Would he accept new car tariffs if he weren't president?
Before he became president, Donald Trump the billionaire real estate mogul and TV host liked to buy stuff. Lots of it. He also liked exotic cars. Can’t blame him and a little bit of research shows Trump has great automotive taste. Now that he’s POTUS and threatening to slap tariffs on automakers, we wondered whether he would have been willing, in an alternate universe, to accept those same tariffs as a private citizen, imposed by an alternate reality President Hillary Clinton? So let’s look at some of the cars that have been in The Donald’s garage over the years.
Rolls-Royce is a brand that’s long appealed to the world’s wealthiest people. Why would Donald Trump, the private citizen, be the exception? He wasn’t. In fact, Rolls-Royce, now owned by BMW (who is very much against auto tariffs), is likely one of his favorite car companies. Not long before his election, Trump was seen driving around in a new Rolls-Royce Phantom. A few decades prior he also had a 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud in his garage. Word has it the Silver Cloud was one of the first cars he ever bought. What would a new Phantom (the Silver Cloud has long been out of production) cost with a 20 percent tariff? At least, $540,000, up from $450,000 – and that’s without any bespoke features.
It was about as horrible as it looks, and yet it still had great appeal for some of America’s richest people back in the late 1980s and early 90s. Mullets were popular back then too. Just saying. Anyway, Trump has apparently owned a few Cadillacs aside from an Allante, such as an Escalade and few bespoke limousines. Because of his customer loyalty, Cadillac decided to gift Trump with his own V8-powered Allante, painted gold of course. The Allante originally cost around $60,000 (which for the early 90s was far from cheap). Add 20 percent to that. It wasn't worth it before the tariff.
Not surprisingly, Trump also had a penchant for Mercedes-Benz. What rich person doesn’t? Rumor has it he owned a Maybach limousine and even a Mercedes-Maybach S600. Those are both impressive machines, but neither are nearly as cool as the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren in his garage. With its supercharged V8 producing around 617 hp, the supercar is definitely more at home on a track than a golf course. Does that mean Trump tracked it? Doubtful, but it’s also a grand tourer so it’s also great for simple cruises and/or longer road trips. Original 2006 price: $452,500. Yeah, we'd still buy one of these even with the tariff, assuming we had the cash. A cool car is a cool car.
Despite Tesla CEO Elon Musk dropping out of the president’s business advisory council over the latter’s decision to drop out of the Paris Climate Accord, Trump still has a thing for all-electric cars. Heck, he owned an original Tesla Roadster. Remember, Tesla’s first model was a heavily modified and electrified Lotus Elise, which isn’t exactly the biggest car out there. Trump is six-foot-two and it must have been a bit difficult to get comfortable due to lack of legroom. But Trump also supposedly wants to abolish the federal EV tax break so many Americans (and automakers) enjoy. Ironically, he himself received that $7,500 tax break when he bought his Tesla for at least $98,950 around a decade ago.
Of course Donald Trump once owned a Ferrari. In fact, the 2007 Ferrari F430, pictured here, recently went up for auction, but failed to meet the price estimate of $250,000 - $350,000. Bidding stopped at $240,000. Are buyers simply not interested in the president’s old Ferrari? Who knows. What we know is that the F430 has an original MSRP of around $200,000, excluding options. Put it like this: with the 20 percent tariff added in, the F430’s final auction price was about the same if Trump had bought it new.
Holy crap. Donald Trump once drove this gorgeous blue 1997 Lamborghini Diablo and even topped it off with gas by his lonesome self in south Florida. The Diablo is without question one of the great Lamborghini V12s, as it was the last one built before Volkswagen Group bought the then troubled Italian supercar company from Chrysler. Diablos were all fitted with manual transmissions, so it’s good to know our president can drive stick. Hey, that’s a skill many people don’t have anymore. When the Diablo launched back in 1990 it had a price tag of $211,050 – almost half the cost of a new Aventador today. But if you have that kind of money to blow on an Italian exotic, what’s another $20 grand, right?