There are many perks when you're a star of film, music, sports, and reality television. Chief among them are a lack of people around you willing to say "no" when you come up with new and exciting ways to spend your money.
The one-off DeLorean commissioned by Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am is a great example of this situation. Somehow, the singer got it into his head that commissioning a "$700,000" gull-winged custom car was a superb idea. Apparently, no one around him told him to reconsider, or at least to get the damn thing registered and licensed properly so it wouldn't become a cop magnet.
But he's not the first wealthy person to try his their hands at custom, one-off cars. Sometimes they're spectacular, and sometimes they're very bad decisions destined for an auction block once the owner gets bored with it — or needs some cash.
Check out the gallery above as we explore the vehicular awesomeness that comes with extreme wealth and privilege –- but not necessarily good taste.
Photo credit Getty Images.
Shaq's Mercedes-Benz S550 Convertible
As evidenced by his starring roles in the hit movies "Steel" and "Kazaam," Shaquille O'Neal is an expert at making good decisions. His custom 2006 S-Class is further proof of this. The basketball star had his white sedan chopped up by West Coast Customs, who added a convertible top and suicide doors.
Apparently though, Shaq's love for the car didn't last, as it's now up for auction at Barret-Jackson. With only 7,400 miles, 22-inch wheels and custom "Superman Shaq" floor mats, it's a steal with auction prices starting at only $99,000! Any takers?
Photo credit Barrett-Jackson.
Birdman's Maybach Exelero
Think will.i.am's $700,000 DeLorean was overly expensive? Then prepare to be floored by the amount of money Cash Money Records co-founder Birdman was set to spend on a Maybach Exelero. As we reported last April, the rapper was apparently about to spend $8 million on the 700-horsepower, twin turbo V-12 sportscar built as a one-off test vehicle for the Fulda tire company.
The thing is, Birdman may have come to his senses. Forbes reported last August that he had yet to pay for the car. It's been a year and I couldn't find out if he ended up getting the car or not. Can you really blame him if he backed out? We've all had to make sacrifices in this tough economy.
Photo credit Mitch McPherson
Mansour Ojjeh's Porsche 935
You know you're pretty awesome when you can get Porsche to build a car just for you. That's exactly what the company did in 1983 for Mansour Ojjeh, the CEO of TAG Group. Back then TAG-Porsche made engines for McLaren cars in Formula 1, so Porsche created this car as a thank-you gift for Ojjeh.
They modified a 911 Turbo to look like one of their famous 935 "slant nose" racing cars and upgraded the engine to make more than 400 horsepower. Porsche also loaded the car down with luxury features like a high-end stereo, making the custom 935 one of the baddest one-offs of all time.
Photo credit Porsche
Billy Gibbons' Cadzilla
There are hot rods, and then there are HOT RODS. Billy Gibbons, the lead singer of ZZ Top, has the latter. As you may be able to guess from its name, Cadzilla is a Cadillac STS with a Nissan RB26DETT engine from a Skyline GT-R. Juuuust kidding. (Although that would be also be fairly awesome.)
No, this sleek, hulking custom car was built for Gibbons by the late, great hot rod master Boyd Coddington. Gibbons liked the car so much that it shows up in many a ZZ Top music video. That makes sense – if you spent $900,000 on a car and it looked that great, wouldn't you want to show it off?
Photo credit Supermac1961
Ferry Porsche's Panamericana Concept
When your boss turns 80, you should do something nice for him. When your boss is Ferry Porsche and you're a member of his development team, "do something nice" is code for "go nuts." To commemorate the founder's 80th year on the planet in 1989, engineers created this fabric-topped convertible concept off the chassis of a 911 Carrera 4.
With its huge, swooping fenders and massive tires, more than a few people have said it resembles a dune buggy – or at least an SUV that's a lot cooler than the Cayenne could ever be. Whether Ferry Porsche ever used to car to blast across sand dunes or pretend he was in a Group B rally race is unknown. Today, the unique concept sits in Porsche's museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen.
Photo credit Sualk61
James Glickenhaus' Pininfarina Ferrari P4/5
Life tip: When the head of Pininfarina comes up to you and says, "Hey bro, want us to make a Ferrari for you?" you say yes. They might ask you to pony up a reported $4 million to do the job, but if you're movie director and finance magnate James Glickenhaus, you're good for it.
Glickenhaus' P4/5 was built on an Enzo chassis, and he was heavily involved in its development. Despite its futuristic looks, it is completely street legal and is considered an official Ferrari by the folks in Maranello.
There was even a racing version of the car called the Competizione that recently set a record on the Nurburgring. Not bad at all, Mr. Glickenhaus.
Photo credit Derk Photography
Eric Clapton's Ferrari SP12 EC
Rock n' roll legend Eric Clapton is a huge fan of the Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer. He's owned three of them, and he likes them so much that he convinced Ferrari to make a one-off tribute to the car called the SP12.
Essentially a heavily re-worked 458 Italia (complete with its V-8 engine, not a V-12 like the old BB), the SP12 reportedly cost nearly $5 million to build. It contains several visual cues that evoke the original including two-tone paint, a wire-frame grille and silver vents on the front hood. The SP12 may not be as epic as Glickenhaus' Ferrari, but it's a nice homage.
Photo credit Ferrari
Mystery McLaren X-1
McLaren raised the curtain on the world's latest crazy one-off car on Friday when they debuted the insane X-1 concept at Pebble Beach. We reported that McLaren made the car for some unnamed collector using the already-awesome MP4-12C as a base. McLaren says their inspiration for the design came from 1950s American cars, a 1939 Mercedes-Benz and the Citroën SM.
The thing is, they're not saying who they built it for, but I have no doubt that person is extremely wealthy. So how about it, Jalops - who do you think commissioned the X-1? All I know is it's not mine. Aston Martin is building my multimillion-dollar one-off car, thank you very much.