The Jaguar E-type, one of many classic cars in Jay Leon's collection, is an example of the engineering, style, and uniqueness of great celebrity car choices. There are polar opposites, of course, like the exhilarating, luxurious Cadillac CTS-V in which Justin Bieber saw a Batmobile, and promptly began the deconstruction. Some cars reflect a deep sense of style and appreciation for the finer things, like Snoop Dogg's classic choice, but Selena Gomez could park at a suburban shopping mall anywhere and not draw any attention by her choice of ride. It's only at a glamorous event where her vehicle would draw attention -- out of puzzlement.
Jay Leno's Jaguar E-Type
For a man who is known for his stable of classic cars and seems to know each one as an informed and enthusiastic owner, it's hard to pick one of his rare, unique and specialized models to hold up as exemplary. The Jaguar E-type is one which, especially in the heyday of larger-than-life cars and movie stars, almost set the scene by itself. The timeless design is currently being produced as an electric model but the stretched bonnet (hood), low purr, and graceful handling stand alone in Jay's garage.
Ed Begley Jr.'s RAV4
Mr. Begley, an actor, is almost as well-known in some circles for his role as a committed environmentalist. His RAV4, EV (electric vehicle) was an early example of leaving the gas pump 100% behind as he charged it from his home's solar cells and drove up to 85 miles per day. In 2014, word has it, he put it up for sale on eBay so someone else could enjoy the pleasure. In California zero emissions also earns the right to travel solo in the carpool lane. Ed Begley Jr., who enjoys creating earth-friendly projects at his home, is surely on to another eco-friendly auto.
Snoop Dogg's Rolls Royce Phantom
Like an imposing iceberg bearing down on the road, the Phantom speaks refinement and prestige at the same time. Snoop Dogg's choice reveals his aesthetic as an artist, as he enjoys an interior of soft leather and relaxing amenities, unconcerned with the world outside.
Selena Gomez's Ford Escape
A practical car -- nothing wrong with it -- but typically celebrities are guided by their enjoyment of luxury or an image they want to project. The Ford Escape really suits neither. So, Ms. Selena appreciates the practical, but it's not the top of the list of celebrity cars.
Simon Cowell's Bugatti Veyron
One look at Simon's Veyron and one has to recalculate any preconceptions of who he is -- much as he has had to do at times as a celebrity judge of talent. What has led him to this million-dollar car? It's not a stereotype, so did he bypass the question of image for sheer personal enjoyment? In any case, Simon's mid-engine, 8.0-liter V12 supercar has got to be one of the best celebrity car choices.
Tommy Chong's Prius
More for pizza delivery than film premieres, this car might speak of eco-values, or it might not. Like Selena Gomez's Ford Escape it is a practical choice in a world of celebrity excess which can send several messages. It offers neither luxury nor spaciousness, doesn't project an image and doesn't show raw power. Cool, man.
Samuel L. Jackson's Maybach 57S
Jackson, whose roles have ranged from street-tough to sci-fi elite, is a known connoisseur of Mercedes design, owning both a new S-class and a vintage convertible 280 SE. Maybach's heritage is entwined with that of Mercedes, but in more of a muscle-and-luxury way than sheer elegance. Apparently Jackson grew attached to the Maybach during a trip to Germany, and bought one of these overengineered beauties. Best or worst? For a celebrity, it'll have to be best.
Justin Bieber's Cadillac CTS-V to Batmobile "conversion"
There's just a whole lot of "why" to this project car which happily still retains some of the luxury and muscle with which it was born. Still, what has he done with it? Why? There are so many fun project Batmobiles in the works, this Batmobile makeover seems like the result of a half-hour reality show in which cars get chopped and painted at celebrities' whims. But there it is, and the Cadillac CTS-V is still a star in its own right.