Wyclef Jean’s Car Collection
Celebrities can tend to get a little obsessive about cars. For many people, owning an expensive luxury vehicle or rare collector’s car is the ultimate marker of success. Cars are status symbols, and the better your car, the richer you appear. In the case of millionaires, this is especially true, and some car-crazy celebrities maintain outlandish collections of museum-quality specimens.
Wyclef Jean, former lead man in the Fugees and popular musician and politician, maintains a collection of 37 rare, exotic and classic cars. Each vehicle is uniquely customized to suit his aesthetics, and the customizations run from simple full restorations to outlandish, like the aquarium installed in his Hummer H2.
Jean equates cars with art, and his appreciation of the artistry of engineering and design is clear from both the vehicles he chooses and the customizations he’s completed. Although certainly wealthy enough to afford his collection, Wyclef Jean has received criticism for its extravagance; the former-musician is politically active and trying for a presidency in Haiti, which is one of the poorest countries in the world. Then again, he’s hardly richer than many other political powers, and cars are at least a practical purchase.
Whether or not you agree with his politics or approve of his wealth, Wyclef Jean has an undeniably enviable car collection. Here are a few highlights:
A supercar designed for consumer driving rather than pure racing, this vehicle holds the record for “fastest car in the world” as of 1998. It can reach speeds of up to 242 miles per hour. Like most super-powered race cars, the McLaren F1 is built of light-weight material and has a sleek, streamlined design, but it does have slightly more seating capacity than other similar cars. The vehicle features two rear passenger seats and a front driver’s seat centered between them. This central placement allows the driver exceptional visibility and control and is one of the many proprietary features of the vehicle.
When purchased new in the ’90s, the McLaren cost just under $1 million. Now, their rarity has doubled that price, and the value continues to rise. A showroom model with very low mileage sold for $4.1 million in 2008, making it the highest price anyone has ever paid for an F1 road car.
Pagani Zonda C12
An Italian sports car that was produced from 1998 to 2011, the Zonda is a sleek and gorgeous rare vehicle built from lightweight carbon fiber. Only 206 of these vehicles were ever made. The two-seat vehicle features a mid-engine design and rear wheel drive, with a 6.0L V12 engine.
Although many models were built over during the Zonda’s production, the C12 premiered in 2000 and Jean’s is one of just three still existing in the country. Bought new, the vehicle was worth $320,000; now its rarity has greatly increased its overall value. Jean’s Zonda is cherry-apple red.
1957 Cadillac El Dorado
Built from 1953 to 2002, the El Dorado was the longest-running model of luxury cars built in America. The 1957 model is particularly stunning, with its iconic rear fins and a long, spacious body design. This design marked the third generation of Cadillac El Dorados, and it was a popular choice among car-owning celebrities since Elvis Presley first began his Cadillac collection.
Wyclef Jean’s El Dorado is a pink convertible. The interior is completely pink as well, customized with a fuzzy and utterly posh interior that contrasts sharply with the sparkling stainless steel accessories.
Ferrari 360 Spider F1
A coup with rear wheel drive, a mid-engine design and powered by a V8, the Ferrari 360 was built from 1999 to 2005. The Spider F1 is the convertible version, and the powerful engine is displayed under a glass hood. In order to provide more structural integrity to the vehicle, the car’s design is somewhat different from the hard-top versions.
Wyclef Jean’s Ferrari is red, matching his Zonda.
Humvees were originally built as military cargo trucks, but their rugged appearance caught the attention of consumers. In response, the Hummer was built, providing a road-legal answer to the tank-like durability and size of the regular Humvee. The H2 is the second safe of Hummers created, and it features a design that is longer and thinner than the H1. The SUV seats six, and the rearmost portion can be converted into an open truck bed.
Unlike Jean’s other cars, the H2 is not rare, although it is an expensive purchase for most households. His particular model is fully customized with a large seawater aquarium in the rear, which he often stocks with sharks before taking the vehicle out.
In addition to his car collection, Wyclef Jean also owns a fully-customized Harley Chopper that he calls “Spiderman.” The bike is fully chromed and custom-painted in red and blue to resemble the superhero’s costume; the wheels and clutch have spiderweb designs.
Where does WyClef Jean keep his car collection?
While some celebrities maintain museum-quality garages to maintain, display and store their vehicles, the location of Wyclef Jean’s collection isn’t well-known. In fact, the full extent of his collection is rarely revealed in interviews, although he does routinely visit celebrity car shows. Then again, he owns plenty of real estate, and it’s quite likely that his cars could be spread out across the numerous properties he owns in Florida.
Unlike other car-collecting celebrities, Jean doesn’t spend a lot of time contributing to car magazines, blogging about his collection or otherwise engaging in the “gearhead” obsession of some. This may be so that he can underplay the size of his collection and the criticism it’s garnered him as a politician, or he may simply be choosing to keep private about his hobbies.
There is some talk, however, that Jean may some day open his collection as a car museum, donating all proceeds to a charity to benefit children in Haiti. If that’s true, you may have the opportunity to see these rare cars up close and in person without a press pass.