Fame and fortune can afford you many things. Chief among them are the lavish material goods you can buy with your wealth. Admit it, if you had the pool of cash that the rich and famous have, you would spend it on the most outrageous of items. That is the epitome of buying it “because I can.” This shows off how much you are willing to throw your money around.
Besides actors and musicians, professional athletes spend like there’s no tomorrow. With astronomical salaries, athletes often shoot for the moon with their big-time purchases. Cars are no exception because they are the ultimate status symbol. Any multi-millionaire athlete can buy a sprawling estate and call it a day for over-the-top acquisitions. The problem is that you cannot take your mansion around with you to show off how well off you are. However, a tricked-out ride or an exotic sports car is a bold statement about how much you want others to stop and take notice.
Professional athletes love their cars for the same reasons that everyone else does. However, the difference is that these individuals can afford the rarest and most outlandish of vehicles to add to their growing automotive collections. When they are not battling on the gridiron, stepping into the batter’s box, or boxing a center in the paint, these athletes are taking these rides out for a spin for all us to envy. The cars on this list prove that it’s not enough for these athletes to captivate capacity crowd stadiums full of fans with their natural athletic gifts. From outlandish to just plain cool, these vehicles run the gamut. What all ten vehicles have in common is that they are awesome automobiles of a higher financial value.
10. Darren McFadden’s Purple Buick
A purple convertible is eye-catching enough on its own. Stack this ride on four mini-monster truck level tires and you have Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden’s gaudy ride. This custom built machine is not extravagant. It is a case of someone reaching their first big pay day and going all out. Aesthetically speaking, McFadden could have picked a better color scheme, but that would have been beside the point of making a bold announcement that he legitimately has the money to burn on ridiculousness. That said, McFadden’s purple power Buick is an awesome head turner.
9. Bubba Watson’s General Lee
A two-time Masters champion should be able to roll up to the country club in style. Elegance and sophistication are obliterated when this iconic TV car rumbles up the driveway. Bubba Watson bought this replica of the Dukes of Hazzard’s General Lee at the Barrett Jackson Collector Car Auction. However, it should be required of Watson to, at some point in his career, accept a trophy and celebrate by hopping bunkers in the Charger a la the Dukes. Bo and Luke would be proud.
8. James Harrison’s Smart Car
At first, the notion of a burly NFL linebacker cruising in a super compact car is unfathomable. However, James Harrison’s Smart Car shows how the Pro Bowler is thinking ahead about his financial well-being in terms of fuel efficiency. It begs the questions of to what extent the increased fuel efficiency is nullified when towing around someone of Harrison’s size. That aside, you have to hand it to him for bucking the trend of the gargantuan SUVs that seem to be a popular choice for those in athletic circles. Harrison chose to go green and scores big points for it despite how odd the pairing of the two appears.
7. Felix Hernandez’s Red Range Rover
King Felix needs a vehicle fit for his regal status. However, the Seattle Mariners’ ace also requires a ride comparable to his blazing fireball status on the mound. This red Landrover is the picture of style and speed all rolled into one. It is flashy, confident and throws a few curveballs in what is a daring choice of vehicle by Hernandez. Customized from head to toe and sporting custom made 24-inch rims with the words “King Felix” engraved on each one, this is as flashy a ride as you are likely to see any athlete drive. Hernandez has been one of the most dominant pitchers of his era, but one would think that playing in relative anonymity in Seattle would have lessened his desire to be seen.
6. Roy Halladay’s Rat Rod
When Roy Halladay showed up to the Philadelphia Phillies’ spring training complex in Clearwater, Florida in this Munster-esque jalopy, the Doctor added some major cool points to his ERA. For as mechanically sound as Halladay was on the mound, this rusted bucket of bolts is not what one would call a model of engineering greatness. A rat rod is not supposed to be pretty. It is supposed to be a junkyard marvel, cobbled together by spot welds to form an original hot rod. That is exactly what Halladay has in this unique ride. Doc Halladay could have opted for the elegance of a Mercedes or the high performance of a Ferrari, but he chose this do-it-yourself heap instead.
5. Robinson Cano’s Gold Ferrari
One of the highest-paid players in baseball, Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano owns this flashy gold Ferrari 458 Italia Spider. It may be a stereotypical choice of vehicle for anyone with millions to their name, but Cano’s Ferrari stands out. Now that he is no longer confined to the hustle and bustle of the city that never sleeps, Cano can let his ultra-high performance ride do all it can without being bottled up in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Gold is a daring choice of color, not to mention how it clashes with the red interior. But somehow it works, creating a package that’s hard not to stare at. With all of the green Cano has earned and is set to earn, he can afford to go with gold as the color of his ride.
4. Michael Jordan’s Mercedes SLR 722
This one qualifies as unique based solely on its price tag. Jordan is known for collecting high-caliber vehicles for his own driving purposes. When you can bank on a highly lucrative brand like Jordan can with Nike, you can afford an expansive collection of vehicles. Jordan could buy a car for every day of the week if he felt like it. It seems like His Airness goes through cars almost quite as often. Jordan parted with this gull-wing door Mercedes SLR 722 McLaren, which comes at a price tag of $457,000. However, it still reserves a place on this list due to its provenance. The McLaren looks the part of a regal, yet highly engineered sporting model. After less than a thousand miles behind the wheel, Jordan decided to part with this upper echelon ride.
3. David Beckham’s Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead
This convertible Rolls Royce; yes you read that correctly, is owned by the richest soccer player in the world, David Beckham. Top down while cruising the streets of Los Angeles, Beckham is the king of Hollywood in what is traditionally a chauffeur-driven style of vehicle. There will be no propositions for Grey Poupon by Beckham from the backseat in this classy convertible. The Phantom Drophead is far from your traditional Rolls. That is what makes Beckham’s ride all the more awe inspiring. It’s a driver and not a luxury model reserved for Jeeves to cater towards the owner’s travel whims.
2. LeBron James’s White-Out Camaro SS
King James’s phantom white Camaro is a regal, yet peculiar choice of ride by the multi-MVP winning power forward. James could have added a Hot Wheels flavor to this blank canvas. Instead, James opted for this Camaro that would disappear in a blizzard.
However, to consider how intensely scrutinized James’s career has been by fans and media alike, this choice of ride is admirable because it flies under the radar aesthetically. James made the right decision choosing the iconic muscle car. However, the folks in Cleveland probably could care less about James’s low key color scheme on his Camaro as long as he delivers multiple championships.
1. John Cena’s Plymouth Superbird
The WWE superstar has a large collection of American muscle cars that include a Ford Gran Torino GT, Mercury Cougar Eliminator, Dodge Charger, and a Pontiac GTO Judge. However, the car that stands out from the pack is John Cena’s 1970 Plymouth Superbird. Popularized by the King, Richard Petty, on the NASCAR circuit, the Superbird was effectively banned from stock car competition due to a purported unfair advantage. The winged car was built for the superspeedway and is now one of the most collectible classic MOPAR muscle cars. Cena owns one of the premier muscle cars on the market. Fitting for someone with as an intimidating physique as he possesses.