The super-wealthy celebrities of Hollywood love to spend their excessive money. And when it comes to spending celebrity wealth, the biggest purchases outside of mansions are various types of enviable, luxurious transportation.
Some celebrities, like Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld, are avid car collectors. While others prefer to get around in spectacular private planes and jets, some simply enjoy relaxing in their luxurious yachts.
The 'easy come, easy go' sentiment, however, applies to these celebrity indulgences. Some of the most expensive vehicles ever owned by celebrities have been sold in recent years. Some were sold because the celebrities that once owned them had died, while others were sold to make money for charity. Others flipped these super expensive vehicles to make a quick profit. Just how much profit can an expensive vehicle with celebrity status get at auction? These are ten of the most expensive celebrity vehicles ever sold.
10. Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose: $500,000
Howard Hughes was one of the most important innovators in aviation history, and his iconic plane, the Spruce Goose, has changed hands many times since Hughes’ death in 1976.
At one point the U.S. government owed it, and before that the Summa Corporation owned it. In 1992 the plane was sold to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, which is located in McMinnville, Oregon, for a cool half million dollars. Aero Club sold the iconic plane to the museum. Five hundred thousand is actually a serious bargain when you take into consideration the fact that the plane cost as much as $40 million to build.
9. Jay Leno’s Dodge Challenger SRT8: $565,000
What could make a relatively new model Dodge Challenger worth such an astounding price? It’s a fine automobile, but why would it cost ten times its retail price? Well, a huge car buff and legendary stand up comedian once owned it.
8. Elvis’ 1969 Mercedes Benz 600 Pullman: $750,000
A 1969 Mercedes Benz 600 Pullman might not be one of the most expensive vehicles around if you were to want one of these classic cars. But it would cost you a lot of money if it was once owned by Elvis.
When the King bought this car he surprisingly put $5,500 on it as a down payment. It was one of his daily drivers and he made payments on the car for 36 months. Years later it fetched a staggering price tag of $750,000, which proves Elvis can make anything much more luxurious simply thanks to his incredible fame.
7. Donald Trump’s Boeing 727: $4 to $8 million
When Donald Trump needed a new jet his previous one went up for sale, and it is believed to have been sold for anywhere between $4 million and $8 million. The 1968 Boeing 727 was decked out to the nines and just as ostentatious as Trump himself. When Trump owned the 727 it had plenty of luxurious and extravagant amenities including gold-plated seatbelt buckles and gold-plated sinks.
Trump even went so far as to plaster his last name across the jet in gold leaf. It’s likely the current owner got rid of that feature even if he or she bought it because the plane was owned by Trump. Trump ended up buying a Boeing 757, which was once owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, for $100 million. That’s quite an upgrade.
6. Johnny Carson’s Yacht: $8.95 million
The King of Late Night spent the last few years of his life relaxing and spending some time on his fantastic yacht. It was a short but well-deserved retirement for being simply the best talk show host ever and one of the greatest performers of all time.
In 2010, five years after Carson’s death, his custom-built yacht the Serengeti was listed for sale with a price tag of $8.95 million. The yacht, which is a 130 foot Westport, is still used today by its current owner. He charters Carson’s former hideaway in the summer months, and it can often be seen along the Pacific coast from Washington to Alaska.
5. Elvis Presley’s Planes the Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II $10 million
The King of Rock n’ Roll named his famous plane after his daughter, and Elvis’ plane was decked out with all the finest luxuries, including gold bathroom fixtures. For many years fans have marvelled at the planes, and they have been allowed to take a look inside both the Lisa Marie (1960 Convair 880) and Elvis’s other plane called the Hound Dog II (Lockheed Jetstar).
Since Elvis’ death, the planes have been located at Graceland for tourists to see, but they were recently put on the auction block multiple times because the operators of Graceland want them gone to make way for new exhibits. The auction closed earlier this month and the pair of planes was expected to sell for at least $10 million.
4. Steve McQueen’s Vintage Ferrari 275 GTB/4: $10 million
Last year a classic Ferrari that was once owned by Steve McQueen was sold at auction for a staggering $10 million. The sale was one of many highlights from last year's Monterey Car Week in California.
The rarity and condition played a part in the high sale price, but the fact that actor and car enthusiast Steve McQueen owned it was the biggest reason the auction reached the heights it did. Experts believe that if Steve McQueen didn’t once own the car it might have sold for substantially less. The Steve McQueen effect as it’s known has made many cars rise in value. A 1968 Ford GT40 used in McQueen’s film Le Mans sold for $11 million just two years earlier.
1 Tiger Woods' 'Privacy' Yacht: $25 million
When Tiger Wood’s and his ex-wife Elin Nordegren divorced he offered her this massive yacht as part of the settlement. Woods originally bought the $20-million yacht as a wedding gift for his now ex-wife. Nordegren didn’t want the yacht as part of the former couples divorce settlement because it costs upwards of $2 million a year to maintain. So, Woods was forced to sell the massive 155-foot yacht. It was listed for a staggering $25 million.
Many said the price Woods wanted was simply too high, and it seems as if they were right. Woods listed the yacht in 2011, but just last year he was seen relaxing on the deck of the unsold luxury boat with his girlfriend, ski racer Lindsey Vonn.
2. Aristotle Onassis’ Yacht: $32.4 million
Shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis had a fleet of yachts and his yacht called the Christina O is one of the most luxurious things he owned in his lifetime. Famous celebrities of the 50s and 60s such as Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor were all wined and dined on the fabulous vessel. In 2013, the historic yacht went up for sale with an astonishing price tag. The asking price was $32.4 million.
The iconic 325-foot yacht was where President John F. Kennedy and Sir. Winston Churchill first met. The meeting of two of history’s greatest politicians happened at the ship’s bar.
1. Bernie Ecclestone’s G650 Gulfstream jet: $72 million
Formula One Group Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone pocketed a few extra million by selling his Gulfstream jet. The G650 is in such demand that Ecclestone managed to sell his for $72 million. The jet retails for about $64.5 million, so Ecclestone made a tidy profit from between $6 and $8 million more than he paid for it.
Demand is so high because of the long wait times that come from purchasing from the jet’s manufacturer. Those that bought jets in 2013 won’t actually get the plane until 2017. Instead, many impatient billionaires would rather pay the extra few million to buy second hand and get theirs now.