Standing tall just an inch more than six feet, John Cena made his debut in the wrestling world in 1999 at the age of 29. While that seems to be pretty old to enter a profession, worry not, for he had been professionally bodybuilding before that and played Division III football prior to that.
Winning 25 championships, including the world championship, which he won numerous times, he's been the face of WWE since 2000; veteran WWE stars like Kurt Angle and John Layfield have showered him with highest accolades. And the public... the public can't seem to stop loving him.
And rightfully so. As he continued to dominate the WWE world, he also started making appearances in movies and TV shows in addition to sporadically producing rap music. He's starred in a handful of hit films, such as The Marine, Trainwreck, and Sisters and also had some success with his music career, as his 2005 rap album went on to make it to #15 on the Billboard 200. Along with these, he's a fashion enthusiast and philanthropist, with notable contributions through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
But more important for this piece, he also is a car enthusiast—a muscle car enthusiast to be exact. Perhaps, it’s only befitting that such a muscular guy loves, duh... muscle cars. He owns over 20 cars, and some of these are one of a kind. So, let’s take a look at what John Cena keeps in his numerous garages and driveways, as I’m pretty sure it’s challenging to fit these in just one place.
20 1969 AMC AMX
The two-seater, grand-tourer AMC AMX was produced from 1968 to 1970. Categorized not only as a sports car but also as a muscle car, it was unique because of the shorter wheelbase compared to other muscle cars out there. Because Chevrolet Corvette had been the American sports car throughout the second half of the 20th century, when the two-seater AMX came out, it was often seen as the competitor of the Corvette. The two-door coupe had various engine options, from a lowly 4.8-liter 225-HP V-8 to an enormous 6.4-liter 325-HP V-8; the transmission was available as a four-speed manual floor shift, which was the standard, and as a three-speed automatic on console. While it offered a colossal amount of power, it cost less than the Corvette, making it a more affordable choice.
19 1969 COPO Chevrolet Camaro
The origin of the COPO Chevy Camaro is rather interesting. When the Camaro showed its face in the market, higher management decided that it couldn’t have an engine bigger than 6.6 liters. Not wanting to be any less than the Ford Mustang, the Plymouth Barracuda, or the Dodge Dart, due to the newly imposed restriction, Yenko Chevrolet—a Chevrolet dealership in Pennsylvania—developed a modified Camaro in a way that neither broke the rules of decree nor curbed Camaro’s potential. How? Yenko started fitting the Corvette’s 7-liter engine in the SS Camaro. Although powerful enough for racing, these 450 HP-producing beasts were still not allowed on the drag strip because they weren't made by Chevrolet. Just like any sane entity, Chevy officially did the same but just named these the Central Office Production Order (COPO). And, as you probably guessed it, the COPOs were allowed to race.
18 1966 Dodge Hemi Charger 426
He owns the very first generation of the Dodge Charger, something which has evolved into what a Charger is today: awesome. Coming out in 1966, it was heavily borrowed from the mid-size Coronet and used the Chrysler B platform. The basic model had a 5.2-liter V-8 engine mated to a three-speed floor shifter, although one certainly had the option of making it more powerful. The addition of 325 bhp was pretty common to the already 500HP-producing beast. You look at the car, and you think to yourself, “It’s a classic car.” I agree, but back in the days, people weren’t exactly rushing out to buy this car. Nevertheless, built to compete with the likes of Ford Mustang, it and Rambler Marlin ended up creating a new standard for the radical fastback design.
17 1969 Dodge Daytona
Here, we have one of the two NASCAR-built cars. The 1969 Daytona was essentially a modified Charger, created after the limited-edition 1960 Chargers failed to live up to expectations on the track. Out came the limited-edition 1969 Dodge Daytona, the high-performance version of the Charger with only one mission in life: to win high-profile NASCAR races. And victory did it have in the very first race at the inaugural Talladega 500 with its rear-deck wing and metal-sheet nosecone. Despite the race being a bit wobbly due to top names not being present to race, the racing driver broke the record for speed, reaching 200 mph at Talladega. You might recall this from one of the Fast & Furious series. A 1969 Daytona lookalike appeared in the Fast & Furious 6, but despite what the film intended to show, it actually was a modified Charger.
16 1970 AMC Rebel The Machine
Okay, off to the year 1970! The AMC Rebel, produced from 1967 to 1970, was the successor to the Rambler Classic. It’s a mid-sized car that was available as a two-door sedan, a four-door sedan, and a limited four-door station wagon. Although Rebel-production only lasted for three years, about eight different engines were made available, with five transmission options. The Rebel model was famous not only in the U.S. but also in Europe, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand, where the Rebel model continued to be built under the name of Rambler. The Machine was a variant of the Rebel produced in 1970. Brightly colored in white with red and blue stripes in the factory setting, it was a high-performance—6.4-liter 340-HP V-8, to give you some idea—low-cost muscle car. Nice pick, Cena... nice pick.
15 1970 Buick GSX
This one looks gorgeous right off the bat. The hood has two small grilles, while the front-end also has one grille, both of which really give the car the amazing look it has. The rear view also tantalizes one with the low-mounted wing. In general, Buick used the name "GS" to signify Gran Sport, which has been utilized for various performance-captivating cars. The GSX, in particular, was Buick’s muscle car in an era when people were enthralled by the magic of muscle cars and couldn’t wait to have their own. A few other muscle cars of that time include the Pontiac GTO Judge and the Plymouth Hemi Cuda. In addition to a stunning exterior, it also had a luxurious interior. But wait - there's more. At 510 lb-ft, Buick GSX (or 455 more specifically) held the record for the largest torque available to an American production performance car for 33 years!
14 1970 Plymouth Superbird
And here's the other developed-specifically-for-NASCAR car. This two-door coupe was a highly modified version of the Plymouth Road Runner and incorporated engineering changes from the failures and glories of the ’69 Charger Daytona; it carried over the aerodynamically favorable nosecones and rear-deck wings. It had various powertrain options: 426 Hemi V8, 440 Super Commando V8 or 440 Super Commando Six Barrel V-8 for the engine; four-speed manual and three-speed automatic Torqueflite 727 for transmission. Generally, the Superbirds had the over-the-top performing 7-liter Hemi engine, generating 425 HP to take the car from zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. With this extreme prowess, the 1970 Superbird won eight races. Much like other good things, it struggled to gain people’s attention, initially, but picked up the pace eventually.
13 1970 Chevrolet Nova
Unlike a lot of other cars on the list, this one was aimed to be a car for the masses—and that’s no secret. According to designer Clare MacKichan, the production of this car had a very short turnaround time. Neither the engineers nor the designers pondered over the nature or complexity of the car. They had a deadline, and they worked diligently to meet the deadline of producing it before its predetermined introduction; the first car was produced within 18 months after the designers got the green signal—one of the fastest turnaround times in Chevy’s production history. It wasn't meant to revolutionize the world of cars or drivers but just to act as the to-go car for everyone. A quick glance shows it to have fulfilled those needs. In fact, it was the first car legally driven by Cena.
12 1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator
While Ford decided to stop the production of the Mercury brand in 2011, it did have some good years and some good models when Mercury was still in production. Mercury Cougar was a nameplate given to some of the cars—mainly two-door coupes and occasionally to convertibles, station wagons, hatchbacks, and four-door sedans—from 1967 to roughly 2002. Not wanting to fall behind the pony car race, Mercury created its own pony car, the Cougar in 1967; the Eliminator was an additional package in the third year of the first-generation Cougar. While the standard Eliminator was equipped with a 5.8-liter four-barrel Windsor V-8 engine, other more ferocious engines were also available—from mild to wild, the Cougar Eliminator had it all. It also had a blacked-out grille and front and rear spoilers and was available in a wide variety of colors with the signature stripes.
11 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass Rallye 350
The Oldsmobile Cutlass is a decent old line of automobiles of General Motors. Production began in the early '60s and permanently ended just a year before 2000. While Cutlasses were meant to be the smallest entry-level cars for Oldsmobile customers, over time, variants also emerged. The reason behind going compact was more financial than anything else. The ‘60s was the time when insurance companies started gaining momentum in the automotive industry and when environmentalists became a bit more Earth-conscious, leading to all those lovely, pain-free emission rules and regulations (I wish my sarcasm could jump out of the screen). Only 3,547 Rallyes were made, and they didn’t do too hot in the market. While classic now, they had unsightly yellow bumpers, which forced dealerships to outfit some of them with chrome bumpers. Nonetheless, it’s a solid car now.
10 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge
That was a rather long list of cars made in the ‘70s that Cena owns; here's his last 1970-produced car. Cena seems to be a fan of the Pontiac GTO, especially the Judge package—he owns a ’69 Carousel Red Pontiac GTO Judge, a ’70 Cardinal Red Pontiac GTO Judge and a ’71 Black Pontiac GTO Judge! It seems that the 1970 GTO Judge was his first muscle car.
Pontiac was short-lived, being under the umbrella of General Motors from 1964 to 1974 in the U.S. and by subsidiary Holden in Australia from 2004 to 2006. The Judge was a new model of the GTO, with its name being adopted from a comedy routine. But even in the standard setting, let alone with the extra features, the car was no joke.
9 1971 Ford Torino GT
Moving along swiftly through the list, we come to his collections from 1971. Unlike some others, this make was relatively short-lived, lasting only eight years. Named after the city of Turin—which, if you're not familiar with Italy, is the Detroit of Italy—this car’s niche was in the intermediate size, mildly competing with Mercury Montego. Although available in many body styles, the Cobra-Jet engine—an immensely powerful, 7-liter 385 series V-8 engine—was only available as a two-door SportsRoof. The Cobra-Jet engines had been initially implemented in the year 1968 and, by 1970, nothing much had changed with regard to the power. Don’t let a raucous name like "Cobra-Jet" fool you, though; the car looks amazing from the outside, especially with the factory stripes.
8 1971 AMC Hornet SC/360
As I was watching some of his interviews and reading a little more about him, I came to realize that the rarity of a car matters a lot. Out of all of these listed, he loves the Hornet SC/360 the most because of the exclusivity of the car. Sure, he owns some of the really pricey cars on the list, cars that would cost the average human an arm and leg, but the Hornet SC/360 remains at the top of his all-time favorites. Not a lot of SC/360s exist in the world. So, he literally can go to any car show in his SC/360 and receive a lot of attention (minus the attention received from stardom, of course) because of the one-of-a-kind status of this car. I highly doubt any of the other cars here would get him similar attention, except for the second one on the list maybe!
7 1971 Plymouth Road Runner
You might have thought of the cartoon character Road Runner when you read the car’s name. And there's a direct relationship—Plymouth did pay a hefty sum of $50,000 to Warner Bros.-Seven Arts to use not only the name and fame of the established cartoon character but also the memorable “beep, beep” horn.
In continuing with the styling trends of the time, the Road Runner saw a more roundedness to get that “fuselage” design going; the wheelbase was shortened a little and the length elongated to achieve some of the effect. Even though you might think they would cut corners since the Road Runner was developed as a more affordable muscle-car alternative to its upscale GTX, the interior and speed continued to see an improvement. With this 1971 Plymouth Road Runner, we come to a halt in Cena’s 1971 collection.
6 1989 Jeep Wrangler
Right after he signed a contract way, way back in the days, he treated himself to a 1989 Jeep Wrangler, his first car just after stepping into the WWE world. The Jeep was his beater; he would drive it everywhere he went. For a big guy like him, it was a perfect car with no rooftop or any other hindrances. He modified it later with tire lifts, aftermarket rims, and head/tail light guards. The one thing he really likes about the Jeep is his ability to modify it as he sees fit—it has no side mirrors or roofs but has a defunct antenna, which he intentionally installed to make it look cool. While he states the Wrangler takes two weeks to go 0-60 mph (in reality, it took him about 22 seconds), he intends on never selling the Jeep.
5 2006 Dodge Viper
Wow, I guess we've moved on to 2006, ditching the 1970s behind us. The Viper model has been in production since 1988 up to the present, although there was a short pause of three years from 2010 to 2013. The 2006 Viper was part of the third generation, and was available as either a two-door roadster or a two-door coupe. There were stark changes from the previous generation of Vipers when the Street and Racing Technology group started influencing the design. The T56 Tremec six-speed manual transmission and the odd firing 8.3-liter V-10 produced 500 HP and 525 lb-ft of torque; the powertrain was able to provide a respectable 0-60mph time of 3.8 seconds for the roadster - and even less for the coupe. Overall, the look was enticing, although it reminded me of one of the Lotus models.
4 2006 Rolls-Royce Phantom
This is unique in that it's not exactly an American muscle car. But it's also unique because despite not being a muscle car, it's not your average car either; it's as heavy as some of the Humvees but more luxurious and faster... It's a Rolls Royce Phantom, the king of luxury sedans. If you ever got a chance to ride any one of these, you'd know luxury is available in any corner in the car, from front to rear, one side to the other. There's a small refrigerator in the back seat, along with an infotainment system for the backseat passengers—kind of like the one you have on planes. Cena rides in the Phantom when traveling with his family and also when traveling with other important personnel.
3 2009 Corvette ZR1
You know how sometimes you don’t do some things because literally everyone on the planet does it? Well, Cena felt the same way about Corvette; he was anti-Corvette precisely because everyone else was the biggest fan of the Vette—or at least he was until the arrival of the 2009 Corvette ZR1. When he heard the ZR1 was coming out, he tried to get it... And loved it when he got his own serial number 73. The engine, the handling, the braking—the whole performance—is just top-notch, according the Cena. And who wouldn’t like the ZR1? With the 6.2-liter V-8 engine producing a whopping 638 hp and 604 lb-ft of torque, the car is built for high-performance and speed. By the way, at 14-mpg-city, the gas mileage isn’t too bad either.
2 2013 Custom Corvette CR InCENArator
This is a ludicrous car, and I mean that in a positive way. I mean, I feel like it was custom-built. Oh wait - it was! Manufactured by Parker Brothers Concepts that custom-builds vehicles and concept cars for various businesses, including movies, this car rode through Gumball 3000 and even featured in the film Dream Machines. And why would it not? Cena had instructed them to foresee how cars of the year 3000 would turn out and to build one accordingly. I think the Parker Brothers took that quite literally and somehow managed to venture into the future—they nailed it. If you look at it, it looks big yet sporty; one has to tread along the hood to get in the driver seat, but at the heart of it is a 5.5-liter V-8 engine of the old American Corvette.
1 2017 Ford GT
This is an all-American supercar built by Ford for the people of the States. With an aluminum front and rear frames, a carbon-fiber body, and a 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 engine, this beauty generates almost 650 hp. Available are numerous options to customize the exterior of this already-beautiful, stylish car; the interior is just over-the-top. Production is limited as the online application states Ford would allow the car to be owned by someone who had a good reason to own the car. And who would be a better candidate than the American-car-lover John Cena? Yep, he was one of the few recipients of the car. Despite the pending lawsuit because Cena sold the car prematurely for monetary gain, it's a true American supercar for an authentic American car collector.
Sources: en.wikipedia.org; motor1.com; wikipedia.org
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