being the first James Bond car, in Goldfinger (1964), but it should be noted that Ralph Lauren’s version of the car is even cooler than Bond’s.
This luxury grand tourer was designed by Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera, an Italian company founded in 1925 and still running today. The car runs on a 4.0-liter inline-six engine capable of 282 horsepower.
The DB series was named after Sir David Brown, Aston Martin’s owner from 1947 to 1972. Only about 1,000 DB5s were ever produced, and much less DB5 Volantes were built. In 2017 a ’65 DB5 Drop Head Coupe was sold at auction for $2.7 million, making it the most expensive DB5 ever sold at auction.
17 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB NART Spyder
The Ferrari 275 GTB NART Spyder is a front-engined, V12-powered car produced between 1964 and 1968. After Enzo Ferrari called the Jaguar E-Type the “most beautiful car in the world,” in 1961, you can tell he borrowed heavily from its design to build this car. The rare NART Spyder was designed by Scaglietti, and it’s among the most valuable Ferraris ever made. Road & Track described it in a contemporary road test as “the most satisfying sports car in the world.” Motor Trend Classic ranked the 275 GTB as number three in their list of the “10 Greatest Ferraris of All Time.”
The NART Spyder was available from only one domestic dealer, Luigi Chinetti, and only 10 were built. One sold at auction in 2013 for $27.5 million, while another sold in 2005 for $3.96—the first ever produced, which Faye Dunaway drove in the 1968 film, The Thomas Crown Affair.
16 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic DropHead Coupe
Before Bugatti was creating the world’s fastest cars like the Veyron and Chiron, they were building the world’s most expensive and opulent luxury cars. Only 710 Bugatti Type 57s were ever built, designed by Jean Bugatti, the son of founder Ettore Bugatti.
Lauren’s was originally sold to a Bugatti enthusiast in Great Britain in 1938, and then it came into the possession of Ralph Lauren. He had a full restoration done with Paul Russell, and Russell and Co. were able to cut through past restoration work to revive the car back to its 1937 glory. The car was rewarded with Best of Show at Pebble Beach in 1990, and against at the Villa d’Este in 2013, among other top awards.
15 1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Spyder
The Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa is a race car that was built in the 1950s and 60s. It was introduced at the end of the 1957 season in preparation for regulations that would restrict sports cars to 3-liter engines for the Le Mans and World Sports Car Championships from 1958 onward. These cars dominated the competition, winning 10 World Sports Car Championship races between 1958 and 1961.
Only 34 of these cars were built, and after the 250 GTO it’s considered the second most valuable Ferrari in the world, with valuations of upwards of $8 million.
A 1957 Testa Rossa sold at auction in 2011 for $16.4 million, a new world record auction price for a car when inflation is ignored. In the mid-60s, the TR was valued much less and often sold for as low as $4,000. Kind of like the Superman #1 comic, if you had one… we bet you wished you held onto it.
14 1996 McLaren F1 LM
McLaren was absolutely the ultimate supercar creator of the 1990s, and the LM (“Le Mans”) version of the F1 was the best of the best. In 1998, the McLaren F1 set the Guinness World Record for world’s fastest production car, reaching 240.1 mph. It held onto the record until 2005 when the Koenigsegg CCR beat it, and then the Bugatti Veyron.
Only five F1 LMs were ever built, making it one of the rarest cars in the world. The weight was reduced, it was given a different transaxle, various aerodynamic modifications, and special 18-inch wheels, and an engine giving it 670 horsepower. Other notable owners of the F1 include Jay Leno (who said it was his favorite car out of his 180-plus), Elon Musk, and the Sultan of Brunei, but only Ralph Lauren owns the LM model (in terms of celebrity owners).
13 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder
The 550 Spyder is one of Porsche’s most well-known cars. It is still the standard that all lightweight Porsches are known for, even though it was built 63 years ago. It’s also infamous for being the car that James Dean's life was taken in while driving. The car was both a track and road car, which was rare to be both at the time. It was always in winning positions, usually finishing in the top three results in its class. James Dean’s “Little B*stard” was the exact same year and make as Ralph Lauren’s, and was one of the first of the 90 550s ever built.
12 1957 Jaguar XKSS
The Jaguar XKSS was a road-going version of the Jaguar D-type race car, built in 1957. Only 16 of them were built of the planned 25, until 2016 when Jaguar announced they were going to release the final 9 of the scheduled amount, just 59 years later.
The XKSS came to be when a number of D-types remained unsold after Jaguar’s withdrawal from the 1956 racing season. Sir William Lyons converted the cars to road-going specification.
Ralph Lauren’s XKSS is one of the original two D-types that were returned to Jaguar to be converted. Actor Steve McQueen owned one, which he referred to as the “Green Rat,” and another XKSS—along with a D-type and C-type—formed the pinnacle trifecta of the James Hull collection, a collection of 450 British cars that sold for £100 million in 2014.
11 1938 Alfa Romeo Mille Miglia Spyder
The 1938 Alfa Romeo Mille Miglia Spyder is one of only four team cars ever built by Alfa Romeo and Carrozzeria Touring. Ralph Lauren purchased the car in 2004 and had it restored back to its 1938 glory, which was quite glorious indeed. Alfa Corse, an in-house racing team for Alfa Romeo, took over the activities of Scuderia Ferrari in 1938, replacing many of their personnel (including Enzo Ferrari) to create this car. They used Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera roadster bodies, and the first car’s engine was tuned to 225 bhp, the second’s to 295 bhp.
These two cars finished first and second at the 1938 Mille Miglia. Two others didn’t finish the race, and Lauren owns one of these ultra-rare four.
10 1954 Ferrari 375 Plus
In 1953, Enzo Ferrari won the Auto Sport World Championship, and then decided to build a small series of cars that would be Scuderia’s latest voyage toward the World title. The 375 Plus was born, and only five of them were made. Aurelio Lampredi developed a powerful V12 engine of almost five liters and Pininfarina designed the body.
The car triumphed at Agadir, Silverstone, and Le Mans, and Umberto Maglioli famously won at the Carrera Panamericana, too. Ralph Lauren owns the fifth and final model of these extremely rare cars, and his particular car is responsible for winning the 1955 Buenos Aires 1000-kilometer race.
9 1929 Bentley 4 ½ Litre Blower
The Bentley 4 ½ Liter was a British car built by Walter Owen Bentley, who replaced the Bentley 3 Litre with a more powerful car by increasing its engine displacement to 4.4-L. The new chassis of the cars were fitted with various body styles, including saloons and tourers.
A total of 720 of these cars were built between 1927 and 1931, including 55 Blower Bentleys, called such because of their supercharged engines. A 4 ½ Litre Bentley won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1928.
The car also set several speed records, including the Bentley Blower No. 1 Monoposto in 1932 at Brooklands, recording a speed of 138 mph. Chief engineer W.O. Bentley refused to allow the engine to be modified, which resulted in the Roots-type supercharger to be added at the end of the crankshaft, giving the car a very distinctive look.
8 1955 Morgan Plus 4 DropHead Coupe
The Morgan Motor Company was very well known in the early- to mid-20th century, and the Morgan Plus 4 was one of their most powerful and luxurious models. Over 4,500 of these cars were produced between 1950 and 1969, and then again from 1985 to 2000, and from 2005 to the present.
This two-door beauty was originally fitted with a 2088 cc inline-four engine, giving it 68 horsepower and a top speed of 84 mph. It might not have been the fastest car of its day, but its jet-black paint job and classy looks certainly make up for it, and Ralph Lauren displays it prominently in his collection.
7 1933 Bugatti Type 59 Grand Prix
I wrote earlier that Bugatti was well-known for developing luxury cars well before they developed super-fast supercars, but that’s not entirely true. They were still known for their race cars, even in the 1930s.
The Type 59 was the final Bugatti racer of the 1930s. It used an enlarged 3.3-liter straight-eight engine from a Type 57, giving it 250 horsepower, and it sat in a modified Type 54 chassis.
The engine was lowered to create a better center of gravity, and the frame was lightened with a number of bullet-like holes drilled into the chassis. Only eight were ever made, and Ralph Lauren owns one.
6 1950 Jaguar XK120 Roadster
The Jaguar XK120 was a sports car manufactured between 1948 and 1954, and it was the first sports car from Jaguar since the SS 100 that ceased production in 1940. Jaguar initially meant to build just 200 of them, but thanks to the success of the car’s sales, they bumped that number up to 12,000.
The original engine was a 3.4-liter straight-six that gave the car 160 bhp. In 1949, The Motor magazine test-drove the car and reported a top speed of 124.6 mph, acceleration from 0-60 mph in 10.0 seconds, and a cost of £1,263. Nowadays, of course, you’d be hard-pressed to find one outside of the six-figure range.
5 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gull-Wing Coupe
It seems every super rich, car-loving celebrity has to own one a Mercedes-Benz 300SL in order to feel like they’re part of one of the most exclusive clubs in the world. With the distinctive gull-wing doors, this car is iconic and was absolutely successful in its day.
The 300SL was the first-ever production car with direct fuel injection, and it also held the world’s fastest top speed (160 mph). Between 1954 and 1963, 3,258 were built, and 1,400 of those were coupes like Lauren’s.
Today, the 300SL is one of the most collectible Mercedes models out there, with prices usually in the $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 range. Sports Car International named it the fifth best sports car of all time. A 1955 all-aluminum model was sold in 2012 for $4.62 million.
4 2006 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport
Ralph Lauren owns some of the most classic and iconic cars in his $300-million collection, cars from a bygone era, and he also owns some of the most expensive modern vehicles. The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport is one of these cars—the world’s fastest production car in the world.
In 2010, the Super Sport, with 1,184 horsepower coming from its 8.0-liter W16 engine, managed to hit a top speed of 267.856 mph (though it’s electronically limited to 258 mph, because 9 mph more than that is just too insane). (That was sarcasm.) The Super Sport has a price tag of $2.4 million, which means it’s not only the fastest production car in the world, it’s also one of the most expensive.
3 2010 Lamborghini Murciélago SuperVelonce
Though not quite as fast as the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, this special edition Lamborghini Murciélago is quite impressive. Only 350 of the LP 670-4 SuperVeloce were supposed to be built, though only 186 made it through production before the company started producing the Aventador.
This is the ultimate version of the Murciélago, with a reduced weight, an upgraded intake system, revised valve timing, and more.
Its 6,496 cc V12 engine produced 661 hp and a top speed of 211 mph. The car cost $400,000 in 2009, and only five or six of them are known to be produced with a manual transmission. Unfortunately, we aren’t sure if Ralph Lauren’s version is one of those.
2 1958 Mercedes-Benz Roadster
Out of all the cars Ralph Lauren owns, one of his favorite to drive is this 1958 Mercedes-Benz Roadster. It might not be as lavish, quick, or expensive as some of his others, but to him it feels the best. In a long interview with The Telegraph about his car collection, this was the car he was pictured driving and showing off. While driving the car, he explained that “I came to realize, that just as clothes tell you something, a car tells you something too.” And this car speaks volumes about his easy attitude on life: he owns no Rolls-Royces or Maseratis—he only owns cars he likes, including this awesome Mercedes that’s perfect for taking out on a sunny day.
1 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO
Last but not least is the cream of the crop, Ralph Lauren’s very own 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO. In a collection that includes some of the rarest and most expensive cars in the world in the $300-million menagerie, the GTO accounts for about 1/6th of that total.
The 250 GTO became famous for winning tons of racing events during its day, back when it cost just $18,000 and only buyers personally approved by Enzo Ferrari could own one.
In 2013, a collector bought one for a record-setting $52 million, and then again in 2018 a 1964 250 GTO sold for $70 million—more than any other car ever in existence. Motor Trend Classic has called it the greatest Ferrari of all time, and Popular Mechanics has named it the Hottest Car of All Time. And out of the 36 produced, Ralph Lauren owns one.
Sources: gq.com, odometer.com, shearcomfort.com, telegraph.co.uk