You will have seen star actors stepping out of their chosen luxurious limousines when arriving at the Oscars ceremony, or premiere of their latest big budget film; other celebrities too, showing off their latest automobile acquisition – seemingly the more expensive and/or rarer the better – an on-going parade of how to spend your (sometimes not so) hard-earned net worth.
While many celebrities clearly enjoy the ostentatiousness of these show-off opportunities, others have far simpler tastes, often indulging in much simpler, cheaper and more fun-loving machines, so to speak, as opposed to those which you may well hesitate to take out onto public roads, or those which you can only get the best out of on a closed track – unless you want to risk the wrath of the law!
Following is a selection of celebrities who prefer to have at least one far more modest vehicle in their garage – admittedly some alongside a luxury model or two – but just maybe a case of transport for all occasions? See what you think…
Steve Ballmer – Ford Fusion Hybrid – $35,000
By far and away the richest single person on this list with more than $20 billion in the bank, what sort of vehicle(s) would you expect to see this person driving? Well, perhaps Steve is ahead of the field, as befits the ex-CEO of Microsoft (and owner of the LA Clippers of the NBA). The Hybrid is possibly associated more with town driving for the moment, but living close to Seattle, Steve probably has the best of both worlds, with the Rockies not too far out of town, and he is certainly still at the forefront of technology, and care for the environment.
Leonardo DiCaprio – Toyota Prius – $20,000
Despite the fact that his net worth is now close to $300 million, latest Oscar winner Leonardo is apparently another environmentalist, also prefering the quiet option of a hybrid car when moving around southern California, perhaps unsurprising after the lengthy, hectic, noisy schedule involved with his latest (Oscar-winning) film hit “The Revenant”. As with other celebrities, he may well prefer the relative anonymity of the car too – a little privacy is surely allowed, given that such stars are often thought of as public property.
Justin Timberlake – Volkswagen Jetta – $16,000
Another acting and singing star who seemingly prefers to go unnoticed when not on stage or screen, Justin could also afford something rather more ostentatious as his means of transport, as he has now racked-up a net worth of close to $200 million. However, this modest vehicle apparently gives him some relief from both paparazzi and adoring fans when not engaged on ‘official’ business, around his home town of Memphis or southern California where he now resides.
Britney Spears – Mini-Cooper convertible – $25,000
Actually, this relatively petite car somehow suits its relatively petite owner, far more so than those gross Mercedes G55 and Maserati Gran Tourismo vehicles she also owns. (Jealous? Nah!) Well, with a fortune approaching $200 million, the singing superstar can do pretty much as she pleases when selecting which car to drive today, but not forgetting her consistent philanthropic endeavours stretching back over more than 15 years. Maybe she deserves a luxury or two, doesn’t she?
Conan O’Brien – Ford Taurus SHO – $24,000
This host of comedy talk shows still drives the love of his life – well, one of them anyway. Really, this is a special model, sporting a Yamaha 3-litre V6 turbocharged engine producing over 220bhp, which Conan has reputedly owned for more than 20 years, long before his face became well known on evening TV around the US, and now around the world. Well, he does have a rather warped sense of humour, but he can afford to smile with a net worth of over $75 million.
Clint Eastwood – GMC Typhoon – $30,000
Another wolf-in-sheeps-clothing is driven by ‘Dirty” Harry Callaghan, AKA Clint Eastwood, one of the most recognisable stars of TV and the big screen with a career spanning six decades, which has brought him a deserved fortune of close to $400 million. Yes, this beast of the road also hides a 4.3-litre V6 turbocharged 280bhp under the hood – ready for the chase, or a getaway?
LeBron James – Jeep Wrangler Unlimited – $26,000
Another very well-paid, rich star with a stable of cars at home, LeBron can certainly afford whatever he wants, and has – Ferrari, Maybach, Hummer, Bentley, Mercedes, Porsche, Rolls-Royce – yet here he is, in a rather run-of-the-mill Wrangler. Seems that he doesn’t just have fun on the basketball court – if ‘fun’ is the right word for an athlete who needs to live up to his reputation of being one of THE highest paid in sport, including from endorsements. How much? A cool $42 million for seasons 2014-16 alone – enough for another Jeep, maybe?
Daniel Radcliffe – Fiat Punto – $18,000
AKA Harry Potter, this is allegedly the first car the British star purchased, a big difference to that which most young drivers aspire to when they finally get their licence. Well, he has only just made his first $100 million, so there’s still plenty of time, and many options to chose from. Maybe one of those ‘driverless’ cars? Now, what would Harry Potter drive in the real world…?
Colin Farrell – Ford Bronco – $40,000
Despite driving a myriad of vehicles during his film roles, Colin apparently isn’t too particular about what he drives privately, although he could certainly afford something a little more up-market if he chose, with a net worth of $30 million. Still, the award-winning Irishman is perhaps true to his roots, going for practicality over looks, but with a strong and reliable V8 on board.
Mel Gibson – Toyota Cressida – $10,000
Maybe this popular star of the “Mad Max” and “Lethal Weapon” series of films among many others is really trying to get around incognito? This vehicle in fact looks like a left-over refugee from one of those franchises, but perhaps it’s all he could afford after that messy expensive divorce settlement? Actually, this model sports a 200hp 3-litre V6 as its power pack, so maybe just enough to keep out of trouble? (PS – his net worth is still north of $400 million!)
Tom Hanks – Scion Xb – $55,000
The super- much-respected movie star seems to have been around forever, but has yet to reach 60. However, having amassed net worth approaching $400 million, he too could indulge in a Ferrari or… or… However, he prefers this modified, electric-engined model to get around Los Angeles anyway. Come to think of it, it doesn’t look much smaller than a Hummer… beware, traffic!
Jennifer Lawrence – Volkswagen Eos – $35,000
From starring in “Winter’s Bone” to “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and several other films drawing considerable praise, this rising actress with a net worth estimated at over $60 million could afford … well, whatever she wants, and she has, albeit a rather more modest means of transportation than many of her genre. Still, this 2-litre turbo-charged machine obviously provides adequate fun for this young lady.
Jay Leno – GMC Syclone – $26,000
Alright, so what if he is reputed to own a collection of more than 250 cars, this one is a little more modest, isn’t it? Well, looks can deceive, because actually less than 3,000 of this ‘special’ were produced, meaning that with a 4.3 litre V6 turbo-charged motor under the hood, Jay can get to wherever he’s going almost as quickly as he could driving his McLaren MP4-12, and with less attention, certainly on the open road. Now, which one will I buy… I mean drive today…? Now folks, I have to spend my $350 million net worth somehow!
Pope Francis – Renault 4 – donated
Yes, really! His Eminence is supposed to use what has come to be called ‘The Popemobile’, certainly on formal, crowded – one could say potentially dangerous – occasions, but then, without those flowing white robes and other regalia, who could possibly think that the person driving this modest car is actually the head of the Catholic church? Come to think of it, this is much more his style, confirming his persona of casual friendliness and humility, and allowing him to mix freely with his flock! As at least nominal controller of probably the richest entity in the world, the Pope could reasonably afford something a little more luxurious, but somehow this fits him well enough – after all, he is a parish priest, although his official title is Bishop of Rome.