Whatever you might think of Donald Trump’s politics - or his IQ - he does provide an eclectic snapshot of automotive indulgence. He might have bought his jet from Michael Jackson (it’s a gaudy gold colour) but you can’t deny a bit of motoring envy when looking at the man’s cars. For a man with loads of cars, President Trump is most usually seen in the Cadillac Limousine that was built especially for the presidential cavalcade. It cost around R211 million in R&D and has doors that will stop an RPG.
For many the echoes of The Boss are just too rich to imagine in the White House, and President Trump’s wealth and business dealings are constantly speculated upon. Is he still obnoxiously wealthy? Yes. Does he have an extravagant car collection? Yes, it’s pretty indulgent and cost a penny. You might want to shed a tear for the man who was himself pitching his wealth at around R141 billion in 2015, as Forbes noted that his fortune had declined on the back of dipping rental investments, to about R52 billion in late 2017. Shame.
Make no mistake, President Trump is flamboyant, and cars are a particular indulgence of his. Rich man’s toys - that’s the statement made by the very first car we look at.
- Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud
Trump owned a 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, although his latest affection seems to be a Phantom saloon. The Queen’s own Rolls-Royce - used by Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth II - was recently also auctioned off in Britain. It has to be said that Rolls-Royce is renowned for comfort and style, although it’s aesthetic is rather arrogantly old school. If President Trump in a Rolls seems too poncy and stiff, it’s still perhaps a better image than the man in another of his cars…
- Lamborghini Diablo VT
The car surfaced in the news in 2017 when it was sold on eBay to another buyer for R6.5 million. Previous owners had pimped it with - wait for a it - “Trump” badges on the exterior of the car, supposedly to up it’s resale value. Donald, thanks. We want to see beautiful people get in and out of beautiful cars, so thank you.
The Diablo VT was and still is a dynamite sports car, capable of reaching an alarming 320 kph, with roadholding that keeps it just behind superbikes even, and typically well ahead of anything else on four wheels. Perhaps even more sexy and stylish than a Ferrari of the same intent, Lamborghini has for years been the last word on sexy style when motoring.
- Tesla Roadster Mk1
It becomes a bit weirder still imaging President Trump trying to fit into it. He’s not petite, and with the Roadster pulling design from the notoriously tiny Lotus Elise, whether he can actually comfortably drive it is unknown.
Widely loathed by conscious people for his “burn and what the hell” approach to fossil fuels, for a politician so scathing of climate change lobbyists, the Tesla remains an enigmatic choice to add to the stable. But OK, kudos, President Trump, you bought an electric car. There’s hope yet perhaps. In a country where owning a hybrid Toyota makes you a sissy, owning a Tesla Roadster is an undeniable statement far past any attempt at mixing technologies. The Roadster is incredibly sleek and sporty and we have to give it to the man for staying on the cutting edge of trendy and responsible with this purchase.
- Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren was a product of the two automakers’ collaboration at the time, and gives out a massive 460 kW and goes like the wind. Sporty and sexy, the car today still commands top dollar and worldwide interest when one goes on sale.
Marrying the best of interior styling and comfort with a monster engine, the SLR McLaren looks like a slingshot pulled behind a thumping chariot of power. Capable of reaching 337 kph and with roadholding and acceleration to match, this Mercedes is a silently gliding four-wheel jet, and its top end can really separate the recreational driver from the true loonies.
- Cadillac Allante
Cadillac named a range of limousines after President Trump - the Trump Executive series - and whether that did more harm than good to sales, who knows. If you play a hand like that and secure patronage from a car lover with billions to spend, who cares maybe? Cadillac has always been a popular American choice of the rich and famous, so perhaps President Trump’s branding hit the mark.
The Allante is a V8 convertible that President Trump claims Cadillac gave him as a gift and it’s painted his favourite colour - gold. Yucch. Doesn’t he know that the only one able to look cool in a gold car is Patrice Motsepe in his slick Beemer?
Donald Trump on a hog?
It’s clear any of us would die for a stroll around President Trump’s garage, and a couple of test spins would make for an awesome afternoon. But there are other vehicles that come and go in President Trump’s life, like a two-wheel kitsch monument to the American dream too horrific to imagine President Trump riding - a 24 karat gold chopper. Yep. When the Hell’s Angels meet Hollywood, this is what you get. The bike was a customised hog made by Paul Teutal of Orange County Choppers, and has parts made of solid gold in places.
Apart from loads of gold leaf, several components are made of 24 karat gold, and, well, what else could we imagine President Trump riding? It’s almost certain that he wears a helmet when out on his hog, as that hair in high wind would be considered a hazard!