Ralph Lauren's collection is said to be the most valuable in the country.
Ralph Lauren's car collection is a fascinating subject. A fully certified member of the elite car collectors' club, the fashion tycoon with a net worth estimated at $7.1 billion can drive car enthusiasts wild with just a fraction of what fills his garage, thanks to the continued success of the Ralph Lauren Corporation. The man has several classics, and his car collection is updated fairly regularly, making it practically impossible to pin down exactly what fills the Ralph Lauren garage at any given moment. However, there are several automobiles he owns that the entire world is aware of.
His first car, according to Top Speed, was a Morgan that he ended up selling because he couldn't afford to repair the temperamental British machine. After serving in the US Army, he became a sales assistant at Brooks Brothers. He ultimately left an indelible mark on the fashion industry, and on his way to the summit of style, he bought back his original Morgan. Autoweek reports that his first new car purchase was a 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet.
Thankfully, the fashion mogul is interested in more than just old British roadsters, exploring automobiles from the 1955 Jaguar XKD to the 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder, from the one-off 1930 Mercedes-Benz SSK to the legendary Ferrari 250 GTO, and from the 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 to the famous Bugatti Type 59 Grand Prix.
The crown jewel of the Ralph Lauren car collection is the man's 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, which is considered by many to be the most beautiful car ever made. It's also considered the car worth the most money, and if he were to sell it, the ultra-rare classic would surely become the most expensive car ever, selling beyond the record figure achieved by the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut ($142 million in 2022). His is one of just four Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic models ever made, three of which were sold to private customers. The last car, La Voiture Noire, disappeared sometime during the Second World War.
Thanks to the restorative efforts of world-renowned classic car expert Paul Russell, Ralph Lauren's Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic has the notable honor of having won Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 1990 and the same title at Villa d'Este in 2013. His Bugatti collection also includes a 1937 Type 57 SC Gangloff Drophead Coupe, a 2006 Bugatti Veyron 16.4, and a 2012 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. Considering the Bugatti Veyron appears twice, we're a little surprised that we can't find evidence that he owns a Chiron. The only drop-top car from France appears to be the Bugatti Type 59 Grand Prix.
Based on a list compiled by VINwiki, Ferraris are a firm favorite of the Ralph Lauren Collection. Several racing cars from the heyday of Enzo Ferrari appear here, but oddly, not the F60 Enzo itself. However, his appreciation of the Italian automaker is strong. Ralph's collection includes the 1954 Ferrari 375 Plus, which won the grueling Carrera Panamericana, the 1965 365 P2, and several iterations of the iconic 250. The most important of these are the 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta, the 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, and, of course, the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO (Gran Turismo Omologato), one of the prettiest race car designs ever.
Other highlights from the Ralph Lauren Ferrari collection include a 1991 Ferrari F40, which was the fastest car in the world with a top speed of 201 mph, and a 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari. He formerly owned a very rare Ferrari F50 in yellow, too, but is said to have sold this car years ago. Interestingly, the designer owns just one Lamborghini, a 2010 Reventon Roadster. Perhaps he doesn't appreciate the Centro Stile's designs as much as Maranello's, or perhaps he simply wants to stay in Ferrari's good graces. Either way, there's not much room for the Raging Bull in Lauren's collection.
Owning an F1 in any form is rather impressive, but the American fashion designer seems to have more than just a passing interest in the legendary car that bossed the top speed charts for 24 years. He owns three of the triple-seater supercars, one of which is a 1996 Ameritech model. These F1s were federalized for road use in the US, and only seven are said to have been made. Ralph Lauren's may be the only 1996 model if Jalopnik is to be believed. Perhaps the designer doesn't like the weird bumpers and other changes very much because he also owns a regular 1998 McLaren F1. As if that's not cool enough, the man is in possession of a 1996 McLaren F1 LM - a Le Mans tribute - with a massive wing perched over the rear wheels. The McLaren P1 appears in the collection too, but more on that car later.
Ralph Lauren's collection includes the 1967 Ferrari 275 NART Spider, which was a car created at the request of North American Ferrari dealer Luigi Chinetti, whose North American Racing Team badges adorned all 10 of the examples built that year. But he also owns some pure-blooded pieces of American motoring. The lineup includes a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz, a 1948 Ford Super Deluxe "Woody," a 1948 Jeep CJ-2A, and a 1976 Jeep CJ-5. As far as we can tell, Lauren's collection seems to favor the European car, and most of them are Italian, followed by Brits and Germans. Ferrari is his clear favorite, with at least 16 examples populating the collection.
Ralph Lauren has collected a very diverse range of cars, but some seem to resonate with him more than others, and he's acquired several examples of the same car on multiple occasions. Interestingly, he has two McLaren P1s and two Porsche 918 Spyders but only one Ferrari LaFerrari. With two electric motors on each 918 and another on each other car, the Holy Trinity appears to be as close to a fully-electric car as Ralph is willing to get. Like us, it seems he'd rather drive the same combustion car twice.
Ralph Lauren's car collection has been carefully curated with some of the most expensive cars ever made, and many of these unique automobiles have fascinating histories. Alfa Romeo is often overlooked, but not here. The two Alfas in the Ralph Lauren car collection garage are the 1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza and the 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Mille Miglia. The Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 is particularly special, with some estimating that it's worth as much as $18 million. More importantly, it's one of just four team cars built by Alfa Romeo with the assistance of Carrozzeria Touring for the 1938 Mille Miglia. The modern Alfa Romeo 8C apparently did not carry as much weight for our fashion mogul, but we'd argue it should be in his lineup on looks alone.
The style icon also owns a 1929 Bentley 4½ Litre, the original car of choice for the super spy in the James Bond novels. 500 were made, but only 50 were known as the Bentley "Blower," which got their name from the supercharger under the hood. Of those, just five were real racecars, and Lauren owns chassis number 4. Founder Walter Owen Bentley was not convinced of the racing credibility of the car at first, but Le Mans convinced him otherwise. Fellow billionaire Sir Anthony Bamford previously owned Ralph Lauren's example and, before that, racehorse owner Hon. Dorothy Paget, making the designer only the third owner.
Ralph Lauren Mercedes-Benz vehicles are few but special, including a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL and a 1958 300SL Roadster. Amazingly, neither car is the most valuable Merc he has. That title goes to the 1930 Mercedes-Benz SSK "Count Trossi." SSK is an abbreviation of Super Sport Kurz, Kurz meaning "short." 372 regular sport models of the Ferdinand Porsche-designed car were made, and just 42 Kurz variants were built, but chassis number 36038 is unlike any other. It spent much of the period from 1930-1933 racing, but it didn't spend all its life at top speed.
Long story short, it was bought by Count Felice Trossi, an Italian automaker and racecar driver, in June 1933, and he decided that he wanted a bespoke body for his new acquisition. Who actually penned the design remains a mystery, but there are rumors that Count Trossi came up with the styling himself, while other reports point to an American having sketched the original drawings. Either way, the 1930 Mercedes-Benz SSK was commissioned in 1933 and completed the following year.
The man doesn't just let these cars appreciate in some warehouse, but regularly uses them. And when he can't, he's more than happy to let car enthusiasts enjoy them - from a reasonable distance, of course. In 2011, the designer put 17 cars on display at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in The Louvre in Paris. He's a regular attendee at high-end concours events too.
While working our way through what Ralph Lauren owns, we noticed that the man owns several Porsches, including a 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder and a 1959 718 RSK. There's also a 2008 Porsche 911 GT3 RS (997), two examples of the 918 Spyder with the Weissach Pack, and even the other hypercars Porsche has made to date. One is a 1988 Porsche 959 Komfort and the other is a 2004 Porsche Carrera GT. Interestingly, a 2014 RUF CTR3 is another of his rear-engine automobiles and the only car we can see in his garage that is not made by a traditional automaker. In terms of British cars, he's got the Morgan we mentioned earlier and several Jags. A 1955 Jaguar D-Type, otherwise known as the Jaguar XKD, joins a 1957 Jaguar XKSS and a 1950 Jaguar XK120 Roadster. The Jaguar XKSS was the roadgoing version of the D-Type racer. A Bentley Blower under Ralph's roof is also from the rainy isles, and the last Brits are a 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Drophead Coupe and a 2005 Aston Martin Vanquish S.
Finding a theme to this car collection is difficult, but racers are in abundance. It's probably down to little more than personal taste. Still, we feel like the collection is somewhat skewed. Although he has numerous Ferraris, he doesn't own all the icons. While Ralph Lauren owns two P1s and two 918s, he only has one LaFerrari. He has the 200-mph rivals that are the Ferrari F40 and Porsche 959, several examples of the F1 and a Carrera GT, but no Enzo. F40, but no F50. A Ferrari 250 GTO, but no 288 GTO (reportedly, he sold the one he used to have). Jaguar D-Type, but no E-Type. One car will have a powerful engine, and another will be a slow old Jeep. One can be a factory-built race car, and another can be an old Ford with wooden doors and a double-digit top speed, but the man's preference is clearly a car that is beautiful, historic, and/or valuable.
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In chronological order, here are 55 cars confirmed to be owned by the designer as of April 2023.
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