Celebrities cars. Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge. This challenge caught my attention immediately. The chance to show some of my collection of photos of 1960s & 1970s celebrities cars. Let me start by saying that I can only dream of having taken these photos. I started collecting them of a global Facebook group called ‘Theo’s classic cars friends’ some time ago, as they just leaped of my Mac (I can recommend this group to every classic car lover) and it just grew.
Every photo of celebrities cars has a story. Wherever possible I included as much of the stories I could find. Obviously, this will be work in progress, so do check in from time to time…
The Moon | Ferrari story as told by James Harold Sapienza
If the ’70s were the decade for sex, drugs, and rock and roll, few people practiced it as religiously as Keith Moon, the drummer for The Who. Widely credited with perfecting rock star cliches like trashing hotel rooms, driving luxury cars into swimming pools, and destroying his drums on stage every night, Moon partied harder than just about anybody. He ended up paying dearly for it too — he died at age 32 in 1977. Here’s Moon in 1972 with daughter Mandy and an array of his cars. There are three Rolls-Royces, a Mercedes-Benz 350SLC, Bucket-T Ford hot rod, a 1930s Chrysler, a hovercraft, and a Ferrari Dino. He famously gave the keys to the Ferrari to a group of teenagers at his local pub and forgot about it — until he found the car wrecked in a ditch while stumbling home drunk.
Brigitte Bardot. Car unknown to me
The Hemingway | Chrysler story as told by Marcello Stella
Ernest Hemingway spent much of his life in Cuba: starting in 1939, for more than 15 years, albeit with several interruptions. On the island, he wrote The Old Man and the Sea, with which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and the Nobel Prize the following year. Also in Cuba, Hemingway started For Whom the Bell Tolls and made famous cocktails like the Mojito and the Daiquiri. The American writer also left one of his cars on the island, a 1955 Chrysler New Yorker De Luxe Convertible: the restoration of the car became the subject of a documentary. It is a car that, thanks to its illustrious owner, has great historical value, but at the time of its discovery, which occurred recently, its conditions were not good. In fact, it had stood still and abandoned for over half a century. But there was no money for the restoration and finding original parts was very difficult. At this point, David Soul came on the scene, known for playing Ken Hutch in the TV series Starsky & Hutch. The actor is a big fan of Hemingway and, thanks to the British passport in his possession, he had traveled to Cuba many times, becoming a friend of the director of the museum dedicated to the writer. Who asked him for help. Thanks to the magazine Practical Classics, Soul came in touch with Andy Bernbaum, supplier of original Chrysler parts, also a big Hemingway fan. Then, with the help of some sponsors, the restoration became really possible.
The Jagger | Morgan story as told by James Harold Sapienza
In the early ’70s, Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones were at the top of their powers. On top of jet-setting and selling out arenas around the world, they were recording seminal albums like Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main St. Somewhere between all of that, Mick was able to vacation in the south of France. Here he is behind the wheel of a Morgan, a wood-framed, British-built sports car. Aside from an interruption during World War II, the Morgan has been in constant production since 1936. Amazingly, the modern Morgan isn’t all that different from Mick’s car here.
Janis Joplin and her psychedelic 1964 Porsche 356
The Bowie | Mercedes story as told by Marcello Stella
West Berlin, Cold War Era, 1976. David Bowie lived in a flat close to the Wall, together with Iggy Pop, Brian Eno and Lou Reed. Of that period he remembers being constantly high on drugs. One night he found himself in a hotel garage, his foot jammed on the gas of a black 1967 Mercedes Benz 600 Landaulet, racing around in circles at lunatic speed. Then he decided to let the steering go and end his life crashing at full speed into a garage “wall”. But just as he did so, the Mercedes ran out of petrol and spluttered to a standstill. “Oh God,” he said to himself, “this is the story of my life!” Yet he was wrong. Because instead of running on empty, Bowie wrote a harrowing confessional song called “Always Crashing In The Same Car”. Instead of dying at his peak, he would pick up the shattered pieces of his mind and distill them into the three most cathartic, influential, and magical albums of his career: “Low”, “Heroes” and “Lodger”. And instead of becoming just another ’70s Rock casualty, Bowie would fuse British Punk with Kraut Electronica, black magic with white noise, amphetamine psychosis with spiritual healing. As a by-product of this process, starting from a potential car crash, he would accidentally invent in West Berlin the future of Rock and Roll.
Clint Eastwood and his Jaguar XK150
The Welch | Ferrari story as told by Filipponereoruggero FerranteCarnielli
According to an article published in 2016 by the Italian newspaper Repubblica it is the 1966 Ferrari 275 GTS chassis #7359 that belonged to Raquel Welch. She received such a car as a present from the director Leslie H. Martinson (movie Fathom). She drove the Ferrari until 1975, when she sold it to a new buyer.