What cars do millionaires really buy?

For most of us, choosing a car is a matter of balancing what we want against what we can responsibly afford. This isn’t the case for everyone though, as there are those among us who can take another route where money is no option and any car imaginable is on the table. Looking at a few standouts and patterns throughout recent history, we want to take a look at what cars millionaires’ splurge on. Are any of these on your wish list, or would you take your money in an entirely different direction?

Starting Slow

Before we get to the outlandish, it might be interesting to look at the modest. While it’s hardly an attitude we can relate to ourselves, some see cars as little more than modes of transportation. This was the case for Irish lotto winner Simon Fagan after he took home a €3.6 million prize.

Rather than going the standard all-out route for lottery winners cars, Fagan’s only major vehicular purchase was a second-hand Kia with 150,000 miles on the clock. While we can’t comment on whatever else he might have bought, he seemed happy with his purchase, and, in the end, that’s the most important factor.

Going All Out

For millionaires who have cars as their passion, things can really start to get out of control. One of the most famous on this front is former talk-show host Jay Leno, a long-time car collector and motoring enthusiast. As of this article, Leno owns 150 cars which, alongside his motorcycle collection, are valued at over $52 million.

Included within this collection is a Duesenberg Model X, of which only five remain in the world. With other worldwide favorites like a 1994 McLaren F1, 1963 Chrysler Turbine Car, and a 1939 Lagonda V12, Leno’s tastes run about as wide as his wallet does deep.

What cars do millionaires really buy?
What cars do millionaires really buy?
Jay Leno’s Garage” (CC BY 2.0) by U.S. Army Materiel Command

The Most Popular

On a larger scale, what would your best guess be as to the most popular vehicle among millionaires? We figured a luxury car, like a Mercedes or an Audi. In truth, the most popular vehicles among millionaires tend to be born of a combination of convenient tech and work/home usefulness. In America, this is best illustrated by the Ford F-150.

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If we ignore these more utilitarian vehicles and instead focus on luxury cars, one of the biggest standouts in the eyes of the few who can afford it is the Rolls-Royce Phantom. The Phantom is luxury distilled, as a vehicle for those who want to arrive in style, but also far faster than the three-tonne weight would make you think possible. No expense is spared in the Phantom, both within the interior and with the V12 under the hood.

Your Choice

Looking at these choices, it’s difficult not to consider where we might fall within this spectrum should we end up with an unexpected windfall. We’re going to assume that very few of our readers would travel the used Kia route, but where exactly would you choose to draw the line? It’s an interesting question that brings our passions and values forward and, who knows, if we’re lucky, the question might not have to always remain hypothetical.

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