Skip to main content

Gallery: rock stars and their cars

Janis Joplin
Janis Joplin

In 1977, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason splashed out on a new car. Or rather, he bought an old one. One of just 39 Ferrari 250 GTOs made in 1962, it raced at Le Mans (finishing third) the same year. The car cost Mason a whopping £35,000 and a fair amount of soul searching. “I felt naggingly stupid to be spending so much,” he said.

Cut to next scene: in 2012, two similar GTOs were sold at auction. One fetched $32 million, the other sold $35 million, and Mason’s investment was beginning to look like the bargain of the century. But it’s not just about the cash: as a rock star, your choice of car signifies a number of things. It tells the world how successful you are. It reveals your taste. And it’s sexy.

This car and many others feature in Rock Stars Cars, a book by David Roberts that features pictures of, yep, you guessed it, rock stars alongside their cars.

The book features 127 iconic shots, from John Lennon’s psychedelic Roller to Janis Joplin’s equally colourful Porsche. You’ll also find appearances from Chuck Berry, Jon Bon Jovi, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Syd Barrett, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin and dozens of others (see gallery, below).

Rock Star Cars is available now.

Image 1 of 11

Freddie Mercury makes himself comfortable at front end of the suitably-named 1950 Studebaker Champion

Image 2 of 11

Image 3 of 11

Image 4 of 11

Keith Richards with his 1966 Bentley S3 Continental. In 1967 he drove the car to Morocco with Anita Pallenburg and her boyfriend Brian Jones. By the time they returned, Anita was with Keith.

Image 5 of 11

Pete Townsend claims he saved money for five years in order to afford his Mercedes Benz 600. Popular with dictators, other owners included Nicolae Ceaușescu, Pol Pot, F. W. de Klerk, Leonid Brezhnev, Fidel Castro and Robert Mugabe.

Image 6 of 11

Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, Idi Amin and The Shah of Iran all drove Citroen SMs. So did Rolling Stone Bill Wyman (pictured here). Charlie Watts also had one in his collection, but couldn't actually drive.

Image 7 of 11

Hey mum, look at me! Tom Jones returns to the street in Wales where he grew up, Rolls Royce Phantom V in tow.

Image 8 of 11

Modfather Paul Weller always owned Minis. This one comes with a custom paint job designed by Weller, and was sold to raise money for the War Child and Nordoff Robbins charities.

Image 9 of 11

Image 10 of 11

Image 11 of 11

Jimi Hendrix with a Dodge Pick-Up, a vehicle not dissimilar to the one he stole with Neil Young in order to get the pair to Woodstock.

Classic Rock

Classic Rock is the online home of the world's best rock'n'roll magazine. We bring you breaking news, exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes features, as well as unrivalled access to the biggest names in rock music; from Led Zeppelin to Deep Purple, Guns N’ Roses to the Rolling Stones, AC/DC to the Sex Pistols, and everything in between. Our expert writers bring you the very best on established and emerging bands plus everything you need to know about the mightiest new music releases.