A couple of years ago Shaq had a problem: his son, Shareef, wasn’t doing as well in school as he would have liked. Although he had thrown a big party for Shareef’s 16th birthday, even going so far as to give him a Lamborghini, he took the lavish car back. “Put it this way,” Shaq said. “I bought them, they’re his regardless. But you get all A’s, Lambo’s yours” (Fox Sports). As long as Shareef did well in school, he could drive the luxury sports car.
Shaq owns a stunning car collection. Part of what makes it so impressive is his celebrity status and connections, which only helps him bring in more unique rides and tuners to work on them. If there’s one thing his garage proves, it’s that he has seemingly unlimited money to burn on whatever car he sees or imagines for himself.
In order to build up a car collection though, Shaq has a set of rules he follows each time he decides to add another ride to his fleet. Having a more laid back attitude in life, Shaq’s rules for buying cars have changed over time. Yet when one looks at his cars, they can see a common thread he follows across each ride that explains his tastes and criteria every one of them must adhere to.
We’re going to look at all the rules Shaq follows when he goes to the dealership or orders a new car from the comfort of one of his own mansions.
20 Make Unlikely Vehicles Daily Drivers
Half the cars in Shaq’s garages aren’t the kind of cars people would make their daily drivers. They’d treat them as their prized possessions, sitting on them until they’re worth even more. Shaq doesn’t live by this rule though. He instead makes some of the most unusual and valuable cars his daily drivers. He’ll even use more impractical rides, like an F-650, the car he takes around town.
The Drive estimates Shaq’s massive F-650 cost over $100,000 to make when factoring in all the custom work. Instead of letting it collect dust in the garage though, he proudly makes this a daily driver.
19 Troll The Public With Unpredictable Car Choices
People don’t know what Shaq is going to do next when it comes to buying cars. This is how he keeps the public guessing and intrigued by what he’ll add to his fleet. One year he’s getting an unspectacular Buick LaCrosse, the next a massive Ford F-650.
It makes sense he’d have fun upending the public’s expectations for what kind of cars he buys since he’s always been a prankster that’s more about clowning others instead of taking things seriously. With a Lamborghini Gallardo, he’s able to live the dream, while a Smart car is going to help him troll the masses.
18 If He Doesn’t Fit Inside At First, Mod The Cars
The way Shaq mods his cars is something of a phenomenon. So much so, we dedicated a whole piece to Shaq mods that are slam dunks and others that are air balls. Standing tall at a massive 7’1”, one of Shaq’s benefits on the basketball court was his height advantage. That presents something of a problem in cars, however, which forces Shaq to make some custom modifications in order to fit.
Motor Authority reports that he even had a Lamborghini Gallardo stretched out to accommodate his stature, which might throw many car enthusiasts for a loop. Modding cars is necessary if he wants to drive comfortably.
17 Have To Put On Ridiculous Rims
When it comes to rims, Shaq doesn’t show restraint. The bigger, the crazier and the more ridiculous they are, the better. For his 2003 Hummer H2, Driverside notes he put 26-inch Asanti AF127 wheels; on his 2004 Rolls-Royce Phantom, 24-inch coming by way of BBH Luxury Wheels. In order to stand out, sometimes it takes really big rims to do so.
Motor1 reports he also got 2019 Ram 1500 but couldn’t resist equipping it with some big custom rims that are 26-inches. He ended up making them black though to blend in a little more under the radar, instead of standing out like his other cars.
16 Must Take It To His Own Car Wash
More than just a retired NBA superstar, Shaq manages to stay busy as a studio analyst on Inside the NBA. He’s also made some major investments and endorses several companies. According to NBC Sports, he’s the joint owner of several restaurant chains and even has 150 car washes.
With so many places to get the cars washed, it makes sense how he’s able to keep all his cars looking clean and shiny for the cameras. He probably doesn’t have to pay a dime to keep them looking pristine, as long as he follows his rule of taking it to one of his car washes.
15 Put The Superman Logo On Everything
The Superman logo is iconic and has become not only a comic book symbol, but one that’s transcended into the mainstream. Shaq appropriated the logo once he started going by the moniker of Superman for his feats in the NBA. Now he puts the logo everywhere, including most of his vehicles. Whether it’s a custom paint job along the side or a badge that’s front and center on a car’s grille, everyone knows whose car it is from the Superman logo alone.
To quote Shaq after winning the NBA championship in 2000 when he spoke to crowds in Los Angeles, “Can you dig it?”
14 Get Several Garages
Shaq doesn’t know modesty when it comes to storing his vehicles. If he’s going to get a car, he has to be sure there’s plenty of space for it. If his recent mansion he put up for sale in Florida is any indication, one assumes he’s got other homes with huge garages.
According to Parade, the mansion that went on the market for $28 million has two garages that can fit 17 cars in all. That only emphasizes how many cars Shaq has and how highly he thinks of them. To most of the world, their garage either seconds as a workshop or a place to store forgotten treasures.
13 Gets All His Cars Insured By The General Auto Insurance
One of Shaq’s top endorsement deals he’s known for his The General auto insurance. Many of the ads humorously show Shaq driving around with a computer-animated mascot for the company. It’s safe to assume his cars are all insured, and it’d be a mistake to go with any provider other than The General.
His history with the company even goes as far back as his first car. “I got the car for $2,200 and my dad said, ‘Now you need insurance. I remember asking him what insurance was and why I needed it and eventually had a policy with The General” (ESPN).
12 Buy A Wide Variety Of Vehicles
If there’s one rule about the type of cars Shaq buys, it’s that there are no rules. He has a wide variety of vehicles at his disposal, from ones that focus on luxury to others that are all about performance. He even has EVs that are practical but still have a modification of some sort. Some of the more lavish ones include Bentleys, a Lamborghini and Ferrari.
He owns a Tesla Model S P85, as per Teslarati, which comes with some aftermarket mods. He even has a Vanderhall Venice Roadster. There’s no way to pin down exactly what Shaq’s preferences are, except to say he’s got an appreciation for all types of vehicles.
11 Gift Lavish Rides For Others
Not one to hoard all the cars for himself, Shaq proved that lavish cars make the best gifts. In 2016, he gave his son Shareef two cars for his 16th birthday. We’re not talking any old clunkers though, but a Jeep and an actual Lamborghini. Shaq even followed his rule about modifying the cars he buys.
“Of course the Lambo is expensive, but jeeps are $25,000,” he said, as per Fox Sports. “So I put a hell of a paint job on it, I put some thangs on it for him, that’s what the little kids like, so when he gets his license I’ll definitely give him that.”
10 Has To Own Rides Suited For Long-Distance Travel
Most celebrities bow out of the limelight after their fame has reached its peak. Shaq isn’t like most celebrities though. He’s busy and on the road constantly in order to keep up his status. “Nobody travels more than me,” said Shaq, as per Deadspin.
Not only is he going to need jets to get him from one place to the next, but a fleet of cars also. While not all his vehicles adhere to this rule, as some exist for pure fun, he takes into account his extensive traveling when making a purchase. Shaq also thinks he’s cracked the code on fueling up cars with gas, which we reveal in the next entry.
9 Forget About A Car’s Price Tag Or The MPG
Money isn’t a problem in Shaq’s world, at least when it comes to automobiles. He’ll buy whatever catches his interest regardless of the price and even get a tuner to go to work on it. Even further, paying for gas doesn’t matter much either, as we can’t imagine he got the Vaydor or Gallardo for their MPG.
What’s less understandable though is the way Shaq pays for his fuel expenses; he only uses half his tank before paying the station a visit. “But when it gets to half, you put $20, then when it gets back to half, you put $20” (Deadspin). He might have a doctoral degree, but his reasoning behind fueling up is puzzling.
8 Picks Cars Wisely Because It’s An Informal Endorsement
There are things Shaq has to consider before buying a car that most people don’t have to worry about. As a major endorser of other brands and products, it’s important that Shaq recognize what kind of cars he’s going to get behind the wheel of. Whenever he’s spotted in a car, he's essentially making an unofficial endorsement of that vehicle. Even the custom shops benefit from Shaq employing their services.
According to Hooch.net, West Coast Customs—which has been around since 1997—wasn’t doing so hot. That all turned around though when Shaq went there to have them modify his car.
7 Go With Multiple Custom Shops
Being a car connoisseur, Shaq picks and chooses his vehicles from a number of sources. According to DuPont Registry, he got his beautiful Vaydor from SuperCraft Custom Crafted Cars, which is appropriate considering one of Shaq's nicknames is Superman. Going back even further, as Tire Burnreports, custom motorcycle extraordinaire Jesse James made a deal with Shaq: if the dominant NBA superstar could lead the Lakers to a championship again, he'd make him a chopper.
Shaq fulfilled his end of the bargain and it led James to make him a custom chopper on Motorcycle Mania 2 in 2001. Check out times Jesse James totally messed up and cars where he made up for it.
6 Always Have Party Cars On Hand
Shaq owns vehicles made for partying. Perhaps the one best suited for it is his customized tour bus. Not only is it covered with a custom paint job that brings attention to some iconic moments from one of the best big men to play the game, but it also has enough real estate to host a party on the road. He also has a nice Sprinter that can accommodate a few in the back, while also giving the star some much-needed headroom.
It’s important he always has these types of vehicles on hand should the urge to throw a rager ever kick in. If these land mobiles aren’t enough, he also has a jet rental service that’s just a call away.
5 Needs A Lot Of Bass, Killer Sound System
As if being an NBA champion, businessman and getting his doctoral degree wasn’t enough, Shaq also has a rap career. That makes it imperative his cars come decked with the best sound systems on the market. He once shared a story, as per The Undefeated, about a Suburban he took the seats out of and replaced with speakers.
“I called it The Van of Death,” he said. Even Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest said that the bass was too much. When Shaq buys a vehicle, he’s thinking about all the ways he can fit in a subwoofer in there.
4 Make The Vehicle Stand Out
The problem many drivers face is standing out from others. One of the luxuries Shaq and other celebrities have is being able to afford cars that are less commonly seen on the roads today. For example, he got a Chevy G1500, which was a basic van from the late ‘90s.
Shaq’s version, however, is unlike any that have hit the road before. We highlighted it in cars Shaq needs to bring back to the dealership and those he’ll never sell. With custom wheels and a lower suspension, it may not be to everyone’s liking—but it stands out from the rest.
3 Have To Tint Car Windows To Hide From Fans
People in Los Angeles may have gone a little too far after their beloved Lakers won the champion in 2000. Fans took to the streets and started causing mass hysteria as a way of celebrating the city's victory. At one point, in a report by the New York Post, fans even surrounded the car Shaq and his family were driving in. Some were even daring enough to jump on top of the vehicle.
With fans always trying to get near Shaq and even willing to swarm his vehicle, it’s important he protect his privacy with tinted windows. After that incident though, it wouldn’t be surprising if he installed other car features to escape unwanted fans.
2 Buy Cars For Charity
We’ve already touched on Shaq’s rule of buying cars as a gift, but he’s also known to use them charitably as well. When fans went too far celebrating the Lakers’ championship run in 2000, the Los Angeles Times reports that a couple of police cars erupted in flames. That made Shaq feel a little bad, so he decided to write a check to the Los Angeles police so they could buy a new patrol car.
The team ended up matching Shaq’s contribution and replaced the second car. This proves he has a big heart and is willing to do something charitable even if it means buying a car for law enforcement.
1 Pose With The Car, Take Photos And Share It With The World
Shaq is never shy about posing with fans, family and friends. The same goes for his elaborate rides, which get a lot of attention even when they’re in Shaq’s shadow. A rule he seems to follow each time he picks up a new car is snapping a photo with it and sharing it online.
It’s something most can relate to after making a major purchase; they want to share it with the world. Shaq still gets a childlike wonder when it comes to cars and jumps at the opportunity to show them off, whether it’s a Smart car or a Rolls-Royce.
Sources: Fox Sports, DuPont Registry, Tire Burn, Parade, Teslarati, Motor Authority, Deadspin, The Drive, NBC Sports, ESPN, New York Post, Hooch.net, Driverside, Motor1, The Undefeated, Los Angeles Times