American professional wrestler John Cena, now known for his deep bass that made for a great voice in Disney's Ferdinand, is known to have a bigger car collection than he does titles for his World Wrestling Entertainment career. Cena may not be the holder of the most titles in the WWE, but he sure knows a whole lot about automobiles compared to some of his WWE counterparts (and other celebrities) because he seems to not just live, but also breathe cars.
His huge car collection, most of which are muscle cars which fit in really well with his physique and personality, is one that continues to draw continuous attention. This secret car guru, who doubles as an actor, is one of the biggest personalities today in the wrestling world, with a net worth of about $55 million, and a huge fan base.
Cena's taste seems more of a blast-from-the-past one, keeping with the true American spirit. He's even a car vlogger, reviewing cars on YouTube via The Bella Twins and Auto Geek channels, where he charms us with his wit and his genuine excitement over the cars that come through his driveway. You may not learn the deep stuff in the automotive industry, but you'll definitely have fun watching what he's up to. We checked out some of his rides, and here are ten we like, and ten we just aren't feeling right now.
20 Feeling It: 1966 Dodge Hemi Charger
Among Cena's impressive cars in his collection of classics and modern cars is this 1966 Dodge Hemi Charger. Dodge muscle cars are known to be among the fastest and wildest, what with their history of winning America's dragstrips even before they joined the hall of fame of the fastest and wildest street-going cars. The first Charger created had a fastback roofline, lots of chrome, and bucket seats in the interior, hidden headlamps, center consoles, full-width taillamps, and a Coronet hardtop.
The engine was a standard 318-cid V8, with an option 325 base horsepower upgrade that would take the car through the quarter at a top speed of 85 mph in 16 seconds. Dodge is known for bringing Chrysler's 426 Hemi V8 engine to the masses.
The engine, introduced as a race engine back in 1964, had a street version in 1966, which put Dodge Charger on the muscle car map, which in turn birthed the ultimate Dodge Charger, with an actual horsepower of nearly 500, though Dodge advertised it at 425. This, together with firmer springs, bigger brakes and front discs raised the price of the car, which Dodge pitched as Beauty and the Beast. Only 468 out of the over 37,000 Chargers built got the Hemi engine. We like it!
19 Feeling It: 1969 AMC AMX
The AMC AMX cars debuted in 1968 as the first steel-bodied, two seater (rear seat was eliminated) since Ford's 1957 Thunderbird. It was created by American Motors Experimental (AMX), who added a few slight changes to the second model like the Magnum 500 steel road wheels no longer came chrome plated but got a stainless steel trim ring.
The 1969 model, which Cena owns, has a 390 cid V8 engine rated at 315 base horsepower, with a 3-speed automatic transmission at the center, and plenty of performance. This more aggressive-looking car is also shorter, and chunkier, with a long hood and fastback rear, a simple grille with the AMX badge, slim taillights, and an all round nice look. Inside, AMC nailed the muscle car look with bucket seats, twin cockpit dash, and a wood-grained center stack and console, plus a factory AM radio at the center of the dash. The trunk is also very spacious complete with a factory-style mat, spare tire and jack. This car's engine is one of AMC's most potent, and its throaty sound definitely gives off the performance potential of the car, and it rides well too. What we're not sure is whether Cena actually fits in this car, but overall, its not so bad.
18 Feeling It: 1969 Chevy Camaro ZL1
This car's engine was a modified (lightly) version of that used in the Can-Am Chaparral race car, and it featured a four-barrel carburetor, aluminum head and block, plus wet sump lubrication, and developed about 500 horsepower. This made the car one of the most powerful in a production vehicle sold by GM.
Its 396 SS body could run mid-13s at America's drag strips direct from the factory, even with its heavy-duty suspension and four-speed manual transmission, but it was twice the price of a standard V8 Camaro.
Either way, it was powerful and pretty fast, going beyond the 427 Yenko and L88 Corvette, to a place only the chosen few of muscle cars tread. The car is fully street-legal, and is fitted with factory stock tires and dual exhausts, and all these features raised the car's value, with only 20 or so ZL1s going into the organized drag racing. Cena owns this red 1969 COPO Chevrolet Camaro, with its white letter tires, and funny enough, back in 1969, Camaro customers wanted 427 big blocks, so Chevy figured out how to work around GM's ban on installing engines over 400 cubic inches in the Camaro, and so this car was built. Currently, this car can set you back anywhere between $135,000 to $255,000, so its a car of value. What's not to like about it?
17 Feeling It: 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona
Cena doesn't just buy cars for the sake of buying them, but because he enjoys them, and each of his cars has a story. Part of his huge car collection reflects his love for the NASCAR history, for which this 1969 Dodge Daytona was part of. In those days, Ford and Dodge slugged it out on the track and these cars, despite how ugly they looked, were made for competing on the track.
The Daytona has its iconic 23 inch stabilizer wing, with a sheet metal nose cone that sits in place of a traditional grill found on non-limited edition versions of the car. Only 505 units of this car were built for its model year, and it had the most conspicuous styling of all Dodge cars. it is quite fast, with many performance options such as a Hurst shifted 4-speed manual transmission, 440 Magnum engine, dual-breaker distributor, and an A34 Super Track Pak among others. It also had power front disc brakes that handled its power, and a heavy duty suspension, with black bucket seats on the interior, a black dash with a variety of instruments including a combination clock, AM radio, and wood grain-rimmed steering. Its road-going version had a Hemi 426, 7-liter engine that produced 425 horsepower. The pointed snout is added for good measure, with an adjustable stabilizer on the rear deck that had twin fins and a horizontal wing. We like this one too.
16 Feeling It: 1970 AMC Rebel Machine
The 1970 AMC Rebel Machine may not look all that from the exterior, in fact it may be mistaken for lack of power, but it is an ultimate muscle car, a rebel machine. While its SC/Rambler version from 1969 didn't survive into 1970, this Machine version did, and AMC pursued the idea of this car with a vengeance.
It was a pretty good performer, and like its predecessor, it had a ram-air 390-cid V8 engine rated at 340 base horsepower, with a big hood scoop, Hurst-shifted 4-speed transmission, and extra heavy-duty suspension.
It also had top-notch cornering ability, with its E60X15 tires, but it was a one year only model, after the first about 1000 units or so were built. AMC started offering it in any color, but without the stripes, and although AMC was a bit late for the muscle car party, its contribution to the solid muscle cars group was formidable. This car was the best of the pack, providing muscle car options any gearhead would want, and has become a bonafide legend in muscle car history. As Cena said, every car has a story, and clearly, this AMC Rebel Machine fits right into history, an unforgettable Machine you don't just mess around with.
15 Feeling It: 1970 Buick GSX Stage 1
GM had put a limit on engines over 400 cubic inches but in 1970, it lifted the 400-cid limit on intermediate models, unleashing some of the fastest cars, among them this 1970 Buick GSX, which also forms part of Cena's car collection. The Buick's performance was based on the midsize Skylark with fresh styling adding to its body length two inches, and replacing the 400-cid with the GS 455 or 455 V8 engine as it was named. The latter had bigger valves and better heads which offered displacement advantages, and GM rated it at 350 base horsepower, with 510 lb-ft of torque, which was matched only by the 474 and 500-cid V8 engines found in the Cadillac.
It also had a functional hood scoop with dual air-cleaner intakes, a hotter camshaft, and revised carburetor jetting, seven inch wide wheels, front discs, a Hurst-shifted 4 speed transmission, and heavy-duty suspension.
In total, 687 such cars were built, with 488 that had the GSX Stage 1 ordered, which means it was popular, and also one of the most powerful muscle cars to be produced.
The initial color was limited to Saturn Yellow and Apollo White colorways, and only 678 were ordered with this package, however it had special stripes, a hood tachometer, rallye chrome-plated wheels, and a heavy duty rear anti-roll bar among other unique features.
14 Feeling It: 1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator
This car is one of the most eccentric of Mercury's line of muscle cars. The 1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator's history dates back to 1967, the model year for the Cougar, to match Ford's original Mustang pony car. Cougar had a Mustang chassis that was three inches longer, giving the car a longer wheelbase, plus extra amenities to give a more sports luxury touring look and feel. This car got mild styling alterations with the biggest one being at the front sporting a split grille, and matte black treated headlamp doors to emphasize the car's performance profile. The side stripes run the full length of the car, with standard style wheels and a hood scoop. Under the hood isn't a 390 Hi-Po engine, but Ford's new 351 cubic-inch V8 engine, aka the Cleveland, producing 300 horsepower, and mated with a standard three-speed manual or optional four-speed transmission with a Hurst shifter. The car comes in Competition Orange color, and Cena likes keeping his cars in their original states so as to preserve a piece of history - no mods at all - just the good ol' muscle car as you would buy it in 1970. And original here includes transmissions, motor, and other options, including an AM radio which most of them had anyway.
13 Feeling It: 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird
As a dedicated classic muscle car guy, Cena says he loves that era because people will always turn and look at the car. Plus, the cars had crazy designs, paint jobs, and body styling, which he has an affection for. Although these aren't the cars people necessarily like (because you'll find most people going for Corvettes, Mustangs or Camaros), Cena says he likes the "crazy stuff," and we figure this is why he chose this 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird.
This car has an odd look to it, with a metal nose cone, 72 inch aluminum wing (it featured in Cars - the movie), and because it was built for NASCAR racing, its handling and aerodynamics are superb. The long and ugly car is a sure head turner, and you cannot go anywhere without people talking about it, besides it being a big part of the NASCAR heritage. While Dodge had its Daytona, Ford its Torino Talledega and Mercury its Cyclone Spoiler II, Plymouth got its big break and wish in this Road Runner Superbird, but only 1935 were built for the public. The car came with a vinyl top, long metal nosecone, and a lengthened hood form the 1970 Dodge Coronet, plus a huge rear wing, and billboard-sized stickers for a visual kick. It had three engine choices: 440 with 375 base horsepower, 440+6 with 390 bhp, and dual quad 426 Hemi with 425 bhp. It sprints from 0-60 in 5.5 seconds.
12 Feeling It: 1971 Ford Torino GT
Ford made a huge change in its 1971 model year by dropping the Fairlane and Falcon names, but the Torino had 14 models, and became the base model which came as a two-door hardtop, or 4-door sedan and station wagon. The Torino 500 closely followed with a 2-door hardtop and SportsRoof, as well as its own four-door sedan and station wagon, which was also seen with the Torino Brougham, but Torino Squire only the station wagon.
Torino GT and Torino Cobra were available as two-door SportsRoof and convertible, and two-door SportsRoof respectively. Styling for these models had only minor revisions on the trim and grilles, with the 1971 grilles having a vertical division in the center, for all except the Cobra model, which used the same 1970s grille. As far as the engine is concerned, it remained identical to the 1970 model, with most of them having the 250 CID I-6 as a standard engine. GTs came with the 302-2V as the standard engine, besides its sporty look with dual color keyed racing mirrors, hood scoop, rings, chrome trim, reflective laser stripe, E70-14 tires, and full width taillights. This car has a 426 HEMI engine that packs 425 horsepower, mated with a 4-speed transmission. Only 1,613 of these were produced for 1971.
11 Feeling It: 2017 Ford GT
So Ford said it will build and sell 250 GTs every year for the next two years, at $450,000 each, with the same V6 Ecoboost engine by Ganassi racing. Cena is embroiled with Ford in a lawsuit over his 2017 Ford GT, since Ford sued him for selling the brand new car after just weeks of owning it. However, the WWE star turned actor filed a motion to dismiss the case, claiming that the no-resale clause was missing from the final documentation signed with his Florida dealer. This car had only 500 units made, so its always a hot cake, and Ford, knowing that people would want to cash in on this, put a two-year ban on reselling the car.
However that case goes doesn't necessarily affect our love or hate for this car. The Liquid Blue Ford GT cost Cena a whopping $460,000 when he brought it to his home from the dealership, and even gave it a glowing review via his YouTube series AutoGeek. Cena's decision to sell it after less than a month of owning the car led to the lawsuit, where Ford seeks to recoup the profit Cena made on the resale, including damages worth $75,000 plus the right to repurchase the car at the original $460,000 price. The car has a 5.4-liter supercharged modular V8 engine mated with a 6-speed manual transmission and goes from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds at a top speed of 205mph, packing 550 horsepower. What's not to love about it?
10 Feeling It: 2007 Dodge Charger SRT-8
This car got its inspiration from the good ol' muscle cars of teh 60s and 70s, and is familiar to many car enthusiasts. Senior Vice President - Global Brand marketing at Chrysler Group, George Murphy said that the Dodge Charger embodies the modern American muscle while carrying on a heritage of great performance. The Dodge brand revived the Super Bee badge, which made its debut in 1968 with the Coronet line, as an answer to Plymouth Road Runner Superbird, which Cena also owns apparently.
Initially, the Super Bees of the 70s featured a HEMI, and so does the new Dodge Charger SRT-8 Super Bee, producing 425 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. The car also rides well on its 20 inch unique SRT-developed forged aluminum wheels and high performance Goodyear supercar tires with asymmetrical thread.
Its power increment is maintained by a reinforced engine block, floating pin pistons, modified oil pan, forged steel crankshaft, and very strong connecting rods, all directed to the wheels through a 5-speed automatic transmission (with manual shifting selection). This car is Dodge Charger's first special edition from SRT division of Chrysler, and has goodies such as great handling, sharp riding, performance-oriented styling, and a race inspired interior. The car goes from 0-60 in just 5 seconds.
9 Feeling It: Saleen/Parnelli Jones Limited Edition Mustang
Saleen planned to produce only 500 units of its Boss, but it isn't exactly a Boss as it doesn't have the necessary decals, as Ford is pretty protective of its own name, so its not a Boss in the sense that people would be buying, rather, a car with a name that has more fame than Boss itself.
The Parnelli Jones signature is like royalty because it comes from the legendary race car driver who got the 1970 SCCA Trans-Am title using the Boss 302 Mustang, beating top racers like Mark Donohue, Dan gurney, and others, so Parnelli Jones, ideally, is the Boss. Besides the sharpie script by Parnelli on the metallic dashboard, the Saleen/Parnelli Jones Mustang has almost every feature from the Boss 302 except of course the obvious one, plus the Grabber Orange color.
It also has black side and hood stripes, a rear spoiler, 19 inch Minilite-inspired alloy wheels, black decklid, five-speed manual and Saleen N2 dampers, 14 inch front brake disks, and a 302 cubic inch, 24 valve Ford modular V8 engine. The Saleen/Parnelli Jones is perhaps the best execution of the Mustang in its modern state, nostalgic of the Boss, but also innovative and modern, so its value is likely to go up too.
8 Feeling It: 2007 Ferrari F430 Spider
This 2007 Ferrari F430 Spider is the convertible version unveiled at the 2005 Geneva Motor show, and designed by Pininfarina with aerodynamics used in Formula 1 cars. The interior, as well as the super car's performance is similar to the coupe version, but it has an increased weight and decreased top speed but only by about 3mph. The car has a V8 engine under its hood, innovative aerodynamics that let air flow to increase down-force while improving cooling, plus an aluminum body work and chassis for better occupant security, making it shift from a track car to road.
Its windshield structure has two steel roll-bars integrated into it, for maximum protection on the occupants, plus an electric automatic hood that folds away, and a nose characterized by two air intakes based on the Ferrari 156 F1 driven in the F1 World Championship that gave Phil Hill the race title in 1961. As for styling, much of it came from the EnzoFerrari, especially the rear, and it got a rear diffuser in the bumper with high level care on the exterior design. Wing mirrors have twin mounting arms for air flow to engine intakes. Inside, the car is redesigned for driver ergonomics, with a sporty look and a carefully laid out dash. We like it.
7 Feeling It: Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4
This is the only Gallardo LP560-4 in the world whose interior matches the Verde Scandal finish, and Cena is the proud owner of this car, which he nicknamed the LamborGREENi. The bright green paint is already striking but its custom interior is for envying. Cena says the car's original owner wanted the interior (made of leather) to match the green exterior, while the cabin should also be draped in Verde Scandal in its entirety.
However, being a unique one-of-one color, Lamborghini's upholstery store wasn't able to produce the exact same match in terms of color, so they used a Grellow (green and yellow) color mix instead to achieve the desired effect, or something much close to it.
The seats are a dual tone with Grellow and Nero Perseus black, while the upholstery stitching was done with a Q-Citura Rhomboid pattern applied on all the seats, roof, and the door panels. In terms of performance, the car has a 6-speed E-Gear transmission mated with a 5.2-liter V10 engine that packs 560 horsepower to all four wheels of the car. Sadly, Cena is parting ways with this car as he listed it for sale via the Lamborghini Palm Beach - its only done 4236 miles in its lifetime - that's celebrity life for you. We love this one!
6 Not Feeling It: Pontiac GTO Judge
Muscle car enthusiasts will know the difference between this Pontiac GTO and others before or after it, what with the new styling this 1970 model got from its endura nose with exposed headlamps, a revised rump, plus a new and optional 360 base horsepower, 455-cid V8 engine, and bodyside creases.
Unlike its counterparts which were luxury tourers with a variety of options, this GTO Judge was more inclined to muscle car performance. Its engine was available via special order, with the 370 bhp Ram Air IV installed at an extra cost. Few muscle cars could live up to the 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge, as it made a much bolder statement, with its Orbit Orange color combined with stripes in blue, orange or pink. The Judge came with functional hood scoops, and had a more defined and sharpened handling, with softer springs, and revised shock valving, plus three choices in transmission: three-speed manual standard, four-speed and auto optional, with 4-speed Judges getting a Hurst-shifter.
However, with all that this car had going on, sales declined with the GTO, and Pontiac had to retire the special edition by mid 1971 after selling 357 hardtops and 17 ragtops. By this time, the GTO engine was at 335 bhp.
5 Not Feeling It: 1971 AMC Hornet SC/360
This car reflected much in terms of the changing times in the early 70s where muscle cars were actually at the top of their game, but other things were happening that influenced the high performance cars, like safety and emission regulations, as well as the input from insurance companies. In 1971, these started hitting the muscle car industry, such that compression ratios were reduced, gross horsepower ratings fell to tamer figures, while automakers who were big on public relations took the backseat.
While all this was happening, this 1971 AMC Hornet SC/360 was birthed, which brought into the market a reasonable alternative to the American muscle cars that were already strangling the insurance companies while squeezing out the money. Hornet introduced this two-door sedan, a low-profile muscle car, which initially was to be released in both SC/360 and SC/401 models, but AMC changed that due to the engine specifications that wouldn't give much edge in terms of insurance.
The options it came with in standard form are a two-barrel carburetor with 245 bhp, or a four-barrel and ram air setup with 285 bhp - both gross ratings.
Another option was the Hurst-shifted 4-speed or automatic instead of the standard 3-speed. However, the car died off after just one year. What a waste of a good thing, but we'll pass.
4 Not Feeling It: 2009 Corvette ZR1
Chevrolet has been building the Corvette brand for nearly five decades and over, during which the car has stood out as an American icon of a sports car, competing with higher priced imports at a cheaper cost compared to its counterparts. From history, the coupes and roadsters have continued to push limits in terms of automotive technology and innovation, seeing as it was one of the first production cars to have a lightweight fiberglass body.
The Corvette has seen six generations, each of which has made a mark and stepped forward in terms of design and performance on its exterior and technology, respectively. Cena's choice of the 2009 Corvette ZR1 is among the Corvettes that made the biggest leap forward as it was developed to take on the big guns in the automotive industry: supercars made by Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche, and other sports cars.
This car joins an already impressive family that is currently on the market, such as the C6 (sixth-gen Corvette), which has impressive numbers in terms of performance producing 430 horsepower, and its Z06 model generates 505 horsepower. This model thus has to fit into such big shoes if it wants to get buyers to drive it out of dealerships. But how well does it stack up against the best of Italy and Germany such that buyers would prefer it over the greats? GM is willing to bet on the technology under its hood and the stuff it is made of. We'll stick with the known for now.
3 Not Feeling It: 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass Rallye 350
Back in 1964, GM released its iconic Pontiac Tempest LeMans GTO car which got the title of America's first muscle car, but then they went ahead and stuffed a large displacement engine in the two-door car, which was a hit among the consumers. This is where the big-block engine became popular, and with each passing year up to about 1970, other divisions in GM developed muscle cars like Buick's Skylark GS in 1965, as well as Chevrolet and Oldsmobile's Chevelle SS and Cutlass 442.
However, a shift in the marketplace saw the call for increased emissions standards and fuel costs, plus insurance firms raised their premiums higher for big-block muscle cars so there was huge demand for affordable performance cars. Oldsmobile took up the challenge by developing a junior muscle car with a high performance small-block V8 engine, but only available in Sebring Yellow.
The car's appearance was highlighted by matching color bumpers, and wheels that gave it a unique muscle car look than any other on the street. Under the hood was a 350 cubic inch V8 engine that developed 310 horsepower, and could do the 0-60 sprint in 7 seconds, completing a quarter mile in just 15.27 seconds. Transmission choices were either three-sped manual, four-speed Muncie M-21 close ration, or a Turbo Hydra-Matic 350 automatic. However, only a little over 3,500 units were built after which the model was discontinued, because according to reports, dealers struggled selling the car and kept replacing the bumpers with chrome alternatives to move them from the lot, which was also costly.
2 Not Feeling It: The InCENArator
This car was built by the Parker Brothers whom Cena instructed to transform from a Corvette C7 R, to look like it is from the year 3,000. Cena dubbed it the InCENArator, and it has a starship kind of body, with unique flamethrowers as it can shoot four-foot flames from special vents from its rear deck lid. To enter this 'starship' machine, you have to climb onto the hood, which by any means isn't normal, but it seems Cena loves speed and noise.
The car has a glass clamshell roof, and 24 inch mags inspired by a jet turbine, plus a 5.5-liter V8 engine that develops 491 base horsepower, who would've thought? I mean for a year 3000 kind of car, shouldn't it have greater specs than what we're used to? Maybe not.
Anyway, the Parker Brothers, who are known for building custom concept cars and vehicles for movies, got another chance in the spotlight after the car was featured in the Dream Machines show and Gumball 3000. The car definitely is off compared to the muscle cars, supercars and sports cars the pro wrestling star owns, but it befits him actually, because everything about it is for show as there's nothing to indicate that the Corvette's engine was modified. It's definitely not one of our favorites.
1 Not Feeling It: 1989 Jeep Wrangler
So Cena bought this 1989 Jeep Wrangler in 2001, from his first WWE paycheck, and those who know this car, know it is one of the worst Jeep Wranglers ever. However, he loves and appreciates it as much as you would a classic car, probably because he earned it the hard way, we'll never know. But, anyone who has bought their first car knows this feeling all too well. The car has a 2.5-liter engine, with a weird antenna stuck on the side which he says does nothing, he just bought it because he figured it looked pretty cool.
Either way, he still kept this car, which isn't a collector's item, but at the time, he bought it to showcase his accomplishment. It had done 80,000 miles by the time he got it, but over the years, he's added beefy tires, removed the roof, and added brush and metal guards. The professional wrestler turned Hollywood actor said in a YouTube episode which is part of the John Cena: AutoGeek series that he will never get rid of this car, so it's with him for good.
In fact, he added that so far, dollar for dollar, this Jeep has given him the most joy, both far and away, so its not going anywhere anytime soon. Get used to it. We'll try to, even though we don't approve.
Sources: auto.ferrari.com, carbuzz.com, celebritymedia.blogspot.co.uk, Wikipedia, autowise.com, jalopnik.com