Britney Spears has captured the hearts of fans around the world for years. The singer first earned a spot on the Mickey Mouse Club, and quickly made the leap into super-stardom, when she released her first two albums, “Baby One More Time,” and “Oops! . . . I Did It Again” with both albums reaching platinum status.
She’s credited with reviving teen pop during the late0-1990s and early-2000s, and in 2012, she was the highest paid female musician of the year, earning $58 million, after having last topped the list in 2002. She has five #1 singles in the US, a Grammy, six MTV Video Music Awards, and was the eighth biggest artist of the 2000s.
She’s sold over 100 million records worldwide, and over 150 million bottles of perfume from her fragrance line (bringing in $1.5 billion, as of 2012), and was the best-selling female artist of the 2000s and fourth all time. Basically, she’s a big deal. But everyone knows all this. You’d have to live under a rock to not know the name Britney Spears, or her catchphrase, which isn’t appropriate for this article.
Britney’s also had some interesting car-related incidents, including accidents, bad situations with paparazzi and the media, and some cool cars in her garage. Her life hasn’t been all roses and rainbows, as most people know; her erratic behavior and hospitalization in the mid-2000s could have ended a lesser star’s career. But Britney bounced back, and is still adored by fans around the world.
Here are 19 car related facts about Britney Spears.
19 NASCAR Experience
Dressing up like a regular Evel Knievel, Britney Spears was named the Grand Marshal for the 43rd Pepsi 400 NASCAR race back in 2001, at the height of her popularity. She gave the command: “Gentlemen, start your engines!” in front of more than 200,000 rabid racing fans at the Daytona Speedway, during the first NASCAR broadcast of the year, in which millions of people were watching nationwide. She’s also performed at a Formula 1 event, alongside Bruno Mars, and has done a few Pepsi commercials in her time for NASCAR, so she has a bit of experience with the organization.
18 Minor Fender Bender
Back in May of 2008, when Britney Spears was in the midst of quite a quarter-life crisis, she ended up rear-ending a red Ford Explorer in Beverly Hills. A witness told People.com, “I think she was just distracted. She just tapped the other car in front of her.” Spears, 26 at the time, was driving her white Mercedes-Benz SL 65 and was leaving her Studio City home in LA when the fender bender happened. Her bodyguard, who was sitting in the passenger seat, got out of the car and gave the other female driver a business card. Police were not involved in the scene. A month prior, Spears had been involved in another fender-bender.
17 She Had Her Ferrari Repo’d From Her Ex-Husband
Back in 2005, headlines broke across all the media tabloids when word got out that Britney Spears had grown “increasingly tired of footing the bill for her baby daddy’s chau-luxe lifestyle,” according to Gawker, which prompted her to attempt to repossess the $200,000 Ferrari she’d bought for her husband, Kevin Federline. Gawker then said, “We assume she’ll still pay for his current room and board at the Beverly Hills Hotel, however, which kinda takes away from the effect of his punishment.” The news also made headlines across other tabloid media, trying to make a bigger deal out of the situation than it probably was.
16 The 2001 Rumor With Her And Justin Timberlake
Back when Britney and JT were both on top of the world (and probably the most popular celebrity couple around), a terrible rumor was spread that made national headlines (and got the DJs responsible for the rumor fired). The teen icons were reportedly in a car crash where they both perished, and the collective world mourned…for about a day. Then news came out that the couple was alive and well, after the pair of San Jose DJs called Kramer and Twitch let the “news” fly that the accident led to Spears’ demise and left Timberlake in a coma. The rumors led to a conspiracy theory that Spears and JT were both cloned, but we won’t dignify that conspiracy with a response.
Britney was involved in another car accident in 2008 (her third in two years), when she was driving her Mercedes in stop-and-go traffic and failed to stop. She rear-ended a 2006 Nissan, which then was pushed into a third car. Of course, media outlets saw it as an opportunity to lead with outrageous headlines ala “Britney Spears causes three-car pile-up!” and the like, but it was really much less damaging and exciting than that. It must’ve been more than a fender bender if she managed to push a car into another one, but no one was seriously injured in the accident.
14 She Attacked A Paparazz0’s Car With An Umbrella
This one you probably already knew, because it made national headlines when Britney was going through her strangest phase. In the infamous 2007 incident, a troubled Britney attacked a paparazzo’s car with a green umbrella. In a strange turn of events, 10 years later, the paparazzo—named Daniel Ramos, who somehow had possession of the umbrella in question—put the historic item up for sale. Apparently, he was in the process of making a movie and needed financing, of which he hoped the umbrella would help—hoping it would bring in $50,000. He said to TMZ that he thought Britney was “in a good place,” and he was ready to part with the legendary item.
13 Another Paparazzo
Britney Spears, perhaps, doesn’t deal with overwhelming paparazzi as well as some other celebs, because it seems a car accident is never far from their overbearing presence. In 2009, she managed to scrape a parked car while she was trying to park, and it happened to be in front of quite a few photographers. She then parked, got out of her car, and left the scene to go shopping, which was a bad mistake. The 25-year-old assessed the damage to her own car and left to shop—with no note or anything—but the driver of the other car, 59-year-old Kim Robard-Rifkin, a registered nurse, filed a police report.
12 Fallout From Prior Incident
Robard-Rifkin was sad that no one from Britney’s camp contacted her, saying, “It’s sad… it was simply like my car didn’t matter to her, my inconvenience didn’t matter to her.” Two days later, Britney turned herself in and was booked on hit-and-run charges and driving without a license. The singer spent 45 minutes being photographed and fingerprinted at the station, then she left. The singer could’ve been fined $1,000 and punished with up to six months in prison if convicted, but the charges were dropped after a plea bargain was reached, and Britney was put on probation for a year. She also got herself a license during that time (and she’d already had one in Louisiana).
11 The Toddler Incident
Paparazzi and the media like to make a big deal about everything, but this is a blunder that could have easily been avoided on Spears’ part, and it was not good for her image. On February 9, 2006, Spears was seen driving a car with her infant son in her lap. She told Billboard.com that she had “made a mistake” by driving a car with her son in her lap, and she then claimed paparazzi had been hounding her when she left a coffee shop. She said an encounter with “physically aggressive” photographers caused her to peel out of the parking lot without first strapping her 5-month-old baby, Sean, into his car seat.
10 Her Mercedes-Benz G 55 AMG
Britney has owned multiple Mercedes-Benz cars during her lifetime, including a G 55 “G-Wagen” that a lot of celebrities love to drive around in. She’s been seen driving and getting in and out of the vehicle multiple times, though more during the early 2000s. The G 55 AMG debuted in 1999 as the most powerful G-Class Mercedes, with 354 horsepower on tap. The car launched in the US in 2001, and in 2004 it was upgraded with a supercharged V8 engine that pushed out 476 horsepower. In 2007, the output of the G55 was raised even further, to 500 horsepower.
9 Her Smart Car
On the other end of the spectrum, Britney has been seen putting around town in a Smart Car, also white (like the G 55). Celebrity Cars Blog showed photos of her getting into the car and claimed that perhaps X-Factor co-star Simon Cowell had told her it was a good idea to drive the small, inconspicuous car. US Magazine claimed that “Britney Spears Blasting Around in Smart ForTwo is Questionable,” saying the convertible with the blacked out wheels would make her the second X-Factor star to own a Brabus Smart (Simon Cowell being the other). US Magazine then surmised that maybe “picking up one of these utterly useless city cars would get her back in Cowell’s good graces.”
8 Her Jaguar XK
A little classier than her Smart ForTwo is her pristine, white Jaguar XK. Celebrity Cars Blog again had another snarky remark about the convertible and Spears, saying, “Would you buy one if you had 80-100k or would you go for something else? We can think of quite a few other rides we’d go for over the Jag.” But Auto Land Daily gave her a bit more credit, saying, “Britney definitely has style. The XK has beautiful lines (just like Britney)… more classic than the more polarizing XJ but still very well, especially in a convertible.” The $85,000 car came equipped with a 5.0-liter, 385-hp V8 engine and could do 0-60 in 4.2 seconds.
7 Her Maserati Gran Turismo
Perhaps her coolest car is her Maserati Gran Turismo, also white (though she has a black one also, it seems), which she has been seen driving around in. In her own song, “Work B***h,” she sings, “You want a Maserati? You better work, b****.” Well, it seems she took her own advice. She was spotted taking her Maserati for a spin on an October Saturday in 2015, after taking a break from her Las Vegas show at the time. She drove around with her older brother, Bryan, and daughter, Lexie, taking them for a cruise around LA with the soft-top roof up to hide from the scorching heat. Spears bought the Italian luxury car in July 2015, for nearly $200,000.
6 Her Mini Cooper
Britney also owns at least one convertible Mini Cooper, another small city car that has quite a bit more get-up than the Smart ForTwo, and a bit more space. When spotted driving around in the white Cooper, Celebrity Cars Blog noted that it “looks like the convertible Mercedes CLK was not cutting it for Britney Spears when she recently hopped out in a white convertible Mini Cooper. No word on why we have not seen Britney in her old Ferrari 360 Modena but she sure does look like she is enjoying herself in this car.” This was back in 2007. A brand new Mini Cooper starts at $21,900.
5 Her Mercedes-Benz CLK
Perhaps the most frequently-driven car (or at least that paparazzi have seen) that Britney owns was her black Mercedes-Benz CLK, which she put for sale on eBay in 2011. It seems that she opted for a BMW at the time, thinking it was a better car, which led her to trade-in the car for a BMW 328i, which she had painted white. Her “old” CLK wasn’t her first Mercedes, of course: she’s also owned a G 55 G-Wagen and a white SL 500. For a car around the age of her CL (probably a 2009 model), they can go for $6,000 to $18,000 these days, though we expect a car owned by Britney would fetch a lot more.
4 Her Mercedes-Benz SL 500
Britney owned a 2008 Mercedes-Benz SL500 convertible for approximately six years, from 2002 to 2008. She was frequently spotted driving around LA with the top down and her blonde hair whipping around. The roadster had a clean and sleek look, and based on the reputation of the SL-Series, Celebritycarwatcher.com thought it was “a fast car.” Then the writer at Celebritycarwatcher went on a ridiculous rant saying, “I don’t know about you, but in my unsolicited opinion, it does not fit a woman like Britney Spears, or any other woman for that matter, simply because I would personally prefer this fast, luxury car roamed by guys around.” Unsolicited, indeed…
3 Her BMW 328i
In 2011, a headline by Autoevolution read “Britney Spears Thinks a White BMW is Better than a CLK,” and showed a picture of a smiling Britney getting out of her brand new BMW 328i. Mercedes and BMW have always been top choices among celebrities from the USA, and Autoevolution said, “but opinions are still divided on which one is best and which is more appropriate for a Hollywood diva.” As if it’s anyone’s business! The pop singer seemed very satisfied with her choice of 3 Series, which ranged from $37,000 to $50,000. She definitely looks happy driving around in this car, so her trade-in for her Mercedes CLK must have been worth it.
2 Her Ferrari 360 Modena
There has been lots of drama surrounding Britney Spears and her Ferrari 360 Modena, but here are some of the highlights. In 2001, she crashed her Ferrari and had to shell out $25,000 to fix it after almost seriously hurting herself in the process. In 2006, Access Hollywood noted that paparazzi tailing Britney on a highway through Malibu put down their cameras to help the pop star when her car suddenly broke down. The photographers helped Britney and her brother, Bryan, push the disabled Ferrari to the side of the road and then stayed alongside Britney until police came and transported them home.
1 She Loves Riding ATVs With Her Sons
A picture has surfaced from More.com that shows Britney Spears riding (with a helmet on—yay) a four-wheeler ATV on a dirt road, with her son placed firmly in front of her (also with a helmet on). Apparently, Britney has quite the adventurous spirit and More noted that “Britney can be adventurous on and off stage. One of her favorite outdoor activities is riding four-wheelers with her two sons.” That hobby probably also led to rubbing off on others in her family, which might have led to a later accident with her neice, though details are fuzzy.
Sources: Auto Evolution, People, Celebrity Cars Blog, and Billboard.