Modern culture is dominated by celebrities, with people in the public eye acting as their own brands. Especially in America, celebrity culture is huge, with an entire industry revolving around celebrity news and gossip. Many people care about their favorite celebrity's actions, love life, and fashion sense.
However, to others, it all comes down to what a celebrity is driving. With more money than the average Joe, celebrities' choice in an automobile is usually that of the prestigious; you know, the imported and expensive kind. However, some have fun with their money, buying custom made cars that reflect their own personal identities.
Ever since the Back to the Future film series, the DeLorean has become a pop culture artifact of the 1980s. Nowadays, the car continues to represent the age of big hair, bulky computers, and neon colors. Although the DeLorean is notorious for being underpowered, its legacy makes it heavily sought after. Enter primary songwriter of The Black Eyed Peas, Will.I.Am, who seems to hold the DeLorean close to his heart.
The singer got his DeLorean customized beyond recognition, making this ‘80s relic look like a new-age space ship. The one of a kind design does not care for power, preferring to focus all of its efforts on being chic and modern.
Most celebrities buy their cars for their design and mph. However, few celebrities are able to make history with their custom rides. British actor Idris Elba, known for The Wire, broke the long-lasting UK land speed record in his custom Bentley Continental GT, topping out at just over 180 miles per hour.
The “Flying Mile” was the land speed record set by Sir Malcolm Campbell in 1927; in 2015, Elba and his GT just barely managed to break it. While most celebrities can buy a fantastic sports car, few own a car that has made history.
It can be difficult for Americans to remember that soccer (or football to the rest of the world) is the biggest sport in the entire world. Millions and millions of dollars are funneled into FIFA and the soccer industry every year, being an extremely lucrative market. With this in mind, it is no surprise that one of the biggest soccer stars of the 21st century, David Beckham, has a taste for the finer things in life (especially cars).
One of Beckham's most jaw-dropping purchases is that of a custom Aston Martin V8 Vantage in fire red. The 1988 car was from an extremely limited run and has a unique V8 engine fine-tuned for racing.
Celebrities often become famous off the back of a vibrant personality, creating a distinct vision of themselves for the public to latch on to and consume. In the last decade, few celebrities have formed a more identifiable image in the public mind than rapper Nicki Minaj, known for her bad girl attitude and sarcastic comparisons to Barbie.
To further cement this larger than life image, Nicki picked up a Lamborghini Aventador custom made in her trademark color: Neon pink. In this case, the driver and the car support and reflect each other. Like Nicki, the car's appearance is a strange mixture of loud, mean, and sugar sweet.
For decades, Rolls-Royce has been a symbol of status, driven by celebrities the world over. However, no Rolls-Royce is quite like John Lennon's custom Phantom V. The fantastic part of custom cars is that they are specifically tailored to the driver, reflecting their style and preferences. This car's psychedelic paint job perfectly suits the ex-Beatle, being the only car one could imagine the Walrus himself driving.
With his Phantom V, Lennon was challenging the notion of class, taking a car that represents prestige and class, and turning it into a technicolor clown car. While many in the ’60s found the paint job to be blasphemy, John Lennon's Phantom V has become a piece of history, perfectly displaying the changing landscape of the 1960s.
When car shopping, many celebrities go for the classics, buying cars from decades before they were even born. This is nice and all, but what is an older celebrity to do? Eric Clapton, the legendary guitarist and member of ’60s supergroup Cream, has seen many cars in his day, and no longer wants to look back.
Already a rabid Ferrari fan, Clapton teamed up with the Italian car manufacturer in 2012 to design his own custom 458. Everything about the car is custom, from the engine to the aesthetic, taking cues from classic Ferrari makes, while keeping the performance and amenities modern.
Professional skateboarder and MTV star Rob Dyrdek, with his selection of custom car, has taken things back to the era of the muscle car. Dyrdek's 1969 Chevrolet Camaro may be refurbished, but nothing about this car says modern. From the paint to the engine, everything about this classic Camaro points back in time, making it perform and look like it just came off the assembly line.
It has come out recently that Chevrolet will discontinue the Camaro brand in 2023, to the disappointment of car enthusiasts the world over. However, those like Dyrdek will always keep the brand alive, having their Camaros customized to preserve the past.
Some celebrities, simply put, just cannot get enough of the spotlight. This most certainly is the case for pop icon Justin Bieber, who has made headlines for a decade now. This spirit of attention-grabbing manifested itself when Bieber took his Fisker Karma and had it wrapped head to toe in chrome.
The Karma was transformed from a beautiful sports car to an attention magnet, reflecting the LA sun for blocks around. Much like Bieber's past antics, the car got international press, with the whole world commentating on the tastelessness of the chrome job. No matter the conclusion, all must agree that this Fisker Karma is wholly unique.
Many celebrities use their money to purchase luxury imported automobiles, often from automotive powerhouses in Germany and Italy. However, some want something that screams classic American automotive. Lady Gaga is one of those celebrities, filling her garage with American beauties.
Gaga's custom El Camino is the perfect middle ground of Chevy automobiles: Half truck and half car. This custom, jet black El Camino is a classic piece of car history, as the car becomes more unique every year. Gaga's ride is quintessentially cool, bringing back the best elements of 1970s American cars.
In the world of celebrities, some leave behind the road for the skies, with private jets being a symbol of wealth and success. However, former late-night talk show host Jay Leno has been able to combine these two worlds by partnering with General Motors and airline EcoJet.
The fruit of this labor is Jay Leno's custom EcoJet. Using a turbine engine meant for a helicopter, the EcoJet earns its name for traveling at insane speeds. Currently, the car is truly one of a kind and has been added to Jay Leno's extensive collection of interesting and amazing cars.