Many Formula 1 pundits consider Lewis Hamilton to be one of the best drivers in history. Not only has Hamilton won the Formula 1 Championship five times, but he has also broken numerous records. At age 34, Hamilton has achieved a lot and made millions of dollars. His fortune is estimated at over $250 million. Having so much money allowed Hamilton to purchase anything he wanted. Although he bought mansions and traveled the world, he couldn't resist buying several cars.
Besides purchasing supercars, Hamilton also added a private jet and motorbikes to the collection. He is an avid motorbike rider and also enjoys water sports. Hamilton's speed on a jet ski terrified some people who dared to get on the back. The track isn't the only place that Hamilton likes to experience speed. He enjoys riding in supercars when he drives around town and gets on an MV Agusta when he wants to circumvent the traffic and do tricks.
Hamilton's impressive collection has made many people wonder the story about the purchases. Being a car lover, Hamilton purchases specific cars for a reason. We wanted to find out about his expensive collection, so we went behind the scenes and discovered facts about his cars, bikes, and plane that most people didn't know.
25 Everybody Has To Take Off Their Shoes Before Boarding His Jet
One of the things that Hamilton's friends have discovered about him is that he doesn't take his possessions for granted. He limits the amount of time he spends in a car to keep the mileage low and ensures that the vehicles in his collection are in pristine condition.
Considering they know that about him, Hamilton's friends weren't surprised to find out that he asked them to take off their shoes before boarding his private jet. Hamilton has to have a clean plane at all times. Marks on his carpet are a big no-no.
24 He Almost Fired The Pilot For Using The Jet Bathroom
Everybody has some quirks and rules that they expect their friends and family to obey when in their company. It seems that Hamilton's pilot was unaware that the Formula 1 champion had rules on the private jet.
Model Veronica Valle accompanied Hamilton on his jet and was shocked when he got so mad at the pilot for using his bathroom that he wanted to fire him. According to The Mirror, Valle claimed that Hamilton said everybody knows that they're not allowed to use the bathroom on his plane.
23 Carroll Shelby Inspected His Cobra 427 Before The Purchase
When Hamilton purchases cars, his goal is to keep the cars in pristine condition and wait for it to appreciate. He has stated that he buys cars for a reason, not because they just look good or drive fast. His purchases are sentimental. Before Hamilton purchased the 1966 Cobra 427, he asked the biggest expert in the world his opinion about the car.
According to The Driving, Hamilton said, "I found it and called Carroll Shelby to check it out for me. He said it was one of the best he’d seen in a long time, all original. Carroll died a month after I bought it."
22 He Found A Tax Loophole For His Jet Purchase
Many celebrities have avoided purchasing extravagant possessions due to heavy taxes. Since Hamilton has claimed that he is careful with his money, he needed to find a way to purchase a private jet without paying taxes. The Guardian reported that Lewis Hamilton avoided paying tax on his $22 million private jet by using an Isle of Man scheme.
An accounting company helped Hamilton and numerous clients to set up an artificial leasing business that allowed them to rent the jets from themselves. Some experts claimed that the loophole was an abuse of European tax laws.
21 Hamilton Bought Another Cobra 427 To Keep The '66 Model Pristine
Collectors who want to optimize their resale value need to follow several rules. Some of the rules include keeping the car in immaculate condition, as well as keeping the mileage low. Hamilton did both after he purchased the 1966 Cobra 427 that Carroll Shelby advised him to buy.
To ensure that the car was in immaculate condition, Hamilton bought another one. He said, "I got a second one soon after, a ’67 427, which I actually use more because I want to keep the ’66 one perfect". Hamilton is a good source for consumers who want to purchase rare cars that are in immaculate condition.
20 He Hates Driving The Zonda
Most boys dream about owning a supercar. Hamilton's bank account allows him to purchase any car that he dreams about owning. One of the cars that Hamilton thought would be a good purchase was the Pagani Zonda. Most men shared Hamilton's sentiment.
"The Zonda is terrible to drive! It’s the best-sounding car I own, but handling-wise, it’s the worst. I got it in manual because I didn’t like the Tiptronic version. What he Tiptronic Pagani offered was worse than the Smart Roadster I had. I’m used to quick gearshifts, so I’m more critical than most customers. If you asked me to design my own supercar, I’d have it manual," said Hamilton.
19 The Ferrari 599 SA Aperta Is Still In His Collection
Although Hamilton purchases all cars for a good reason, he doesn't enjoy every car. He sells the car if he feels that it's not a good vehicle or if he's had his fun and wants to move onto a better ride. Hamilton loves limited edition cars. That's the reason the 599 SA Aperta stayed in his collection.
"Only 80 were made. I tend to have two of the same car because when they bring out a more limited edition, I have to have it," said Hamilton. Ferrari made only 80 examples to honor Pininfarina's 80th anniversary.
18 Hamilton's Happy To Be Chauffeur-Driven
Sunday Times Driving asked Hamilton if he would consider competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans after he retires from Formula 1 racing. “No way,” he laughed. “Formula One is already at my limit.” Hamilton limits his time behind a wheel for a few hours before he has to get out of the car. That's one of the reasons he prefers to be chauffeur-driven.
He uses the Maybach S600, the Mercedes Benz GL63 and Chevrolet Cadillac to be a passenger. Although he loves driving, Hamilton also has limits.
17 The Mercedes C200 Was To Impress Girls And To Get Into Clubs
Humans tend to break the rules but don't take advantage of an opportunity when it's for free or allowed. Hamilton's desire to get into nightclubs when he was eighteen years old prompted him to get a Mercedes Benz C200.
"That was very cool when you’re only 18. It went down very well with the ladies! Me and my boys couldn’t get into clubs because we looked underage, but once we started rolling up in the C-class, we were straight in!" said Hamilton. A dealership had lent him the C200.
16 He Uses A Tow Truck To Keep The Mileage Low On His Supercars
Hamilton limits his time in cars and keeps the mileage low. One of the ways he does that is by hiring a tow truck to pick up his cars when he feels that he's driven it enough for the day. "In LA, I’ve got a tow truck and a handyman. If I think I’ve had my excitement quota for the day, I’ll ring him up, and he’ll collect it from wherever I am," said Hamilton.
The Paparazzi snapped a picture of his towed car and falsely reported that it had broken down. If you think about it, when was the last time you saw a broken-down LaFerrari?
15 One Of The 275 Project Ones Is In His Collection
Celebrities are used to numerous perks. One of the perks that Hamilton got to enjoy was being an owner of rare cars. He loves to collect limited edition cars, especially ones that are fast. Hamilton was one of the first owners of the Mercedes AMG Project One. The German manufacturer plans to make only 275 examples and won't allow its owners to flip the vehicles, according to Motor 1.
Contractual clauses will prevent buyers to sell their cars for a profit immediately. The car's purchase price is $2.7 million.
14 He's As Fast On Water As He Is On Land
Regardless of the terrain that Hamilton occupies, he has to travel at blistering speeds. Hamilton posted a photo on IG with the caption, "My brother @dwyanewade’s last dance after the 16-year ride changing the whole game. Thought I’d post this pic of us tearing it up on the jet ski, me in my zone and you petrified thinking your career was over on the back."
Wade responded to the photo by saying that he had never been more scared in his life and had not recovered, though years had passed since the ride.
13 His Ferrari Collection Surged Several Million Dollars
That didn't happen because Hamilton added more Ferraris to his collection. The reason behind the surge in the value of his collection was that he knew which rare Ferraris to purchase and looked after the cars once in his possession. The Driving reported that Hamilton keeps a red hardtop LaFerrari and a white LaFerrari Aperta at his Los Angeles home.
The reports stated that the two cars were worth $2.6 million when Hamilton purchased the cars but had soared to $9 million. That's a nice profit, not that Hamilton needs the money. He'll take it anyway.
12 The Dirt Bikes Are For Bonding
Being a celebrity meant that Hamilton was in the company of other big stars. One of the friendships that he developed was with Justin Bieber. The two stars have enough money to go anywhere and do anything in the world but choose to enjoy a mutual activity.
Hamilton and Bieber got onto dirt bikes and explored off-roads. It seems that Hamilton doesn't limit himself to the track or cruising in supercars around town. Hamilton got a picture of himself with Bieber and shared the moment with his social media followers.
11 Mini Cooper Was His First Car
Although he has purchased numerous supercars and has been gifted many company cars, Hamilton wasn't always worth millions of dollars. Before he became a household name in Formula 1, Hamilton was driving a modest car. After passing his driver's license in 2002, Hamilton purchased a used Mini Cooper.
The Cooper isn't the worst vehicle that one can own, but it doesn't fare well compared to Hamilton's supercars. Maybe, his humble beginnings made him appreciate the cars he owns today. His second car was...
10 Ferrari 599 GTO Was His Second Car
Rags to riches stories happen every day. Hamilton wasn't poor, but he couldn't afford supercars before becoming a household name in Formula 1. His used Mini Cooper was the first car he bought. Then Hamilton got a leased Mercedes C200 from a dealership. The second car that he bought was a Ferrari 599 GTO. That's a nice jump for him from the Mini Cooper.
Having signed a multi-million dollar contract with Formula 1 allowed Hamilton to splurge on a few toys. Who can blame him for opting for a Ferrari 599 GTO?
9 McLaren P1 Was For His Monaco House
Before Hamilton signed a multi-million dollar contract with Mercedes in Formula 1, he was part of the McLaren team. He had all the supercars that he wanted but missed driving a McLaren after he switched to the Mercedes team.
To make up for the lost time, Hamilton decided to purchase a McLaren P1. He parked it at his Monaco home. When the McLaren team saw that Hamilton had purchased their car, one of its members tweeted at Hamilton to say that it was good to see him in a McLaren and that they were proud to have him in the car.
8 MV Agusta Made Only 144 Lewis Hamilton Brutales
Most people would be satisfied with being a world champion in one sport, but not Hamilton. He has expressed his desire to participate in the Moto GP and has test driven a Yamaha on the track. Hamilton has stated that he loves motorbikes and might switch from Formula 1 to Moto GP.
A motorbike manufacturer thought that Hamilton's love for bikes would be a good opportunity to endorse their products. MV Agusta teamed up with Hamilton and produced motorbikes with his name. One of the bikes was the Brutale 800RR. MV Agusta limited the production to 144 bikes. Lewis was one of the owners.
7 His Car Collection Is Estimated At $17 Million
Apart from the $22 million private jet, Hamilton's car collection has an estimate of $17 million. One of the reasons for the high estimation is that Hamilton purchases limited edition cars and ensured that he maintained low mileage on the vehicles. When one has as many cars as Hamilton, keeping the mileage on a car low isn't difficult since the driver can change cars twice a day in a week.
One of the aspects that helped Hamilton to increase the value of his collection is his celebrity status and reputation for keeping the cars in immaculate condition.
6 Steve McQueen Inspired Him To Purchase The '67 Shelby
Movies have a way of capturing our imagination and encouraging us to take the action we wouldn't normally take. "I got a ’67 Shelby Mustang GT500 because I’d seen Steve McQueen drive a Mustang in Bullitt. Beautiful car, but a heap of junk. The company did a good job on the paint job, but the rest of the car just isn’t very good, so I never drive it," said Hamilton.
It seems that some cars are all show and no go. What use is a beautiful car that can't perform? I wonder if he test drove it before he purchased it.
5 The Lewis Hamilton F4 LH44 Costs $70,000
Hamilton's collaboration with MV Agusta has not only spawned limited edition Lewis Hamilton motorbikes, but it has also led to high prices. One of the motorbikes that MV Agusta made was the Lewis Hamilton F4 LH44. Motorcycle News reported that MV Augusta announced that it would price the bike at $70,000 and would produce only 44 examples.
The units produced commemorates Hamilton's racing number 44. The bike can produce 205 horsepower but contains a control unit that can boost the bike to 212 horsepower.
4 The Car Collection Consists Of 15 Cars
Having a fortune allowed Hamilton to purchase as many cars as he desired. He, usually, keeps around 15 cars in his collection. Hamilton said, "I don’t know anything about wine. I don’t know a huge amount about art. But what I do know is cars, and I’m very particular about them. I could sell them all for way more than I paid for them, but these are my babies, my art pieces, and I’ve worked hard for them."
Although he purchased numerous cars, he said, "Banks are doing nothing these days. So many sportsmen — sportswomen are generally a smarter species — have squandered their money. I’m very conscious of that."
3 The Ducati Monster 1200 Cost Him $13,000
Consumers who wanted to buy the latest MV Agusta Lewis Hamilton bike would have to fork out $70,000, but Hamilton doesn't buy bikes that are that expensive. Maybe the market price of the bikes that he purchases are higher, but he gets them for cheaper due to being a celebrity.
One of the bikes that Hamilton wanted to ride was the Ducati Monster 1200. Besides getting a fast bike, Hamilton also got it for a good price. The bike cost him only $13,000. Top Speed reported that the bike was on the market for $15,000.
2 His Dream Car Is The Ferrari 250GT
Who would've thought that Hamilton doesn't own all the cars that he desires? Since he likes cars that are rare, he struggles to get his hands on all of the cars that he wants. When Sunday Times Driving interviewed him, Lewis stated that his dream car was the Ferrari 250GT California Spyder.
"That’s the dream car, like the one in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. When I retire, that’s what I want to drive," said Hamilton. I don't doubt that he's going to own it. It seems that he gets whatever he wants after waiting long enough.
1 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing Is The Only Car He Would Drive
In a market saturated with cars, most buyers are stumped about which vehicle to purchase. Although Hamilton has resources to buy any car that he wants, he chose a classic as his car if all the others vanished.
When asked about the car that he would drive if he had to choose only one, Hamilton said that he would choose the Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing. What's surprising is that Hamilton doesn't own the car. Mercedes built 3,258 examples of the car between 1954 and 1963.
Sources: theguardian.com, driving.co.uk, mirror.co.uk, motor1.com, motorcyclenews.com, topspeed.com