For many years, the rich and famous elite of the world has loved collecting cars. The vehicles kept in these vast hoards can serve as symbols of status and power, as timestamps that represent key periods in modern human history, or as incredible machines for taking out on the road for all to see. For some, they represent wealth; for others, they are beloved trophies with storied histories, and for others, further still, they bear high sentimental value.
Whatever the reason for gathering them, there are some incredible car collections out there, and here on this list, you’ll find some of the most impressive examples in the whole world. Whether they’re owned by billionaire businessmen, powerful politicians, or money-laden musicians, these collections are all wondrous sights to behold.
Hassanal Bolkiah, 29th Sultan of Brunei
If you want to know who has the biggest car collection right off the bat, then Hassanal Bolkiah is your man. He may not be a familiar name to most, but as the ruler of the Southeast Asian nation of Brunei, he is one of the richest and most financially powerful men in the world. And what does he do with all of his money? Spend it on cars, of course! The Sultan owns a vast car collection that at one point stood at around 6000 – 7000 vehicles, making it the largest private collection in the world.
It’s estimated he owns around 5 billion dollars worth of cars, including a collection of 11 Ferrari F40s, 10 McLaren F1s, a BMW Nazca M12 concept car, and even a Rolls Royce Silver Spur II coated entirely in 24-carat gold. Commissioned specifically for royal weddings, the Silver Spur is said to be worth around 14 million US dollars. During the 1990s, the Sultan’s family accounted for half of all Rolls Royce purchases worldwide. With this much spending power, it’s no wonder the Sultan owns the biggest car collection in the world.
Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan ‘The Rainbow Sheikh’ – Emirates National Auto Museum
The nickname ‘The Rainbow Sheikh’ is bestowed upon Abu Dhabi’s Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan not because of his love of reflective meteorological phenomena but rather as a nod to his 7 Mercedes S-Class sedans collection, one in each colour of the rainbow. A colourful character in every respect, the Sheikh is the sole proprietor of UEA’s Emirates National Auto Museum, which he has housed in a giant metal pyramid in the middle of the desert.
Things only get weirder from there. The museum is home to all manner of off-the-wall vehicles, including the world’s largest operational jeep, a people-carrier cum speedboat hybrid, and a steam-powered Mercedes, along with various historic cars like the 1885 Benz Patent Motorwagen – widely regarded as one of the first cars ever made. If you’re in want of a place to stay while visiting, just hit up the Sheikh’s giant globe-shaped caravan. It’s got space for nine visitors, with en suite bathrooms attached to each room, and should it need moving, there’s a 64X scale Dodge Power Wagon on hand to help out.
Jay Leno (Big Dog Garage)
Ex-host of The Tonight Show and motorhead Jay Leno is well-known for his love of all things automobile, and if you know anything about cars, then you’ve probably already stumbled across his show Jay Leno’s Garage. The eponymous Big Dog Garage in Burbank, California, is home to more than 280 vehicles, making it one of the largest car collections in the US. These include everything from incredible sports cars like the McLaren F1 and a ’67 Lamborghini Miura to quirky artifacts from car history like Howard Hughes’ E-20 Doble Roadster – a car powered entirely by steam!
Leno’s collection is said to be worth more than 50 million dollars, while the McLaren set him back 800,000 just on its own. He’s a fan of finding obscure and incredible cars to purchase, like the Blastolene Special hot-rod built by Randy Grubb. Originally nicknamed ‘Big Bertha,’ Grubb constructed this astonishing car from an oversized ’32 roadster that he decided to power with an M47 Patton Tank engine. Leno later bought it at auction and renamed it the ‘Tank Car,’ which isn’t the funniest name in the world considering he’s a comedian. Still, you have to admit he’s got good taste in cars.
Ken Lingenfelter Collection
One of the more obscure collectors on this list, Ken Lingenfelter of Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, may not be a familiar face to those outside of the automobile world. Still, he does have a large car collection of more than 150 corvettes, muscle cars, and exotics. Lingenfelter purchased many of these cars and took over LPE after the original owner, his cousin John, passed away following a racing accident.
He has since built the collection up with all manner of tuned and tweaked performance cars, including incredible specimens like a ’63 Chevrolet Corvet, a ’69 Pontiac GTO Judge, and a custom-made 2010 Lingenfelter Trans Am. A huge fan of Pontiacs and other muscle cars, Ken has dedicated a lot of time to resurrecting the classic Trans Am in a modern mode, and he’s constantly developing new prototype cars to innovate on classic designs like these.
Indian billionaire businessman Mukesh Ambani keeps a lot of stuff inside his 27-story residence. There’s the three helipads, the home theatre, and the private pool and gym, along with all manner of reception rooms and suites. There are also six floors dedicated entirely to his private garages, with over 160 cars stored in this Mumbai high-rise.
With a net worth of 92.6 billion dollars, it’s no wonder Ambani has expensive tastes. Take his Rolls Royce Cullinan, coated in a special paint wrap designed to change colour according to atmospheric lighting conditions. Then there’s his bulletproof Mercedes E-Class for standard driving around town and his futuristic BMW i8 for when he wants to turn some heads. He’s also a fan of modern hybrid and electric cars like the Tesla Model S – he liked it so much that he purchased a Tesla Model X to go with it.
Familiar to anyone with even a passing interest in F1, entrepreneur-investor Gerard Lopez is perhaps one of the most knowledgeable and discerning motorheads the whole world over. Co-owner of Genii Capital and ex-president of Lotus F1, he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to cars – and rightfully so, as he owns more than 100.
A racer himself, his tastes vary from classic cars to modern sports cars to historical beauties. He owns many great sports cars like the Maserati Ghibli, Lotus Esprit Sport 300, and the classic AC Cobra 427 racer. He likes to collect cars that have won Grands Prix and championships specifically and cars owned by celebrities of yesteryear. His favourite car is a deep blue Rolls Royce Silver cloud II once owned by Brigitte Bardot, proving just how eclectic Lopez’s tastes are. Still, one thing all his cars have in common is that they are beautiful examples of important cars in motoring history.
Craig Jackson Garage
Craig Jackson of the Barret-Jackson car auction company has probably bought and sold more cars than anyone else alive today. He has purportedly sold more than 1 billion dollars worth of cars and owns more than 70 prized specimens himself. These range from classic muscle cars like his ’61 Chevy Impala and ’97 Dodge Viper to oddities like this 1932 Ford Custom Roadster, a bright orange, big-fendered steel hot-rod known as the ‘Hula Girl’.
While Jackson’s auction house is all-business, his garage shows a certain amount of whimsy. The building, known as ‘The Rotunda’, is designed to look just like the wheel of a ’67 Shelby, with walls that mimic the car’s door panels and enough space for every vehicle in his collection – all of which are road-ready and driven regularly.
Though he’s famous for his eye for clothes, Ralph Lauren is equally astute when it comes to selecting good-looking cars. He has a vast collection of over 100 vehicles supposedly worth more than 350 million dollars, and each and every one of them is a beauty. His interests lie in classic racers with interesting silhouettes, especially Ferraris like the curvaceous 250 GTO, the stylishly vintage 375 MM, and the all-time classic 250 Testa Rossa. He’s no stranger to showing off his vast collection either – his cars have appeared at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Paris’ Musée des Arts Décoratifs, and even at 2017’s New York Fashion Week, where his models were each paired with a stunning colour co-ordinated sports car to match.
Nick Mason (Pink Floyd)
It turns out that the dark side of the moon is covered in Nick Mason’s cars. The Pink Floyd drummer is probably equally well-known for his love of motor racing and car collecting, as he is for playing across all 15 of the band’s studio albums. He owns a large collection including 40 Ferraris and a wide selection of vintage vehicles.
The first car he purchased for his collection was a Ferrari 250 GTO, which he bought with his share of the proceeds from Dark Side of The Moon for a not-insignificant price of £37,000. Still, when it’s one of 39 ever made, you have to spend a bit of money to get it, and like many of Mason’s purchases, it’s the history of the car that appeals to him. He’s also the proud owner of a 1901 French Panhard 5-litre, which he drives between London and Brighton every year on the annual veteran car run, while one of his favourite cars is his father’s old Bentley four-and-a-half litre that the two of them used to drive to racing events together.
Mason’s a keen racer himself, and he’s successfully competed in numerous competitions, including the 24 hours of Le Mans. He even appeared on The Grand Tour in 2018, beating out Stewart Copeland of The Police for the title of ‘fastest rock drummer from a band that begins with a P’ – another accolade to sit alongside his CBE!
It was tough being a car collector back in Soviet Russia. For starters, all vehicles were owned by the state, so it was impossible to acquire a car that was yours and yours alone. With the fall of Communism in Russia in the latter half of the 20th century, however, foreign vehicles began to enter the country, and thus car-collecting passions were sparked nationwide. The Lomakov family were the first to get hooked, and Dmitry Lomakov even managed to open an automobile museum in the 1990s to showcase his collection.
Over 200 vehicles are now on display at the Lomakov Museum in Moscow, including incredible historical specimens like old Soviet and German military cars. Lomakov has a special interest in acquiring old Nazi vehicles in what he sees as a ‘middle finger’ towards Russia’s old enemies. He is currently in possession of Hitler’s Mercedes Benz 700K and cars that once belonged to Goebbels, Goering, and Bormann. Hitler’s car is supposedly cursed; according to its seller Michael Fröhlich, “Almost everyone who bought the Mercedes has died not long afterwards, including Hitler.”
Lomakov also owns several Russian vehicles of interest, including Stalin’s ZIS-110 limousine and Patriarch Pimen’s gothic GAZ Chaika. However, in the dusty corners of the museum, some of the most interesting items are to be found. My favourite pick is a motorcycle rather than a car, a 1914 Peugeot model left behind in remote Arkhangelsk by French troops in 1918. Nowadays, Lomakov rents his vehicles out to movie studios and for special state events, bringing in more money with which to buy even more cars.
Rodger Dudding (Studio 434)
A self-made millionaire, Roger Dudding started his car collection after years in the self-storage business, which is to say he knows his way around a garage or two; after all, he owns more than 12,000 across the UK. In his garage, you’ll find more than 420 incredible vehicles, including 24 Aston Martins and 200 classic cars, making it Europe’s biggest car collection.
Highlights include three long-nosed Aston Martin Lagondas, a miniature yellow Ferrari 246 Dino built to shrunken specifications, and even a 1929 Austin Seven scout car used by army field officers before being sold off as a civilian vehicle. Dudding has a whimsical eye and owns several other mini cars and pedal cars and a DeLorean DMC of Back to the Future fame. Like Lomakov, he rents out his vehicles to the television industry to fund the collection. Their caretaker Luca Lachezar often serves as a driver during filming – he even starred in Mary Poppins Returns in 2018.
Anyone who has seen Jamiroquai’s Jay Kay in interviews or on stage knows he’s a bit of a quirky character, and his car collection reflects his unique tastes. With hundreds of sports cars in his garage, Kay has just about one of everything, though he is particularly fond of Ferraris. Jamiroquai’s Black Devil Car is a tribute to his black Ferrari Enzo, while Kay famously turned up at Godwood’s Festival of Speed 2014 in the world’s only bright green LaFerrari.
Of course, not all of his cars are sports cars, of course – he owns a classic Volvo 850 R station wagon and several mid-range staples like the ’74 BMW Bauer Convertible and a yellow Abarth 1000. His silver-grey Aston Martin DB6 is an incredible vintage car, and there’s always his bright fuchsia Lamborghini Diablo for when he wants to turn a few heads out on the road. Kay’s quite the driver – he managed to get the fastest lap time ever recorded in Top Gear’s Chevrolet Lacetti leaderboard, with a stunning 1.45.8 – beating out Brian Johnson of AC/DC by a single millisecond.
With a net worth of 1.2 billion dollars and 50 wins under his belt, Floyd Mayweather is one of the most successful boxers of all time. He’s a man of luxury these days, and you can find him sharing photographs of his jewelry, jets, and, most importantly, cars over on his Instagram daily. It’s estimated he owns around 100 vehicles, including 3 Bugatti Veyrons, 2 Ferrari 458 Spiders, and a Lamborghini Aventador. Supposedly, he keeps a fleet of black cars in LA, and a fleet of white cars in Vegas, with a few rare exceptions like his black-on-red Bugatti Grand Sport, which he purchased for around 2.2 million dollars.
Jerry Seinfeld is the richest comedian in the world and something of a fiend for expensive hobbies. We’ve known for a long time how much he loves his sneakers, but it’s only since he started Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee in 2012 that we’ve been privy to his vast car collection. He owns around 150 vehicles in a 1.4 million-square-foot garage run by a fleet of staff, and in each episode of Comedians in Cars, he picks one out to suit his celebrity guests.
Larry David got to parade around in a vintage VW bug, Norm MacDonald was crammed into a rusty Porsche 356, and Jerry’s old co-star Julia Louis-Dreyfus managed to snag Bond’s 1964 Aston Martin DB5. Even Barack Obama has appeared on the show, driving around the White House grounds in a 1963 Corvette Stingray in silver-blue. While Jerry’s collection is certainly eclectic, he particularly loves Porsches. He has also gone on record about how much he hates anything made by Lexus, describing their cars as the perfection of “the idea of a coffin on wheels.”
You may not be able to see the man himself, but John Cena’s car collection is impossible to miss. With over 20 muscle cars in his garage, Cena loves everything big, brash, and bold, with vehicles like the 1970 AMC Rebel and 1966 Dodge Hemi Charger at his command. He likes anything with power behind it both aesthetically and technically, which you can see in his bright orange 1970 Plymouth Road Runner, or his insane custom-made Corvette InCenaRator, a crazy future car covered in wrestling decals.
Beneath the muscly exterior lies a soft heart, however. Two of Cena’s most beloved cars are much more valuable in terms of sentimentality than they are in cold hard cash. His 1989 Jeep Wrangler is a memento of his early days with WWE, Cena having bought the car with his first paycheck. And the 1991 Lincoln Continental in his garage is much more than just a keepsake – Cena actually used to live in the car when he first moved to California, back when he was a broke bodybuilder trying to muscle his way into the wrestling scene.
Speaking of household names, you might not recognize Jon Shirley, but you will recognize the company he helped build from the ground up alongside Bill Gates. We’re talking about Microsoft, of course, the success of which has gone on to fund, amongst other things, Shirley’s burgeoning car collection.
Though not the largest car collection in the world, it’s small but mighty, with around 30 vehicles currently on the roster, including prized specimens such as an Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B and a 1957 Maserati 300S Fantuzzi Spider. Shirley even owns a 1954 Ferrari 375 MM Scaglietti Coupe commissioned by Italian film director Roberto Rossellini. Several ex-racing cars like the 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C carried Frank Griswold to victory at the Watkins Glen Street Race, also grace his collection. The jewel in the crown is Schumacher’s 1997 Ferrari F310B, which helped him earn second place at two F1 Grands Prix.
Last but not least, we have Michael Fux, one of the most interesting and occasionally controversial car collectors going. Fux is the epitome of the rags-to-riches story, a Cuban emigrant who bought his first car for $25 in 1950 – a beaten-up old Ford with rotten wooden floorboards. Fux set up a bedding business in the US as a young man, and throughout the years, built a vast fortune in this domain. He now has a net worth of 400 million dollars and more than 150 cars to prove it.
These include some colourful picks, including a stark white Phantom EWB with a bright pink interior and a Rolls Royce Wraith with a ghostly green-on-green paint job. As you might have guessed, Fux is a fan of striking colorways, and he even has his very own shade, often referred to as ‘Fuxia’, a variant of fuchsia, which he has had applied to both a Rolls Royce Dawn and a McLaren 720S. He even dished out $300K for a custom paint job on his McLaren Senna, purportedly offering up the green shoe he was wearing as an impromptu colour swatch. Sometimes, the old ways are the best!