When Michael Jackson passed away in 2009, he left behind an amusement park, a zoo, boats, and a massive car collection. With a moniker like the King of Pop, his vast and priceless cars didn’t get as much attention as the star itself. Since his passing though, more attention has steered towards his valuables, many of which occupied five large warehouses in California (NY Daily News).
With roomy warehouses each the size of 20,000 square feet, Jackson managed to stow away a lot of his cars there. Many of them are extravagant, others less so, but what all of them share in common is that they’re all unique. Plus, after being under Jackson’s ownership, most are now worth a fortune.
After his passing, Motor1 reports that many of the cars went up for auction. They speculate that many could end up in museums though to commemorate the pop icon’s life and accomplishments. While it may not be his greatest achievement, and more a byproduct of his immense wealth, Jackson’s car collection is a triumph.
Yet with all the cars, he accumulated over the years, he always remained disciplined in following a specific set of rules. For an artist that many claim, as per Elite Daily, had a crazy worth ethic, it’s only natural he’d apply the same reasoning to his cars.
We’re going to look at the rules Michael Jackson followed whenever he added an automobile to his fleet. Be sure to also check out cars owned by Michael Jackson that we wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole.
18 Got Cars From Famous Movies
Teased in an earlier section, Jackson managed to land a car from a famous movie. It makes sense he’d fall for this particular one considering his love for movies and fairy tales. It's why he got a custom paint job casting himself as Peter Pan. According to Mercedes Blog, Jackson's 1954 Cadillac Fleetwood was the same one featured in Driving Miss Daisy.
When he had a chance to go for a car that not only looked good but appeared in an iconic movie, he jumped at the opportunity. Few will wonder why he spent his hard earned money on it (unlike others he owned).
17 Bought With Collecting In Mind, Not Driving
As touched on earlier, Jackson gave up driving in the ‘90s. Mercedes Blog reports that he didn’t want to drive anymore because he thought everyone was staring. When you’re as famous as Jackson and drive the kind of cars he did, people are naturally going to look. This decision didn’t mean his love for cars was coming to a screeching halt though.
Whenever he looked into buying cars, he was considering what would be a good addition for his collection. That may explain why Jackson didn’t seem to have a lot of performance vehicles which are fun to drive, since he factored more the collecting side of it.
16 Stored Them At Neverland
As the intro revealed from earlier, Jackson didn’t keep all his cars at Neverland, his own estate and amusement park sequestered from the rest of the world. He had a lot of them in warehouses. He did, however, store some cars at Neverland. Back in March 2009,
Hemmings reports that Jackson put a bunch of his valuables on sale at his abode. Included among the list of things were many of his antique car replicas and a horse-drawn carriage, according to an official statement about the sale. One can only imagine his most prized cars ever went through the Neverland gates.
15 Got Windows Tinted For Privacy
Being Michael Jackson couldn’t have been easy. While it sounds appealing to many having adoring fans, it must also get draining. Jackson likely didn’t have much time away from the limelight and couldn’t even escape it going from point A to point B. The least he could do though was make sure his cars had tinted windows. While it didn’t keep fans from surrounding his cars, it at least gave him a degree of privacy.
According to Mercedes Blog, he had tinted windows put in cars like his Cadillac Escalade to dampen the flashes coming from the paparazzi at every turn.
14 Featured His Cars In Music Videos
Jackson’s 1991 music video “Black or White” featured an AMC Matador and Jackson later added one to his collection and even included it—according to Gatsby Online—in some of his concerts. The AMC Matador came with a powerful V8, but the exterior styling had a mixed reception. In the music video, Jackson actually tears the Matador apart on a foggy night in the middle of a street.
Perhaps that was Jackson's way of showing anger towards the way it looked. Then again, he ended up getting one to add to his collection, so he must’ve liked something about it.
13 Always Had A Few Vintage Cars On Hand
Jackson had no shortage of cars. He collected a wide variety too, not just limited to cars of his time. Not only was his fleet full of cars from the ‘80s and ‘90s during his prime, but some came from the era he was born in.
As we showed in 18 weird facts about Michael Jackson’s cars, he had a vintage 1957 Chevy Bel Air. He even had a special 1954 Cadillac Fleetwood he got from a major motion picture. You’ll have to keep reading though in order to find out what movie it featured in, which we detail further below.
12 Made Interiors Lavish
Jackson’s limos may have been sleek on the outside, but they were even more extravagant on the inside. The Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph had an interior fit for a King of Pop. Then again, it was all done in Jackson’s style, so it may not look homey to everyone. From photos, one can see plenty of leather seats, curtains for privacy and a TV for passing the time to and from destinations.
The entire cabin had wood paneling and gold trim throughout. There are even gold ornaments along the wood and situated on each side of the TV that either make it more grand or off-putting, depending on how one looks at it.
11 Picked Off The Wall Vehicles
The best word we can use, to sum up Jackson’s car collection is eclectic. For every car one can appreciate, there are five others out of left field that raises eyebrows. As our article cars Michael Jackson owned and others he would’ve owned today shows, there are some oddball choices no one could predict.
For example, a Lancia Stratos Zero, which was a unique concept car. He also had a GMC fire truck, which had “Neverland Fire Dept” painted along the side of its doors. He even owned a golf cart. Cars of all shapes and sizes belonged in Jackson’s garage.
10 Got Custom Paint Jobs
When stars have the money, who can blame them for wanting to pay a little extra for some unique mods? They want their vehicles to stand out, and there’s no better way to do that to a car than to give it a one-of-a-kind paint job. As alluded to earlier, Jackson had a golf cart, only his was unlike any ever seen before. Not only did he get the hood painted, but he made a mural out of it.
The picture featured Jackson dressed up like Peter Plan looking on at a flying ship, reminiscent of—yup, you guessed it—Neverland. It just goes to show that he loved this fictional world so much, he even put it on his golf cart.
9 Had To Have Cars That Would Be Able To Get Him Out Of A Bind
There’s an interesting tale about Michael Jackson in New York on one of the most infamous days in recent history: September 11, 2001. Gizmodo reports that Jackson had had a concert the day before at Madison Square Garden. When the attacks went down, he ended up banding with two other major stars: Liz Taylor and Marlon Brando.
They had both attended the concert and were in the same bind as Jackson. All three of them decided to hop in a car together and leave town since they couldn’t take a plane. That must’ve taught Jackson to always have a good getaway car close at hand.
8 Needed A Sun Roof
Sounds silly, but what good is a car to Michael Jackson if it doesn’t have a sunroof? There are countless images of the pop star standing up in a car and sticking out of a sunroof to the cheers of fans. Whether he arrived on the runway of an airport or even at the courthouse for a trial, fans showed up to support their favorite star wherever he went.
For these special occasions, he always seemed to roll up in a car with a sunroof where he could give the fans exactly what they wanted: a show.
7 Had To Feel Safe While Inside
Jackson’s cars not only served the King of Pop as transportation but also provided him sanctuary. After performing for thousands of fans and ending with a triumphant encore, Jackson could retreat to the comfortable confines of his limos. On the other hand, whenever he drove to an event where fans could expect to see him, he’d want to feel safe inside his car.
There’s always the threat that fans could go too far and do something extreme just to get closer to their favorite artist. Jackson always considered the safety of the vehicle and made sure it was up to the task of protecting him before laying his money down.
6 Bought Lots of Nice Limos
Jackson lacked modesty when it came to his car collection, especially with limousines. That’s right—it’s supposed to be plural. Motor1 reports that the pop start had a total of four limos. He went all out when it came to these cars, especially on the inside (which we detail further below).
For proof, look no further than the 1999 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph. It even came with, as the same source notes, a competent 5.4-liter V12 engine that was able to do an impressive 322 hp. That was probably for those urgent getaways after concerts when fans had created a stampede just to get a look at Jackson.
5 The Car Roofs Had To Be Easy To Climb On
Michael Jackson has a recurring habit of not just riding in cars but jumping on top of them too. He did it in the music video for "Black or White” and later on during a court appearance. In a YouTube clip posted by the user iconic, one can see how Jackson grabbed hold of the roof with his door ajar and hoisted himself up. He did the move quickly and seemingly without effort.
If he’s jumping on cars, it better be sturdy and balanced enough to carry his weight. Always ready to surprise fans at a moment’s notice, Jackson had to have made sure his cars were easy to jump on.
4 Played A Role In Designing The Cars
Michael Jackson seemed to have trouble trusting others when it came to his music. According to The Denver Post, the pop star had a reputation for being a control freak about how his music sounded. The same seems to apply to his cars too. Mercedes Blog reports that for one of his finest limos—the 1999 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph—he played a part in the interior design.
The inside of the limo contains 24-carat gold and crystal, which Jackson picked himself. He even took the liberty of designing how it would all look. This is an example of how his preferences, which commonly applied to music, translated over to his cars.
3 Made Sure The Car Had Room For Others
The quick getaway on 9/11 illustrates one of Jackson’s rules about cars. He’s always with others while driving. Part of the reason Liz Taylor and Marlon Brando joined him was that they were such monumental stars and there's no way he could’ve turned them down, especially in their time of need. Yet when one looks at photos of Jackson in cars, he never drove alone.
He always had people around him, especially while on the go. This may have been the case so he didn’t have to drive, or so someone could protect him from fans and the paparazzi. Either way, he always made sure the car could fit his crew.
2 Had To Spend Lots On Them
Rare cars, custom paint jobs, and lavish interiors all cost something at the end of the day. For Michael Jackson though, money was no object. According to the site Heavy, his net worth was around $500 million in 2009 when he passed away. With that kind of money, thanks to his superstardom, he was able to buy virtually any kind of car he wanted.
It wasn’t enough just to buy a car though, as he had a reputation for decking them out too. If there’s a rule he had when it came to buying cars, it’s that he never looked at the price tag. Perhaps he should’ve in retrospect considering he racked up a sizeable debt.
1 It Had To Handle The Neverland Ranch Roads
There’s a price to being famous, especially when you get as popular as Michael Jackson did; like losing your driving privileges. According to Mercedes Blog, Jackson quit driving in the early ‘90s. He would, however, drive himself around Neverland where he wouldn’t have to worry about others intruding on his private land. He would even end up driving only certain cars there, which means he probably considered the terrain and landscape before he bought them.
If he wanted to drive a car home and even take it for a spin around Neverland, he had to make sure it was capable.
Sources: Motor1, NY Daily News, Elite Daily, Gatsby Online, Mercedes Blog, Gizmodo, Hemmings, Heavy, The Denver Post