Everyone knows that Santa Claus uses a sleigh led by eight reindeer to deliver gifts to millions of children and adults on Christmas Eve. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blixen (and later, that quintessential Christmas hero, Rudolph) provide the sleigh’s power to crisscross the world with gifts in tow.
But what about the other 364 days a year?
What does he drive, for instance, when Mrs. Claus runs out of eggs and needs more baking ingredients for cookies? And what about trimming his beard? How does he get to the barbershop? How does he travel to all those shopping malls to sit and listen to the children’s Christmas wishes?
And what mode of transportation would Santa use if his reindeer took ill, refused to work or just plain disappeared? Comedian Tim Allen, a well-known car aficionado, drove a Ford Taurus in the 1994 movie, The Santa Clause. But what would the real Saint Nick drive?
For his annual trek, Santa requires a vehicle that can handle any weather condition, is powerful enough to travel around the world in a single night, has cargo space to haul plenty of toys, and with efficiency suited for long jaunts without refueling.
His daily-use car, however, could be anything that gives him pleasure, from a funky antique auto to a high-performance supercar. Santa Claus has a backup plan for his vulnerable reindeer and a stable of vehicles for his personal enjoyment. The following are photos of the vehicles in his garage.
25 Santa’s McLaren 540C Wins a Car of the Year Award
Santa takes a break after putting his 540C through its paces on a curvy mountain road. The best sports car in its class, What Car online magazine gave the McLaren 540C its Car of the Year Award for 2017. The distinction followed accolades for the 570S from Auto Express and Autocar, Top Gear, and Robb Report plus Motor Trend’s world’s best driver’s car. The 200mph top speed and 3.6-second 0-60 mph acceleration are enough to impress anyone. Huntingford from What Car described McLaren as “a masterpiece” referring to its involved steering, smooth 3.8-liter V8 engine, and ultra-precise handling as the crucial elements that make the reasonably-priced McLaren “staggeringly good to drive.”
24 Rudolph The Red Nosed Camaro
"You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen,
You know Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen,
But do you recall, The most famous reindeer of all:
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, had a very shiny nose,
And if you ever saw it, You would even say it glows
All of the other reindeer, Used to laugh and call him names
They never let poor Rudolph, Join in any reindeer games."
No reindeer are laughing at this red-nosed Rudolph. Arriving for some holiday festivities, Santa and one of his elves are accompanied by the Camaro SS with an LS3 V8 that generates 426 horsepower at 5,900 rpm and 420 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 rpm.
23 Santa Trades Reindeer for a Vespa
The Vespa is such an essential part of culture in Italy that they even sing songs about it. Italian singer Cesare Cremonini sang: “Give me a Special, the summer goes on, give me a Vespa, and I'll take you on vacation! But how nice it is to go around with wings underfoot if you have a Vespa Special it takes away your problems.” Piaggio & Co. S.p.A. of Pontedera, Italy, the company that began offering a single model motor scooter in 1946, now produces a full line of scooters. Signature features include front wings and floorboards to protect riders in wet and cold conditions. These are important attributes for Santa Claus, who enjoys a spin on his Vespa during the colder winter months.
22 Santa Upgraded His Sleigh to a Ferrari Enzo
Road and Track said of the Ferrari Enzo, “If this isn't your dream car, you're having the wrong dreams.”
Perhaps Santa was dreaming, too, when he decided it was the ideal upgrade to his traditional sleigh. It’s red, uses horses instead of reindeer, includes four chimneys, and has plenty of room for gifts…on the outside. When the 2016 model year Enzo was released, it was the fastest and most expensive Ferrari ever made. Producing 650 horsepower and a top speed of 218 mph, the supercar reaches the quarter mile in a mere 11.0 seconds. Only 349 Enzos were made that year and sold for a price of about $650,000 each. Santa, no doubt, bought his supercar in 2016. To purchase an Enzo today he would have to shell out over $3.5 million.
21 Dodge Gives Santa a Rockin' Sleigh
Dodge is advertising an “upgrade” to Santa’s (played by wrestler Bill Goldberg in the video) Sleigh this year. During the commercial, the company claims the Challenger is the world’s fastest muscle car, the Charger is the world’s fastest sedan, and the Durango is America’s fastest, most capable three-row SUV in its class. However, it is the new sleigh—powered by the 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V-8 from the Hellcat Redeye—with dual exhaust tips and seven-passenger seating that Santa gets to deliver his gifts. The sleigh, with runners instead of wheels, is assembled by helpers and elves and generates 797 horsepower, plenty of power to get Santa from chimney to chimney fast. Santa’s deliveries may not go unnoticed, however, when children are awakened by the roar of the supercharged sleigh approaching.
20 Santa and His 1957 Chevrolet Gas Powered Utility Cart
The utility cart is much less ambitious than most of Santa’s other rides, but it is ideal for cruising around a golf community. The 1957 Chevy body mounted on a gas-powered golf cart gives it style and suggests that Santa is a muscle car enthusiast. However, Santa has this cart for sale. He probably wants to switch to an electric cart and these may be the reasons. At one time, gas-powered golf carts were more powerful than electric carts, but newer electric carts have more torque and will pull up hills just as well, or even better, than many gas carts. Gas-powered golf carts also use fuel and produce carbon monoxide emissions while electric carts generate no emissions. Gas-powered golf carts are a bit noisy, while electric golf carts accelerate quickly and quietly.
19 Santa in His 1966 Corvette Stingray Convertible
Santa takes a ride in his 1966 Corvette Stingray Convertible to see the illuminated Christmas decorations at night. To see all the lights quickly, he chose his Vette with the “Big Block” 427 V8 that produces 425 horsepower and 465 lbs-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. The last year of the second-generation Corvette, the 1967 Sting Ray was the culmination of five years of refinements, making it the best of the line. Santa’s Corvette is also equipped with knock-off hub wheels and redline tires (originally supplied from the factory). The red car and redline tires seem appropriate for a car owned by Saint Nick.
18 Santa Takes the Kid’s ATV for a Spin
Christmas is for kids, but occasionally Santa must test the merchandise. In the park, on a Sunday afternoon, he takes his Suzuki QuadSport Z50 for a test drive. An entry-level, four-stroke ATV minibike, the Suzuki tackles asphalt paths and tight corners. Junior adventurers (as well as oversized Santas) can breeze around a park with the QuadSport Z50's powerful build and smooth, quiet ride. Safety features include an electric starter, throttle limiter, a tether type remote engine stop switch, and full floorboards. But Santa forgot there are regulations in parks for powered vehicles, full-size and the kids-size alike. It looks like these two police officers are not going to make an exception, even for Kris Kringle.
17 Santa and the BMW E39 5 Series
Santa proudly displays the personalized license plate on his BMW E39 recently acquired from the used-car marketplace. He has no fear driving it in cold conditions (the North Pole perhaps?) He chose this 540i for several reasons. It may be the best used car value under a five-figure price tag. The 300-horsepower and torquey 4.4-liter V8 has demonstrated exceptional reliability. The engine noise is music to the ears; it sounds like an exotic. The 540i has none of the issues with the VANOS (variable valve timing) system that plagued previous models. The 4.4-liter V8 is less thirsty than the previous M5. It can get upwards of 30 miles per gallon. And it still looks fabulous.
16 Santa Visits a Fire Station
It is difficult to believe that a fire can occur at the North Pole, but then again, with all the manufacturing equipment used by the elves to make toys for children, it could happen. Santa clearly thinks it is possible, so he purchased this 1948 Ford F-Series Fire Truck from the Mountain View Fire Rescue in Longmont, Colorado. While the Ford F-6 truck with 254 CID Flathead 6 and 110 horsepower was a common base vehicle for fire engines in 1948, the Ford Seagrave V12 Open Cab Pumper was perhaps the deluxe version. Its gorgeous body style, waterfall grille, 1000-GPM pump, and a 150-gallon booster tank made it an efficient fire-fighting machine.
15 Hot Rod Santa and His T-Bucket Sleigh
Butch and Tina Reeves built this Hot Rod sleigh for Santa in just over two weeks before Christmas 2002. Using high-quality Canadian maple for the body, “Santa’s Express” boasts standard T-Bucket features such as carriage lamps, a chromed differential cover, and a matching metal-flake steering wheel. The interior is plush for Santa’s comfort and features a tall shifter so Santa doesn’t miss a gear accelerating to reach the next house or traveling down the turnpike. With a dual-quad, tunnel ram-fed small block Chevy that generates over 400 horsepower, this T-Bucket sleigh was designed to leave Rudolph and the eight reindeer-powered sleigh behind in the dust (or snow).
14 Santa’s Ferrari 250 GT “Breadvan”
The Ferrari 250 GT SWB “Breadvan” is a one-off Ferrari built in 1962. It was designed to provide competition for the new 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO at FIA World Sportscar Championship races, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Its unique cut-off rear section gave it the appearance of a little truck to the French press, who nicknamed it "La Camionnette." The English-speaking journalists named it the "Breadvan." Although the backend looks like a pizza oven, the aerodynamics were excellent. The lighter weight (100 kg less than the standard GTO) and superior aerodynamics helped the Breadvan stay ahead of the GTOs at Le Mans. No longer racing, this Ferrari has enough room in its bread oven to haul Christmas trees and gifts, albeit at a higher speed than most.
13 Santa Gets Pulled Over Riding His Harley
When Santa goes cruising on a motorcycle, he takes out his Glide Touring bike from Harley-Davidson. While the Sportster and Softail models offer unequaled road-bike performance, given the characteristic rumble sound that only a Harley makes (and the prestige of driving a US-made motorcycle), Santa clearly prefers the luxury and long-distance amenities that the bigger models offer. However, even Santa must take care when riding his Harley. The police most likely consider the big bear, Rudolph head, various stuffed figures, and other Christmas decorations (that seem more appropriate for the tree than a bike) a driving distraction. The police officer who pulled Santa over must have had a good laugh when he looked closely at this decked out motorcycle.
12 Jaguar Land Rover Design for Santa’s Sleigh
Jaguar Land Rover’s new design proposal to replace Santa’s traditional sleigh is called the F-Sleigh. Derived from Jaguar’s F-Type sports car, sled blades replace all four wheels and it features antlers and a front-mounted red nose. The F-Sleigh uses jet engines to propel it through the night sky—instead of the F-type's V6 and V8 engines or Rudolf’s team of eight reindeer. A large open luggage compartment is ideal for hauling gifts. Lindsay Weaver, Director of Branded and Licensed Goods at Jaguar Land Rover, said: "The amazing F-Sleigh may be a bit of Christmas fun, but it proves that Jaguar Land Rover is now creating much more than world-class cars…”
11 Santa Express 1954 Ford F-100
When freezing temperatures at the North Pole become unbearable, Mr. and Mrs. Claus escape to palm trees and their Florida getaway for some long overdue warm weather. They stand proudly in front of a 1954 Ford F-100 pickup truck, their preferred mode of transportation when visiting the sunshine state. The 1953-1956 Ford F-100 trucks were highly successful due to their clean and modern styling, practicality, reliability, and tough character. Although the cab was well-designed and comfortable with convenient controls, the 1953 F-100s lacked power. However, in 1954 the old flathead was replaced by a new overhead-valve V8 that produced 130-horsepower. With red paint and chrome wheels, Santa and the Mrs. can head to the beach in style.
10 Santa Can’t Decide: Rolls Royce or Lamborghini
"When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter…
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a Rolls and a Lambo and no tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick!"
He said I must choose: The luxurious Phantom that comes standard with a 6.7-liter V12 engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and accelerates its aluminum body from 0 to 62 mph in just over five seconds, or the Lamborghini Aventador Roadster that offers over 700 horsepower, all-wheel drive, and a seven-speed transmission to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in a blinding 2.9 seconds. Decisions, decisions.
9 2016 Ferrari GTC4 Lusso Sleigh
Santa Claus has a large crew of elves to help him make all the toys for kids. Some estimates claim that over 85,000 elves are needed to make toys for all the world’s children. Santa also has an advisory board to help him make important decisions. TopSpeed, the online car magazine, has participated on Santa’s board for more than ten years. At Santa’s request, they recently designed a new sleigh “that will not only give Rudolph and the rest of the gang a much-needed rest but will also get him around the world in style and luxury.” The result is the Ferrari GTC4Lusso Sleigh 2.0 which, “despite appearing small, has enough cargo room to haul enough presents to hit half of the world in one trip.”
8 Santa Claus Parade in Rapallo, Italy
For this event in the quaint little town of Rapallo, located on the Mediterranean Sea, Santa chose his 1957 Fiat 500C cabriolet. Measuring only 2.97 meters (9 feet 9 inches) long, and powered by a 479 cc two-cylinder, air-cooled engine, it is described as a four-seater by Fiat. However, the interior is so limited that two average-size people have difficulty squeezing inside, and Santa…
"He had a broad face, and a little round belly;
That shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly;
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf;
And I laugh’d when I saw him in spite of myself."
7 Land Rover Range Rover for the Big Packages
Santa has several car choices when he travels but for hauling presents, his Land Rover offers ample cargo area. The 2018 model Range Rover has 31.8 cubic feet of cargo room when the rear seats are up and 68.6 cubic feet when the seats are folded down. If the average gift package is 10 x 6 x 4 inches (240 cu. in.) the cargo space in Range Rover will hold over 495 average sized boxes. Of course, it is only an average. Some gift boxes are much smaller, like those that hold a Rubik’s Cube, and some are larger, like the LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon Microfighter. The Range Rover holds a lot of toys!
6 On Dasher, on Dancer, on SUV, Now Dash Away!
Santa Claus is accustomed to commanding his reindeer on Christmas eve:
"Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donder and Blixen!"
However, with all the pre-holiday activities and events, the demands on his reindeers can be excessive. Their energy is best saved for delivering presents. When the 113th Santa Claus Parade delighted crowds in November 2017, Mercedes-Benz vehicles gave the reindeer a well-deserved rest by pulling floats as the official automotive sponsor of the parade. Mercedes-Benz Canada provided the parade with a fleet of 30 silver, grey, and "Polar White" GLS and GLE SUVs to pull the parade's jolly floats along the route.
5 Santa, DeLorean, and Hoverboard
Santa Claus has found the ideal vehicle for delivering his toys on the eve of Christmas: the DeLorean time machine from the film series, Back to the Future. While the earth-laden version of the Delorean has a limited history (only 8,583 cars were produced for model years 1981-1983), Doc Brown’s invention is a single car but has so much more to offer. Should Santa be running a bit late delivering toys to all the children in the world (estimated at more than one billion under the age of fifteen), he can simply go back in time a few hours and try it again at a faster pace! The hover-board might come in handy for those difficult chimneys, too.
4 Naughty or Nice
"You better watch out, You better not cry;
Better not pout, I'm telling you why;
Santa Claus is coming to town;
He's making a list, And checking it twice;
Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice;
Santa Claus is coming to town."
In 2014. Mercedes-Benz thought that Santa should make his list of naughty and nice, but everyone on both lists should get a CLA-Class. The only difference is the color, white for nice and red for naughty, and perhaps some options—more options, no doubt, for the boys and girls on the “nice” list. The CLA is the budget-model Benz. The compact sedan had a base MSRP of less than $31,000 in 2014.
3 Santa Drives a Red Jeep Wrangler JT
Living in cold conditions, where the roads are poor and driving can be a challenge, Santa recognizes the importance of owning a quality off-road vehicle. His favorite is the Jeep Wrangler JT with removable top and front-mounted winch. There have been many great models during Jeep’s long history, which began in 1941. One of the most popular and successful models, the Wrangler, with its iconic style, is a standout; the model instantly recognized worldwide. During its nine-year production run from 1997 to 2006, many improvements were made to the model line that made a significant impact on the entire Jeep brand.
2 Santa Never Goes Anywhere Incognito
Santa Claus may be the most recognized characters in the world. No matter where he goes adults point and declare, “Hey look, there’s Santa Claus.” Children run to hug him and make an early Christmas present request. A bright red outfit and big white beard make him difficult to miss. Santa loves the attention, or he wouldn’t be Santa. But occasionally, when he leaves the sleigh and reindeer at home and goes out in one of his many vehicles, some people may not notice who is driving. It could happen when he takes out his Smart Fortwo, a car so small it just about disappears in a parking lot. So, to let everyone know who is driving, he dresses the car the way he goes out every day: a red Santa suit (paint) covers the body, a Santa Claus hat with snowball covers the top, and a white beard adorns the grille.
1 Santa at the Mall with His 2013 Toyota 4runner
Santa picked the Toyota 4runner for its cargo capacity, meaning gift hauling capability. In 2013, Toyota offered the 4Runner in three trim levels—Limited, Trail, and SR5—in rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive (available in full- or part-time 4×4 with a locking center differential). The 278 lb-ft of torque give the 4Runner a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds in rear- or four-wheel-drive guise. The 4runner's towing capacity for Santa’s gifts is impressive. If a new Play Station 4 weighs 6 pounds, a Cool Maker KumiKreator Friendship Bracelet Maker Activity Kit weighs 1.7 pounds, and the LEGO Creator Pirate Rollercoaster weighs 4.2 pounds, the average weight for typical kid’s gifts is 11.9 pounds. The 5,000-pound towing capacity divided by the average gift weight of 11.9 pounds means Santa can tow 420 presents in his Toyota.
Sources: The Drive, Hot Rod, Top Speed, and Harley-Davidson.