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  • Our Top Five... Classic cars owned by legendary stars
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • ClassicFive...OurTop

Our Top Five... Classic cars owned by legendary stars

As we previously reported, a car previously owned by Formula One driver Jenson Button (pictured top right) is rolling onto the auction block at Bonhams on April 11.

And it probably won't surprise you to learn that the car in question isn't a Mini Cooper, but rather a classic 1978 Ferrari 512BB Berlinetta Boxer.

With 49,155 miles on the odometer and around £94,000 spent on its maintenance and restoration over the past 33 years, the classic auto is set to take pole position at Bonhams with a high-end estimate of £110,000.


Pushes a playboy's Buttons: the 1978 Ferrari 512BB 

A 1978 Ferrari 512BB seems like the perfect choice to compliment Button's life of fast cars, glamorous women and exotic locations.

But it also raises the question: which classic motors have other iconic celebrities chosen to drive over the years? We had a look and, as you'll see below, some choices are more surprising than others...

5. The Boss's yellow 1957 hot rod

In his autobiography, all-American rocker Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen wrote: "In '70's New Jersey, the car was still a powerful image. That summer I bought my first set of wheels for $2,000.

"It was a '57 Chevy with dual, four-barrel carbs, a Hurst on the floor and orange flames spread across the hood." The stunning looking yellow convertible was the artist's first vehicle, bought in 1975. It includes orange flames along the bonnet and sides.


The Boss’ Chevy: today worth significantly more than the $2,000

Springsteen is thought to have composed hits such as Born to Run in the car, before selling it in 1976 when its striking appearance started to bring him too much attention from fans. It recently brought even more attention at a Gotta Have Rock 'n' Roll's auction earlier this month, selling for $46,8000.

4. Elvis Presley's car fit for a King

Less famous than Elvis's Pink Cadillac is his 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600 Saloon Limousine in powder blue. It was one of only a handful of cars that the singer registered himself, and one of two 600 Mercedes that he owned.

At the time Elvis took delivery of this car he was in the process of rebuilding his career, which had been in the doldrums for some years. His career resuscitation would culminate in the 'Comeback Special TV show in December 1968, NBC's highest rated show of the season.


Elvis Presley's 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600 Saloon

Presley owned the car for two years before, in typical generosity, he gave it to one of his friends, James Leroy Robertson. It was sold by Bonhams on December 6 last year at Mercedes-Benz World, Surrey, UK for an impressive £80,700.

3. Steve McQueen's wheels for Le Mans

The late Great Escape star's legend remains synonymous with his passion for fast cars and motorcycles. And this 1970 Porsche 911S is among the classic motors that caught his eye.

In spring 1970, Steve McQueen's Solar Productions headed to France to start work on the racing film, Le Mans. To make his stay in France even more agreeable, McQueen bought a Porsche 911S to use both in the movie and as personal transport.


Porsche-ing it to the limit: Steve McQueen's 911S

McQueen was so happy with his 911 that, at the end of filming, he decided to keep the car. Porsche transported it to Germany, where the transmission was modified. The 911 was then shipped to McQueen's home in California, United States.

But fascination with the car didn't end there. It was considered missing since it left La Sarthe in 1970 when the filming completed for Le Mans. That is, until March 2011, when it was reported that McQueen's 911S would be sold by RM Auctions on 18-20 August 2011, as part of its Monterey sale.

2. Eric Clapton's 'wonderful looking' Ferrari

This is also another for Steve McQueen. What did he and legendary guitarist Eric Clapton have in common? They each drove a 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso.

Like Jenson Button, Clapton found Ferrari to be the perfect accoutrement for his rock 'n' roll lifestyle. Elsewhere, McQueen's 250 GT Lusso was auctioned for $2.3m in August, 2007, by Christie's in California.


Driven by McQueen, Clapton and others - the 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso

Another 1963 Lusso, reportedly ordered for the personal use of Mylène Demongeot, the famed French actress who starred alongside Brigitte Bardot and others, sold for $720,500. It appeared at Gooding & Company's Scottsdale, Arizona, US sale in January of this year.

1. Diana Dors' gleaming blue roadster

Here's a piece of trivia for you: did you know that film siren Diana Dors was, at age 20, the youngest registered UK owner of a Rolls Royce in the UK (even though she didn't have a driver's licence)?

And Dors, whose likeness appears on The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band LP, wasn't just into Rolls-Royces. Her garage also boasted this stunning 1949 Delahaye Type 175 S Roadster. It was a strictly one-off French design with bodywork by the Parisian coachbuilder, Saoutchik.


As gorgeous as its owner: Diana Dors' Delahaye Type 175 S Roadster

As was traditional in various parts of Europe in the late-'40s, Saoutchik designed the coachwork atop Delahaye's chassis to the specifications of Sir John Gaul of Monte Carlo. Gaul - a good friend of the renowned car collector Prince Rainier - purchased the car as a gift for Dors.

Around the time that it was gifted to Dors, the magnificent car also won the Concours d'Elegance in Monaco. The automobile had a chance to relive its heyday when it appeared at RM Auctions' California sale in August of last year. In the end, it sold for $3m.

 

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  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • ClassicFive...OurTop