Shaquille O’Neal is truly huge. The funny, likable star is currently one of the analysts on Inside the NBA, though he’s best known for all the championships he won with the LA Lakers. The Hall of Fame status belonging to Shaq is well deserved because he’s truly one of the best (and biggest) centers of all time, standing at an enormous 7’1” and 325 pounds (at least).
Besides his basketball career, he’s also released four rap albums, the first of which—called Shaq Diesel—went platinum! He’s appeared in numerous films, has starred in reality shows and tons of commercials, and he’s the general manager of Kings Guard Gaming of the NBA 2k League. He also hosts The Big Podcast with Shaq. So, you could say the guy gets around—his face is practically everywhere.
One of the coolest things about Shaq, besides his dominance on the court, is his car collection. He truly has some amazing cars, such as the monstrous Ford F-650, which looks like it was built specifically for him, and a customized Chevy van that looks like it could fit 35 people inside. But Shaq also has a taste for fancy cars and supercars. The problem being, of course, that he rarely fits inside those cars.
To solve his unique problem, Shaq gets his friends at some of the best body shops on the planet to help him customize and modify each ride of his to his specifications, so that he can fit inside all of them. These include cars like Ferraris and Lamborghinis, Dodge Hellcats, and even a Smart Fortwo!
Let’s take a look at 15 cars Shaq had to customize in order to fit inside.
The Vaydor Roadster might look like a supercar but it’s actually an elaborate body kit for a 2004-07 Infiniti G35. Shaq had this exotic, futuristic looking car custom built for him and it only costs $11,000 to do it! He had to get his refined further by Supercraft Custom Crafter Cars in order to fit inside it, though. The seats, pedals, and lower dashboard were all modified to allow his huge frame to fit inside more comfortably. The original Infiniti’s roof was also removed entirely to give him more headroom—and we have a feeling the low windshield might not even protect him completely from wind because of it!
Shaq’s a big fan of fancy cars and he’s also a big fan of fast cars. The only problem is that he doesn’t fit inside a lot of super-fast supercars. He had to customize his Dodge Challenger Hellcat into a convertible in order to fit inside the 717-hp beast. The original Challenger came with a drop-top option but the Hellcat does not. And the modern Challenger is also a huge car but Shaq still felt cramped due to the low roof. The legroom would be sufficient for him, though. The car has incredible torque and acceleration: It’s one of the fastest sprinting (0-60 mph) cars on the market, so he definitely needed to make it a convertible to avoid hitting his head on the roof every time he hit the throttle!
This snazzy looking car is clearly very customized, which was necessary due to Shaq’s enormous stature. This one began as a regular Mercedes-Benz S 550 sedan, then had its roof removed, its B-column removed, and a pair of rear-hinging doors thrown in. He also added custom side vents, which look a little out of place, as do the wheels. It’s definitely a car to be noticed in, as if Shaq doesn’t already have a big enough problem being noticed! But with both the front and rear doors swinging outwards, it definitely makes it much easier for Shaq to get inside. The car might not look perfect, but it works well for someone of Shaq’s size.
This funny looking car kind of looks like a cross between a Plymouth Prowler and a Go-Kart. The Vanderhall Venice is one of many three-wheeled cars that Shaq owns. He seems to really enjoy the three-wheeled projects. This car combines the classic motoring style of Morgan cars (from England), with modern construction and a 180-horsepower, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine. It’s a tiny car, weighing only 1,375 lbs, which is just a little bit less than Shaq himself weighs (just kidding). Surprisingly, it didn’t take a lot of bodywork to customize for Shaq to fit inside, though he did have an ECU tune done in order to keep the power-to-weight ratio up to snuff.
The Polaris Slingshot is a car that celebrities seem to love, probably because it looks like a sci-fi space ship on land. It’s also another three-wheeler, which makes it look surprisingly unstable. For someone of Shaq’s size, it seems to be a debatable ride, but he loves it so much he has two! West Coast Customs helped him customize this one and he had it reworked into the “SlingShaq” to fit comfortably inside. WCC put most of their energy into enlarging the footwell so he could have some more legroom. With Shaq riding around in this thing, he makes the “car” look tiny, with his knees scrunched up into him. But it’s definitely a unique ride and we can’t fault him for wanting one (or two).
His four-seater Polaris Slingshot, which is still a three-wheel car, looks a bit more manageable for the big guy, since it’s built on a bigger frame. He must have not liked his two-seater enough—maybe he didn’t have ample room in it—so he got this one too, which looks as big as a normal sedan. With him in the front seat, though, scooted back, we doubt anyone’s fitting in behind him. So it really is a three-seater, but with a different paint scheme. This car only costs $16,000 but the cost of Shaq’s modifications to the car remain unknown to the public. He had this one customized by Underground Auto.
You may be wondering, what the heck is Shaq thinking buying the smallest car on the planet—the Smart Fortwo? It’s a pretty ugly little ride, isn’t fast, and doesn’t seem to fit his style, at all. Well, jury’s still out on WHY he owns this car, other than as a practical joke on himself. For a 7’1” man of Shaq’s immense size, he absolutely dwarfs the little Smart car. He probably bought this one on a dare, since it starts at $28,000. He was forced to get a retractable cloth and Targa-style roof to allow his shoulders and head to fit into the small car. We have no idea where his legs go in the footwell—maybe they disappear into another dimension entirely.
Like we mentioned earlier, Shaq likes fast cars but he doesn’t fit into most of them. The Ferrari F355 is no different. This car didn’t start as a convertible but it was customized into one in order to fit inside, creating an F355 “Spider” that didn’t exist before him. Because the car’s engine is mid-mounted, that means he had to make some huge changes to the car itself. The chassis and body were stretched to give him more legroom, as well as the top being removed. It still must have not been that comfortable for the big man because he eventually sold it to a museum collector. Later, it was found by Detroit police in a bust, still bearing the license plate “SHAQ F1.”
Shaq owns two Cadillac Escalades, and that totally makes sense. This seems like a big enough car for him to fit inside of—but it still needed customization! In this one’s case, the substantial modifications came at the doors: they were changed to butterfly doors. The Escalade was also given a lowering kit, massive wheels, and a Superman logo on the badge. But the upward-swinging butterfly doors are the major external cosmetics that make this ride unique. Even though the doors might not create more actual space in terms of entry, it does give him more width to work with, which is good for someone who regularly weighs over 300 pounds.
One question that Shaq was posed by his costars on Inside the NBA is if he actually fits inside his Buick LaCrosse, like it says he does on the commercials for the car. Being the spokesperson of the car, it was clear he was chosen to show the legroom and interior space of the LaCrosse. But does he actually fit inside as easily as the commercial shows? Charles Barkley doesn’t believe so. He joked that Shaq had to rub himself down with Gold Bond Lotion (another product he endorses) in order to slide into the car. Co-analyst Kenny Smith then joked that if he wanted to take both of his kids to the amusement park, he’d have to take one kid at a time, because they all wouldn’t fit otherwise.
Shaq’s second Cadillac Escalade is a highly advanced, customized version of the luxury SUV that was given to him when he became an honorary police officer. Shaq has been involved with law enforcement for quite a while and here are some of the modifications this car has: first, it’s fitted with a customized seat rail setup so that he can fit inside comfortably. Among the normal, blue-colored speed markings on his speedometer is the red #34, for his jersey number when he played for the Lakers. The cargo area is filled with custom stereo equipment, the clock is from Bulgari, and there are Shaq-inspired hints all over the car. The current owner of the car, before putting it on AutoTrader, believed over $150,000 was spent on modifications.
This is another car that seems like Shaq might fit inside of without too many problems but that’s not true. West Coast Customs had to build the Wrangler specially for Shaq. WCC gave him a little more legroom in the Jeep and the team did stretch the chassis 20.6 inches longer than a standard Wrangler’s chassis. In addition, the front and rear doors on each side were fused to create two longer doors. The front seats were set back an appropriate length to give the long-legged star some room and it was equipped with Fuel wheels, a Magnaflow exhaust, Poison Spyder bumpers and rockers, a Smittybilt winch, and Rigid Industries off-road lights.
Another completely customized supercar that Shaq owned at one point was this stretched Lamborghini Gallardo, basically making it the first two-door Limo Lambo to exist. This stretch Lambo was customized by Gaffoglio Family Metalcrafters. The panel beaters and metal-crafters didn’t have to start from scratch here—the action takes place in the middle of the car, where an extra foot was added, which meant new doors, new glass, a new roof section, and new floorpans. The interior was fully retrimmed, the wiring harness was extended, and more. The aftermath wasn’t very close to the original designer’s proportions, but that’s A-OK for Shaq, who just wanted to fit inside the tiny thing.
This custom Cadillac DTS looks strikingly awesome and is truly fit for a king like Shaq. Unfortunately, he doesn’t own it anymore. His faithful friends at West Coast Customs built this one for him when he was playing for the Miami Heat. It’s a beautiful candy apple burgundy DTS that was “totally customized from top to bottom,” though the extent of those modifications is unknown. What we do know is that it came with an insane stereo system, powerful amps, and multiple tweeters, and the builder of the car, Ryan, said it was the loudest car he’d ever made for Shaq!
Another awesome-looking car that was customized for Shaq’s pleasure was this Ford Mustang, also in candy apple burgundy paint. It was actually a joint operation, by Dub Magazine and MTV, to feature cars of celebrities on MTV’s program. The Dub Magazine Project, as it was...dubbed, was built on the show. Sections of the car had to be removed and reframed in order to get the seats to move back a full nine inches. The stock fuel tank had to be swapped out with a fuel cell since it sat right underneath the rear seats. Other mods include 22-inch TIS wheels wrapped in Pirelli tires, a Baer brake kit, polished Roush supercharger unit, custom leather interior, a custom sound system, and a full Roush Performance body kit.
Sources: Muscular Mustangs, Motor Trend, Truck Trend, and Auto News.