This January, we sadly lost the rock and roll legend Meatloaf, famous for several songs including the iconic 1977 hit ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’. As we reflected on the singer’s legacy, we began to wonder just what cars the most iconic rockstars drive. Here are our top five.
1. Keith Richards: Bentley S3 Continental Flying Spur
As the guitarist of the Rolling Stones, it is hardly a surprise to see Keith Richards and his car feature on our list. His 1965 Bentley S3 Continental Flying Spur was one of just 68 right-hand drive examples ever made and is rumoured to have featured a number of modifications, including darkened glass for the rear windows, a Philips record player and a secret compartment in the frame for ‘the concealing of illegal substances’.
The car was given the name ‘Blue Lena’ in honour of Keith’s favourite singer Lena Horne and played a central role in many of Richards’ rock and roll adventures – including a road trip to Marrakech with his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg in 1967. It sold for $763,000 at a Goodwood Revival auction in 2015.
2. Eric Clapton: Ferrari SP12 EC
Guitar legend Eric Clapton may be best known for his love of the Fender Stratocaster, but offstage he is almost as well known for his love of Ferraris. In 2012 he commissioned Ferrari to build him a unique, one-off model – named the SP12 EC – in homage to the 512BB, of which he’d owned three.
The SP12 was based on a 458 Italia and featured a recreation of the 512’s two-tone paint finish as well as a number of its design flourishes. It was created by Ferrari’s ‘One-Off Programme’ and is reported to have cost Clapton somewhere in the region of £3m.
3. Elvis Presley: De Tomaso Pantera
Elvis Presley purchased a used De Tomaso Pantera for his new girlfriend Linda Thompson in 1974. Although given his appetite for destruction, it was obvious that neither relationship would last, it is widely agreed that the car ultimately came out worse. With a history of electrical and overheating problems, the Pantera was not always willing to start the first time, or at all.
Legend has it that one morning Elvis became frustrated at the car’s reluctance to fire up and, in a fit of anger, shot a small calibre revolver through the steering wheel before getting out and shooting a hole through the driver’s door. He sold the Pantera in 1976 – the same year he broke up with Thompson.
4. Keith Moon: Ferrari Dino 246 GTS
The Who’s infamously destructive drummer was well known for his volatile relationship with most objects. While televisions and guitars may have been the subject of much press, he is known to have had much the same story when it came to cars (even if none of them, thankfully, left a hotel room via an upstairs window).
Instead, It was a swimming pool that was responsible for the fate of his Lincoln Continental. Meanwhile, Moon’s brand new 1972 Ferrari Dino GTS also met an untimely end. After consuming several pints in a local pub, he purportedly offered the Dino’s keys to a friendly gang of bikers, who proceeded to drive his car into a ditch and then run away. In true rock and roll fashion, Moon apparently didn’t seem to care too much about the damage.
5. Lady Gaga: Lincoln Continental
Another artist whose driving history includes a Lincoln Continental is Lady Gaga. Although the superstar has owned an impressive array of vehicles over the years, including an Audi R8, a Rolls-Royce Corniche and a slightly less impressive diesel Mercedes saloon from the 1980s, her most impressive ‘ride’ is definitely her 1965 eggshell white Lincoln Continental, complete with custom red leather interior and oversized multi-spoked rims.
In what may have been an attempt to become a little less conspicuous while out and about, however, she sold the Lincoln at auction last year.
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