The Drive 100: The Best Celebrity Car Moments of 2015
If you didn’t know, now you know.
Every day through Dec. 23, the writers and editors of The Drive are bringing you the essential guide to the year in car culture. Divided across 10 core categories, The Drive 100 is a celebration and send-up of the year that was. Check back tomorrow for: Best New Cars of 2015.
Acura Legend/Ludacris Tie-up at SEMA
Did you know that Chris Bridges’ stagename, Ludacris, is a play on his first? I didn’t, until I read the press release announcing that Chris “Ludacris” Bridges would be showing his freshly restored 1993 Acura Legend at SEMA. The car, like the man, is a hip-hop star after appearing on the cover of last year’s Ludaversal album. Though that appearance was ironic—the 240,000-mile Acura was juxtaposed with a private jet—the car itself is inherently cool. It was the first thing young Bridges bought when he made a buck, and he’s stayed true to it. It’s his high school girlfriend. It’s his hometown. It’s his roots. And we want it to be ours.—Ben Keeshin, staff writer
Kevin Bacon, Car Guy
The Drive had the chance to reduce our Bacon Number to zero this fall, chatting with Kevin Bacon about his role in indie darling Cop Car, and what he sees when he closes his eyes and someone shouts Five-Oh. Even more elucidating than that were his tales of owning an old Austin Healey, driving a Hemi Challenger and locking his newborn kid in his old Pathfinder. Though he claimed he’s not a car guy, he revealed himself to be one.—Brett Berk, writer-at-large
Paul Newman’s 'Winning'
Car fans got two dueling documentaries this year—Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman and Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans. Which was better? It’s McQueen on the outside, Newman next to him, neck and neck, moving toward the last corner, the checkered flag’s out and...Newman wins! There’s just something about this guy’s screen presence. We could watch Newman mix salad dressing and be mesmerized. Throw in great track footage and interviews with everyone from Mario to Leno, and you’ve got a winner of a film. —A.J. Baime, editor-at-large
Tom Brady Gifts Malcolm Butler the Keys to Colorado
Mr. Gisele Bundchen was in a magnanimous mood after winning Super Bowl XLIX. Egged on by persuasive (if insufferable) Boston sports-radio personalities, Brady regifted his game-MVP prize, a Chevrolet Colorado mid-size pickup truck, to Patriots rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler. It was the least the future Hall of Famer could do for the undrafted 24-year-old, who sealed the Pats’ win with a last-stand interception against the Seahawks. Not even Deflategate—or GM’s ignition-switch headaches—could stick a pin in this feel-good narrative.—Jonathan Schultz, deputy editor
Mood-ring Car Paint on Alexei Ramirez’s Jaguar F-Type
Alexi Ramirez is a shortstop, recently of the Chicago White Sox. His car is a Jaguar. And a chameleon. Coated with $25k worth of color-changing paint, Ramirez’s F-Type Coupe responds to changes in temperature. When the Jag’s cool, it looks tough in matte black with the outline of a Union Jack. Apply a little heat, and vivid reds and blues complete the flag. I’ll admit it, I didn’t know Alexi Ramirez. I’m not a big baseball guy. But this Jag? I’d recognize it anywhere.—Chris Cantle, West Coast editor
James Woods Gives It Up to His Cherokee
On Dec. 14, actor James Woods was driving through a snowstorm on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon, Colo., when he swerved to avoid a pileup and subsequently spun several times, eventually slamming into the guardrail at high speed. Fortunately for Woods, his Grand Cherokee spared him serious injury. According to the actor, he was traveling at 75 mph when the crash began, and he walked away from the horrific incident with nothing more than a concussion and a very intense story. Do we hear a commercial spokesman in the making?—Max Goldberg, assistant editor
Lewis Hamilton Teases Single From Coming Album on '60 Minutes'
Decisions, decisions. In life, as in World of Warcraft, one must make a few. Human? Orc? Warrior? Mage? These decisions guide one’s growth. If one is lucky enough to face the radiant sun, if God shines His Provenance on thee, great things are possible. A half-dozen Formula 1 seats are open in a typical year. If you work, sacrifice, struggle, devote your entire life from childhood to securing one, you just might succeed. You might even become a champion. You might even become a champion more than once. You might even gain a sense of self. Leading lights across disciplines often talk of the Zen state achieved in moments of greatness. I’m sure Lewis Hamilton has felt it. And that’s why I admire him. He made a decision to become an F1 driver and he is a champion thrice over. A true inspiration. A hero to us all. Wait, he recorded this? Strike that. He’s an idiot, with no self-awareness at all.—Alex Roy, editor-at-large
Lewis Hamilton Crashes His Zonda in Monaco
Maybe Nico was on his tail? — Max Prince, senior editor
Fetty Wap Wrecks a Sportbike, Gets Some Tickets
Back in September, rapper Fetty Wap was tooling around his hometown of Paterson, N.J., when he decided to use his motorbike to say “Hey what’s up hello” to a passing motorist, and that is to say he crashed his bike into the car. Fetty sustained a broken leg, and his driving record deep contusions, with three summonses issued for riding without a license, no insurance and no registration. Fetty, you’ll only stay Gucci for so long with behavior like that. Wheels down, please. —Jonathan Harper, social media editor
Teg Sethi Disses tha Grand Lemon
Not many people know who Teg Sethi is, but he gained some notoriety after producing the rap video above about his Jeep Grand Cherokee. Entitled "I Made a Mistake, I Bought a Jeep," the $8,000 production was a way for the 32-year-old Australian businessman to express his ire after experiencing myriad problems with the SUV, which he bought in 2013. His fly rhymes include an ode to his lemon: "This Jeep’s giving me anxiety. I must have bought a citrus variety." -Benjamin Preston, writer-at-large