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Real Life Terminator: Arnold Schwarzenegger's 20 Sickest Cars

Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most instantly recognizable people alive today. From his earliest days pumping iron on Muscle Beach to a decades-long film career, and even two terms as the Governor of California, Arnold has led the kind of dedicated and purposeful life that has helped him capitalize on his innate talents, his willpower, and, as always with these stories, a little bit of luck.

Arnold was born on July 30, 1947, in Thal, Austria, shortly after the conclusion of World War II. He began lifting weights by age 15, and won a Mr. Universe title at the age of 20. After becoming the most successful bodybuilder of his generation, he made the jump to Hollywood stardom with his portrayal of Conan the Barbarian, and then superstardom with his defining role as The Terminator. (A little bit of a lucky break, since OJ Simpson was originally set to play the cryogenic killer.)

After a long series of action movies that trended towards comedy, Arnold then entered politics to run as Governor of California, a position he held from late 2003 to 2011. Since leaving office, he has returned to film, and is even poised to release another installation of the Terminator franchise in 2019.

Throughout his unique life, Arnold has always had a fondness for sporty supercars, gigantic trucks, and even some vehicles that blur the line of what a car collection can contain. Keep scrolling for the 20 most incredible highlights from Arnold's garage.

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20 Military-Style Hummer H1

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Given Arnold's many starring roles in military and action movies, it should come as no surprise that he owns a military style Hummer in olive drab. In fact, for natives of Los Angeles, a Hummer is typically the most likely vehicle Arnold might be spotted in driving around town. Related closely to an actual military Humvee upon which the original production line was based, this Hummer has its doors missing and those distinctive antennas, which need to be folded down to allow for easier cruising through parking lots and under stop lights.

First generation Hummers and Humvees were even built on the same assembly line, before the road-going versions were trucked off to another factory for final finish details like painting.

At the very least featuring a 5.7-liter V8 under the hood, it would seem more appropriate for Arnold to have chosen a 6.6-liter Duramax turbocharged diesel V8, which also gets paired to five speed automatic transmission. Of course, Arnold's Hummer is still a bit awkward on city streets, thanks to its extremely wide stance, though a 16-inch clearance should mean he can easily get home in the worst weather Los Angeles has to offer, being able to ford up to 30 inches of water without getting stuck.

19 Mercedes-Benz Unimog

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Possibly the only street legal vehicle more rugged than a Hummer H1 is the Mercedes-Benz Unimog. And it would make sense that Arnold needed to add a German-built super truck to his collection. But still, driving a Unimog on city streets is probably a lot of work and worry, though if anyone can be considered the man for the task, Arnold might be the best candidate. Incredibly, his Unimog isn't the absolute largest possible, likely in consideration of the fact that it mostly sees street driving rather than full on off-roading.

The rare Unimog truly shines off-road, though. Daimler-Benz took over production of the beasts from 1951 on, and models are built in factories in Germany, Turkey, and Argentina. The largest Unimogs come in a 6x6 setup, with power being delivered to every wheel. Arnold's is a medium series, though it still offers maximum clearance thanks to special gears that allow the axles and transmission to be situated higher than the center of the wheels. Unimogs are mainly used by military and official governments, though enthusiasts can have them imported at great price. Initially intended as agricultural vehicles, Unimogs are so big and powerful that their potential uses span make them perfectly capable in just about any situation on Earth.

18 Hummer H2

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The seven-time Mr. Olympia bodybuilder also owns a more modern Hummer H2, for when the formidable but basic Hummer H1 and his Unimog are too rough for civilian life. With many more interior amenities, an H2 is actually more of a Chevy pickup truck than a successor to the H1. Overall width is significantly reduced, as well, which helps make the H2 more manageable for day to day driving.

With a gross weight of over three tons, the H2 certainly isn't fuel efficient, though, averaging 10 mpg in town and 13 on the highway. An H2 isn't fast, either, as it can rumble its way to 60 miles per hour in only around 10 seconds.

But speed and efficiency aren't what the H2 is all about - utility with a specific style are its goals. With an exterior that clearly suggests the H1 it (sort of) hearkens back to, the H2 still seems enormous next to just about any sedan on the road, and has plenty of cargo space, off-road capability, and capable towing strength, all paired to heated seats, Bose sound, and cruise control. Base price for an H2 was around $70,000 when new, making it one of the cheapest of all the insane vehicles in Arnold's collection.

17 Dodge Challenger SRT

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As one of the world's foremost experts on the art and science of building muscle, it should come as no surprise that Arnold also drives a Dodge Challenger SRT, a recently redesigned take on one of the classic American muscle cars of the 1970s. The original Dodge Challenger was released right around the time when Arnold was in peak bodybuilding shape and winning contests all over the world. After a disappointing second generation Challenger at the tail end of the 1970s and early 80s, Dodge brought the model back in its current form for the 2008 model year.

In SRT spec, the Challenger's 6.4-liter Hemi V8 produced 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, which sounds impressive even before considering that Dodge sacrificed high RPM output in favor of low end grunt. The big coupe weighs in at over 4,000 pounds but can still sprint to 60 miles per hour in only 4.5 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 170 miles per hour. Quarter mile times, the classic distance for American muscle, were around 13 seconds at a speed of 112-114 miles per hour. Of course, the newer SRT Hellcat and Demon offer even more insane power figures, so don't be surprised if Arnold upgrades his Challenger soon.

16 Custom Kreisel Electric G500

via roadandtrack.com

Despite Arnold's clear preference for big, powerful cars, Arnold isn't stuck solely in the realm of the internal combustion engine. One of his many G-Wagons is a totally custom electric version built by Kreisel Electric. The boxy SUV has a 482 horsepower e-motor under the hood that allows for a 5.6 second 0-60 run. And though the Terminator probably misses the rumble of his other G-Wagon's diesel V6 engines, the Kreisel version is nearly silent.

And with power up from 245 horsepower, which only resulted in an 8.6 second 0-60 sprint, the electric version is much, much faster, with an impressive 190 mile range, as well.

The Kreisel still has four wheel drive, too. Arnold loves his electric G-Wagon, and told Road and Track in an interview, "To me, with the electric version of this fantastic car, a dream has become true... The initial test drive was a real pleasure, the Kreisel is incredibly sporty and perfectly benefits from the advantages e-mobility has to offer." With a battery taking up much of the space that the original engine, drivetrain, and fuel tank used to occupy, weight distribution for the Kreisel could also be an improvement, possibly allowing for even better off-road capabilities.

15 Hummer H1 Slant Back

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For many years it was rumored that Arnold loved his Hummers and G-Wagons so much that he had one in every single color that both models come in. That seems excessive, but it certainly is true that Arnold has more than one color for a few of the models in his collection. Case in point is this cream Hummer H1, which also features a solid roof, doors, and the slant back roof as options. The slant back is actually more similar to Humvees that the United States military actually uses, though it must be hard to resist going out full Commando style with a canvas roof and no doors on a sunny California day.

Arnold loves his Hummers so much that he actually represented the beefy trucks in marketing campaigns around the time of Operation Desert Storm, which coincided with some of his biggest action movie hits, such as 1990's Total Recall and 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day. But while the Hummer H1 phased out of production for the general public in 2006, Arnold's longevity as a film star has continued after his terms as Governor of California, with roles in indy zombie pic Maggie, a series of entries in the Expendables franchise, and reprises of his role in the original Terminator films.

14 Bentley Continental GTC

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When the situation calls for a luxurious convertible that isn't quite a performance-oriented supercar, Arnold has the great joy of having to choose one of his many Bentleys. He has a Bentley Continental GTC, a massive, 5,1000 pound British two-door that allows him to put the top back and cruise in total comfort. Continental GT coupes and convertibles come in various options packages, and Arnold has a couple, though his silver version is a Continental GTC with larger air intakes, upgraded power steering, radar-based adaptive cruise control, and hopefully the carbon fiber brake option package.

The Continental isn't all luxury and no speed, though, with a twin-turbocharged 6-liter W12 under the hood producing up to 552 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque which is then routed through all wheel drive to allow for a 0-60 time of only 4.8 seconds.

Arnold's Bentley almost perfectly fits the gap between his cloth top Hummer and the Dodge Challenger, but with a price tag of around $250,000 when new, it definitely occupies a level high above the two American vehicles. Luckily, being one of the most instantly recognizable movie stars of all time means Arnold doesn't have to stress about money when buying the multiple Bentleys in his collection.

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13 Ex-Military Dodge M37

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Where Arnold's Hummers are road-going variants of a strictly military Humvee, he also enjoys driving an ex-military Dodge M37 pickup truck. The M37 is a Korean War-era truck built from 1951 to 1968, and though the engine's power figures might seem paltry compared to some of Arnold's supercars, the rugged M37 is still quite a sight on neighborhood streets. In reality, the power plant was just a continuation of World War II engines, and the 78 horsepower proved plenty for uses that included telephone maintenance, air field fire engines, tool trucks, and ambulances.

Driving the M37 in town must be quite a challenge, as the engine is paired to a four speed manual transmission with a single plate dry disc clutch and a transfer case for both hi and low range while in both four wheel drive and two wheel drive. Braking also proves questionable, as four drum brakes came standard on the M37. Hopefully Arnold employs a full-time mechanic for his collection, because the M37's engine is carbureted. Then again, Arnold is 70 years old, and grew up in an era when carburetors still featured on many cars, so it's not too hard to imagine him rolling up his sleeves and getting his hands dirty in the engine bay.

12 Hydrogen Hummer H2

via kcrw.com

Arnold was the Governor of California from November 17, 2003, to January 3, 2011. California is well known for its strict emissions and fuel economy standards for automobiles, so it comes as no surprise that in addition to his Hummer and Hummer H2 collection, which are definitely not anywhere close to efficient, he also drives an H2 that is powered by hydrogen.

Known as the H2H (H2 Hydrogen), the car was part of a General Motors program wherein the manufacturer shared the truck with the Office of the Governor to help raise awareness for the evolving potential in the field of hydrogen powered cars and trucks.

Of the program, Schwarzeneggar himself said "The H2H is a bold experiment that along with the Hydrogen Highway Network will help California demonstrate the economic and technical viability of hydrogen. Californians invent the future and the H2H shows that a vehicle of today can run on the fuel of tomorrow." The H2H was adapted by GM to run on gaseous hydrogen vapor, with its only emissions coming in the form of water dripping out of its tail pipe, and was never intended for widespread commercial production. Luckily, the Office of the Governor just happened to be occupied by a mega movie star, at the time the program was enacted.

11 Excalibur

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While many of the cars in Arnold's collection are more modern, he also has his fair share of classics. Case in point is the opulent Excalibur convertible that the True Lies star can often be seen in while he drives around Los Angeles. But the Excalibur is not quite as classic as it seems, having actually come into production in 1965 as a contemporary neoclassic designed intentionally to reproduce the 1928 Mercedes-Benz SSK.

Several iterations of the Excalibur have come and gone over the years, with slightly over 3,200 total examples ever completed. Originally powered by a Chevrolet 327 engine shared with the Corvette, the Excalibur offered 300 horsepower in a package that weighed just over two tons. A 0-60 sprint took less than six seconds, with a top speed of over 130 miles per hour. Stats like these would seem to dwarf the 1928 version, but in reality the actual Mercedes-Benz SSK was the fastest car in the world when it debuted, with a supercharged 7-liter inline six engine that made 200-300 horsepower but up to 500 lb-ft of torque depending on engine tuning. Only 32 SSK examples are known to have been made, so Arnold's Excalibur allows him to enjoy the same classic style with a little more modern reliability.

10 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

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Arnold definitely has a penchant for German convertibles, and his Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster is pretty close to the top of the heap for that category. The SLS AMG Roadster is a convertible version that sacrifices the coupe's classic gull wing doors for the joy of open-top driving. The rest of the body still strongly signifies the original gull wing, the 300 SL, which also came in both coupe and convertible form.

Though the current SLS AMG Roadster adds 88 pounds of weight over its coupe sibling, performance is still impressive thanks to the 6.2-liter V8 under its long hood, which when it debuted was the most powerful naturally aspirated engine ever produced.

Despite the behemoth under the hood, the rest of the car was quite light, and a curb weight right around 3,500 pounds meant that SLS AMG could achieve up to .99 g of lateral acceleration in turns. Pair that nimble handling to the 563 horses, 479 lb-ft of torque, and a dual clutch automatic transmission and the result is a 0-60 time under 3.7 seconds, a top speed of 197 miles per hour, and it's no wonder Arnold is grinning even while only driving his SLS AMG Roadster through a parking lot.

9 Bentley Continental GT SuperSports Convertible

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Where one Bentley just won't do the trick, the best bet is to buy another, and why not? Arnold's second Bentley Continental GT convertible is the highly coveted SuperSports edition, which allows for the use of both gasoline and biofuel. Amazingly, the big W12 engine could crank out 621 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque on either fuel, and could power the 5,100 pounds convertible from 0-60 miles per hour in under 3.7 seconds. The SuperSports is actually the fastest, most powerful Bentley ever produced, with a top speed of 204.4 miles per hour. In SuperSports Convertible spec, upgrades included those black wheels, which are 22 pounds lighter than the ones found on the coupe.

The wheels help contribute to the amazing fact that makes the SuperSports also the best handling Bentley of all time, achieving 1.29 g of lateral acceleration on the skid pad. Other factors include a Torsen center differential that biases the all wheel drive system towards the rear axle, active aerodynamics, and a carbon fiber brake package that overall saves 243 pounds versus the standard Continental GT. All that impressive performance means Arnold had to shell out at least $280,000 for his SuperSports Convertible.

8 Custom Audi R8

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Arnold doesn't just stick to Mercedes when it comes to his German sports car and SUV collection. He also chose to get his hands on a custom Audi R8, one of the best handling cars on the market today - and one made famous by fellow action superstar Robert Downey Jr in his iconic Iron Man role (and its Avengers franchise followups).

The mid-engined Audi R8 debuted in 2006, and shares many components with the Lamborghini Gallardo and Huracan models. The R8 comes with two engine options, either a 4.2-liter V8 shared with the Audi RS4 (B7 generation) or a 5.2-liter V10 shared with the Lambos.

The V8 creates 414 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque, while the V10 ups the ante to 525 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque. Weight gains for the V10, however, mean that performance is only slightly better - still impressive at under 3.9 seconds to 60 miles per hour on the way to a top speed of 196 miles per hour. Audi's legendary Quattro all wheel drive system features heavily on both the V8 and V10 options, allowing for impressive grip especially considering the low center of gravity for the sleek, futuristic coupe.

7 Bugatti Veyron

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Arnold isn't all about driving a rugged SUV or truck around town, though, he also loves his sports cars. The high-performance highlight of his collection is a silver Bugatti Veyron, a car that is at or near the top of the list for most powerful and fastest production vehicle in the world, depending on the ever-increasing competition in the supercar world. The Veyron features a mid-mounted, quad-turbocharged 8.0-liter W16 engine, or essentially two twin-turbo V8 engines mounted together.

Total engine output approaches and surpasses 1,000 horsepower depending on various options, allowing the more than 4,000 pound car to accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in under 2.5 seconds, on the way to a top speed of over 250 miles per hour.

(Special edition Veyrons formerly held the Guinness Book of World Records verified top speed of 267.856 miles per hour.)

A Veyron isn't just a no-frills high performer, though, it also represents the pinnacle of luxury in the automotive market. And with a price tag well of around $1.5 million, Arnold is hopefully one of the few former politicians in the world who can afford to risk such a gigantic investment by driving it through traffic.

6 Porsche Turbo

via thrillist.com

Compared to a Bugatti Veyron, a Porsche Turbo is a more reasonable car to drive around Los Angeles, though the comparison is of course an exercise in relativity. Arnold's 997 era Turbo Cabriolet is still one of the fastest cars in the world, with a twin-turbocharged flat six engine producing 500 horsepower and around the same figures for torque. Thanks to the traction provided by the Turbo's all wheel drive, 60 miles per hour arrives in only 3.4 seconds, and top speed is 194 miles per hour, which must sound awfully loud with the convertible top back.

Driving supercars around Los Angeles is often an exercise in futility, but can be fun for spectators in their regular cars who get to watch the ultra-rich and famous as their cars burble and rumble down the cramped city streets. Hopefully Arnold gets to unleash his Porsche Turbo occasionally with runs up to Malibu or in the hills around the LA basin, since it seems he truly has the good taste to back up his buying power. Otherwise, owning a car like a Porsche Turbo can mean not much more driving fun than just the sound of its exhaust, as wonderful as that note is on its own.

5 Tesla Roadster

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When it comes to outright speed and power in the automotive world, today's electric cars border on supercar status. Even Tesla's seven-seater SUV, the Model X, boasts a 0-60 time under 3 seconds when in Ludicrous mode. Electric cars are able to accelerate so quickly because unlike internal combustion engines, peak torque is available almost instantaneously, while a lack of gearshifts further helps to reduce any gaps in power delivery. And while Tesla's forthcoming Roadster seems likely to best even the impressive stats of the company's current offerings, even its first-ever model, the original Roadster, performed impressive when it debuted a decade ago.

For its time, the first generation Tesla Roadster set world records left and right, so it's no wonder Arnold Schwarzenegger had to have one. Achievements for the Roadster included being the first electric car with a range of over 200 miles, the first with a top speed over 124 miles per hour, the first highway legal production car to use lithium-ion batteries, a 0-60 time of around 3.8 seconds, and now one has even been launched into space in one of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rockets. On the path towards Terminator-style autonomous cybernetic organisms, Tesla is almost certainly a stepping stone along the way.

4 Bentley Arnage

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Arnold has a large and tabloid-famous family, which means that sometimes he needs to be able to drive around in a car with a roof and tinted windows, to help keep the paparazzi at bay. In situations like that, he can choose his Bentley Arnage, a large and luxurious sedan offering produced by the British manufacturer from 1998 to 2009.

Arnold's Arnage looks to be a Final Series example, which means it features a twin-turbocharged 6.75-liter engine churning out 493 horsepower and a whopping 738 lb-ft of torque.

With stately exterior styling and a six speed automatic transmission as the only option, the Arnage, despite all its power, is definitely in the luxury class. Still, a 0-60 sprint takes only 5.3 seconds, despite a curb weight well over 5,500 pounds. In classic Arnold form, Arnages were also available with a variety of armoring packages, including the ability to protect passengers from assault rifles and grenades. A full armor package boosted the sticker price for an Arnage by as much as $300,000, but that doesn't sound like too much for a man who has spent most of his life recreating violent situation exactly like those from which an Arnage can provide protection.

3 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz

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As a bodybuilder who spent much of his younger years enjoying the weightlifting scene at and around Venice Beach, it seems perfectly appropriate that Arnold used to drive a Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible. With awesome period-style like tailfins, a wraparound windshield, and bumper bullets, not many cars more perfectly defined 1950s  and 1960s beach style. The beefy two door still tipped the scales at almost 5,000 pounds, and despite a V8 under the hood that was powerful for its day, the Eldorado Biarritz certainly wasn't a sprinter by any means. A four speed Hydra-matic transmission, which would be slushy compared to even today's minivans, when paired to either the 5.4 or 6.0-liter engine couldn't help, either.

Instead, Arnold's convertible was undoubtedly used for cruising up the PCH to Malibu, or hanging out in the parking lot at Gold's Gym before walking over to Muscle Beach. This was the time period when Arnold was just beginning to attract an audience worldwide, thanks to his impressive physique and distinctive Austrian accent. Today, those neighborhoods would be incredibly difficult to drive the boat-like Eldorado Biarritz through, and finding parking would certainly border on the impossible, but getting to reminisce about the world a pre-movie star Arnold enjoyed would be worth the effort.

2 Indian Chief Motorcycle

via indiatvnews.com

Among all of Arnold Schwarzenegger's action and action-comedy roles, perhaps no image is more iconic than the Terminator cruising around on a Harley-Davidson FLSTF Fatboy, demolishing his way through sun-baked Los Angeles dressed in all black, holding his black shotgun in the air. In real life, just before becoming the Governator, Arnold was involved in the development process for the Terminator franchise's third installation, Rise of the Machines, which hit theaters in 2003 and featured an Indian motorcycle for the Terminator to ride.

And in classic Arnold fashion, he managed to get his hands on one, a model year 2000 Indian Chief, and he has been known to ride it around the dangerous streets of LA, though thankfully without the shotgun in tow.

Arnold visited the now-defunct Indian factory in Gilroy, California, to pick up the bike, which Indian gave him for free as part of the movie deal. Though perhaps not as iconic as the Harley, Arnold's Indian is a known piece of Hollywood history, and it's great to see that the legendary movie star keeps his own collection chock full of incredible pieces of his life, all his various professions, and the wide world of automotive engineering in all its many iterations.

1 M47 Patton Tank

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Arnold's career blurred the lines between bodybuilder, actor, politician, and businessman, so naturally his car collection blurs the lines of what counts as a car. And even the world's most exotic collections rarely include an M47 Patton battle tank, but leave it to the Twins star to go big or go home. But even though most owners might find it hard to justify owning a full-on battle tank, Arnold uses the immense fighting machine to raise money for his charity, the After-School All-Stars, and posts videos of himself crushing things, from cars to trucks to sofas.

The action star is no stranger to stunts, but this publicity stunt is working very well. Arnold told The Sunday Times' Driving, “It’s simple. We crush things with the tank and we say, ‘You want to crush some things with me? Come on out. Send in $10 and you can be part of the draw.’ We raised over a million dollars this way...When I went into the Austrian army... I first drove motorcycles and then cars and then trucks and then huge trucks. I got the licenses for each one of them before I was able to go to tank-driving school and drive tanks. I drove everything — the biggest vehicles you can imagine."

Sources: topgear.com, thetimes.co.uk, and newatlas.com.

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