A sad event for automobile fans occurred in early 2019. Because of financial issues, the famous Gosford Car Museum in Australia was forced to close its doors and auctioned off its amazing array of vehicles to various buyers. That broke up what had been one of the best car collections on the planet.
Jay Leno, a man whose own car collection is nothing to sneeze at, had even visited it. The former Tonight Show host is loved by gearheads for being serious about cars and his popular Jay Leno's Garage TV show has featured some fine collections.
It’s known that some actors and musicians can have some nice car collections of maybe a dozen vehicles. However, the best gatherings are far larger than that.
Many multi-millionaires can use their income to purchase some massive car collections that boggle the mind. Some are notable for the quality of the cars with some rare machines. Others are huge in the number of vehicles under one person’s ownership. A few collections have been broken up while others remain together.
Here are 20 of the most impressive car collections on the planet that would make Leno (and any other gearhead) green with envy.
20 Tim Allen
Tim Allen moved from stand-up comedy to becoming a major TV star thanks to Home Improvement and Last Man Standing. Allen has also become notable for having a car collection that rivals anything Jay Leno or Jerry Seinfeld owns.
Allen had a fondness for classic cars and his huge garage includes a 1965 Shelby Cobra, 1996 Impala SS, 1968 Chevrolet Camaro 427, and more. The most notable one is the 1933 Ford Roadster that Allen built right on the set of Improvement. Even Leno has been forced to admire his fellow funny man’s car wares.
19 Lingenfelter Collection
Ken Lingenfelter knows cars as Lingenfelter Performance Engineering is one of the most prominent manufacturers and sellers of engine components. This has allowed him to build his own private car museum in Michigan that gives the Ford Museum a run for its money.
While he has a deep love for GM cars, Lingenfelter can mix it up with Corvettes and even a rare 2008 Lamborghini Reventón for a great compilation in Motor City.
18 Prince Rainier III of Monaco
Prince Rainier III ruled Monaco for nearly 50 years and was famous for his marriage to Grace Kelly. A serious auto enthusiast, Rainer began collecting cars in the 1950s and by the time of his passing in 2005, had over a hundred. He needed to move them to a 5000-square foot facility for the public.
A few cars were featured in the Monte Carlo rally and the Monaco Grand Prix and include rare ones such as a 1903 De Dion Bouton. The Prince may be gone, but his amazing collection lives on.
17 Floyd Mayweather Jr
All one has to do is look at his Instagram feed to see Floyd Mayweather Jr’s stunning car collection. The boxer has a great time showing off his fleet as he goes through cars like some people go through shoes. He even arranges them by color in separate garages at his L.A. and Las Vegas mansions.
Josh Towbin claims Mayweather always pays via duffel bags of cash and has no problems spending millions on one car. It seems unlikely he’s even driven half of them but it’s one impressive collection.
16 Khalid Abdul Rahim
Khalid Abdul Rahim is a magnate who's the founder and chairman of the KAR group of companies. With that name, it’s little surprise he’s spent much of his wealth on a very large automobile collection. It includes a McLaren F1 and P1, scores of Lamborghinis, and a Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR.
Unlike other collections, Rahim goes almost exclusively for modern hypercars rather than classic automobiles. But when those hypercars include the best models on the planet, it’s still an incredible selection.
15 Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah
Even by the standards of the super-wealthy, this collection is mind-boggling. Sultan Hassani Bolkiah and his brother, Jefri, operate what many consider the largest car collection on Earth.
Numbers vary but the bare minimum is 2,000 cars and possibly as large as 7,000. It’s so vast that they need multiple estates to house them all and range from top-notch hypercars to custom-made muscle machines. If a car exists, it’s likely the Sultan has a copy in his “garage” which puts any auto museum to shame.
14 Michael Fux
Michael Fux needed to raise $3000 to start Sleep Investments. When he sold the company, it was worth $300 million. Since retiring, Fux has been using his savings to build up a very exciting car collection. As a native of Cuba, he naturally has a Ford Fairlane but also boasts nearly 200 other cars.
He loves supercars from Ferraris to F1 race cars, a Dodge Demon and was one of the lucky 106 people to get a McLaren Ultimate Series BP23. Fux requires three hanger-sized garages to house this impressive collection.
13 Nelson Piquet Sr
After a legendary career in F1 racing, Nelson Piquet Sr amassed a major fortune. He’s used that to build up a car collection that outdoes anything he ever drove on the track.
It’s an eclectic collection as Piquet has everything from a high-end Porsche Carrera to a classic Ford GT. For a guy who became famous in F1, he loves stock and muscle cars and mixes them with some fun hypercars too. Piquet manages his two sons in racing yet has saved some of the best rides for himself.
12 Rick Hendrick
If anyone should be expected to own an impressive car collection, it’s Rick Hendrick. As owner of Hendrick MotorSports and Hendrick Automotive Group, he oversees over a hundred stores and dealerships nationwide.
In Corvette circles, Hendrick is famous for possibly the best collection of Corvettes by one person. He has over 150 of them in a special warehouse in North Carolina, although he breaks them out for special shows. The highlight is the very first ZR1 ever produced. While he started out with a Chevy, Hendrick is a serious Corvette freak.
11 George Foreman
The image of George Foreman today is a jovial guy selling grills. It’s easy to forget he was once a ferocious and successful heavyweight champion boxer. Thanks to his various careers, Foreman has built a car collection so large that he doesn't even know how many he owns. He has a particular fondness for Chevrolets and a Ford GT but can mix up a Ferrari and Lamborghini as well.
Foreman told Alt Drive that his favorite is a 1977 VW Beetle which shows how, at heart, Foreman has never forgotten his humble roots despite all the incredible set of wheels.
10 Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren is well known as one of the most famous and successful fashion designers in the world. But the man is also a serious car fanatic and has shown that in his vast collection. It’s so amazing that it even got its own exhibition at the Louvre.
Among the best items are a 1950 Jaguar XK120 Roadster, a 1938 Bugatti 57SC Atlantic Coupé, scores of Ferraris, a 1929 Bentley, and the 1938 Bugatti 57SC Atlantic, one of only two that exist. Little wonder Lauren has a car collection as stylish as his clothes.
9 Ron Pratte
Technically, much of it is spread out but a collection like this still has to be noted. Ron Pratte had sold his construction company for $300 million which allowed him to indulge in his hobby of buying cars. By 2014, the collection had grown to over a hundred vehicles.
It includes everything from a Shelby Cobra to a 1950 Streamliner and a few concept cars. The auction totaled $44 million along with scores of memorabilia sold off as well. No one knows why Pratte would part with this collection but it made for a great sight.
8 James Glickenhaus
In the 1980s, James Glickenhaus was the director/producer of several cheesy films such as Maniac Cop, Shakedown, and more. He moved into creating Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus and is a serious lover of fine automobiles, which is evident in his New York manor’s expansive collection.
Among his vehicles are the 1966 Spyder Corsa, the oldest continually existing Ferrari. That’s not to mention a Model J Duesenberg that belonged to the Queen of Yugoslavia, a 1967 Ford Mk IV J6 driven in Le Mans by Maclaren/Donohue, and a score of Ferraris. They’re not just for show as Glickenhaus will take them all out for drives to make sure they run as well as they look.
7 Craig Jackson
Barrett-Jackson has handled many huge auto auctions over the years. They were the ones who oversaw Ron Pratte’s huge sale, which boosted their earnings majorly. So it’s no surprise CEO Craig Jackson has an awesome set of cars himself. He keeps them safe by carving out a special garage in the mountains near his home in Arizona.
The collection itself is only about thirty cars but includes some super-rare items such as a 1968 Ford Mustang Shelby EXP 500 “Green Hornet” and a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1. The rarity of his collection helps Jackson stand out.
6 John Shirley
John Shirley had been one of the key executives of Microsoft, serving as president for nearly twenty years and was still on the board until 2008. Since retiring, Shirley has indulged in his passion for restoring and driving some classic automobiles.
His collection isn’t large but notable for its array of exotic cars such as a 1967 257 GTS Spyder, several classic Ferraris, and a few Alfa Romeos. The highlight is a 1954 375 MM Scaglietti coupe that Shirley spent two years restoring to mint condition. For a computer guy, Shirley is a serious gearhead.
5 Tiriac Collection
While he had some success in hockey, Ion Tiriac was famous in tennis, retiring with 22 titles. He parlayed that into becoming a highly successful banker, which made him the richest man in Romania. This paved the way for him to open his own car museum boasting 250 vehicles of various types all the way back to the 1890s.
It includes nine Rolls-Royce Phantoms, scores of Aston Martins, Ferraris, and cars belonging to stars such as Elton John. It’s a very popular tourist spot in Bucharest to flaunt some great automobiles.
4 SBH Royal Auto Gallery
If you’re a hypercar fan, this is practically holy ground. Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is part of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi and has crafted an amazing selection of supercars in a private museum in Dubai.
While small in size (just over thirty), it boasts five Bugatti Veyrons, Aston Martin-One-77, one of only twenty Reventons in the world, and the rare Maserati MC-12. The entire collection is worth over a billion dollars to be one of the most expensive in the world.
3 Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan
As one of the richest men on the planet, Sheik Nahyan is known in car circles as “the Rainbow Sheik.” That’s because due to his family’s immense wealth, he has 7 Mercedes-Benz S-Class cars – one for each color of the rainbow – stacked in a pyramid to show off the rest of his amazing collection.
The most notable is the massive Dodge Power Wagon (which can actually be driven) and scores of the best hypercars on Earth. But there’s also a classic WWII Willy Jeep and even a Model T Ford to show the Sheik appreciates automotive history.
2 Studio 434
In Great Britain, car collections are divided into two categories: Rodger Dudding and everybody else. Dudding created the paper-ticket machine which helped him become a multi-millionaire worth $200 million. Dudding now boasts the largest car collection in England of 420 cars housed in a garage that cost $10 million to build.
The collection ranges from high-class Aston Martins to older and very rare vehicles. Dudding helps pay for them by creating Studio 434, which rents cars out for movies and TV shows. His most prized vehicle is still the 1952 Morris Minor owned by his father, which is the cornerstone of one of Europe’s best car gatherings.
1 James Hull Collection
Believe it or not, one of the most epic car collections on the planet was owned by a dentist. James Hull built his small British practice into a huge organization of 40 different practices, so when he retired in 2008, he was worth about $100 million.
Over the years, Hull had built up an incredible collection of 543 cars. They ranged from world-class Jaguars to Winston Churchill’s Bentley and scores of rare vehicles. Hull sold the collection to Jaguar for $175 million but maintains some control over this amazing gathering of cars.
Sources: forbes.com, autowise.com, jalopnik.com, youtube.com, topgear.com