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Friday, 7 September 2012


The BBC mega-hit TV show Top Gear features a regular segment called "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car". As you can probably guess, it involves the hosts putting big-name celebrities like Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz behind the wheel of an average, everyday grocery-hauler to see how fast they can zip around a racetrack.

Apart from watching celebs drive like maniacs (and oftentimes, get very competitive in the process), the fun of "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" also comes from seeingCruiseDiaz, and their A-list pals strapped into a vehicle that most would never, ever own...or would they? On a recent rainy afternoon, we decided to poke around and see which boldface names still reserve one bay in their Ferrari-filled garages for a mainstream, mass-market ride like the kind they drove before they hit the big time.

Alyssa Milano in a Nissan Leaf

It's easy to take potshots at child actors who go on to become infomercial stars (remember "Teen Steam"?) before resuscitating their careers as 20something actors and activists. But Alyssan Milano got her start by working with Judith Light AND Katherine Helmond, which is like simultaneously winning the lottery, marrying your high school sweetheart, and finding the last golden ticket to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory all in the same day, so girlfriend is beyond charmed. She can drive whatever she wants -- and she'll do it with more class than most of her green (with envy) peers. (Source:

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in a Chevrolet Suburban
When we think of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, we think of perfect cheekbones, celebrity adoption, and a long-overdue wedding. We assume that they spend their glamorous waking hours shopping for new homes in exotic locales and saving the occasional tree. Probably the last thing we envision Brangelina doing is cruising through a McDonald's drive-through in a Chevrolet Suburban -- and yet, here they are. Given their reputation as mavericks, maybe Brad and Angelina are trying to show the world that they're different from some of their uppity Tinseltown peers, many of whom would sneer at a not-so-environmentally friendly, Detroit-made SUV. Or maybe they've finally realized that when a dozen rugrats start clamoring for McNuggets, you need more than a Prius to handle the job. (Source: Justjared)

Jennifer Lawrence in a Volkswagen Eos

Jennifer Lawrence is a big deal nowadays -- the Sarah Michelle Gellar of her generation. But despite all the paparazzi focused on Ms. Hunger Games, she continues to pump her own gas and scoot around town in a humble Volkswagen Eos. Sure, she could afford an equally cute, equally German Mercedes-Benz SLK like her curvy young gal pals, or maybe a peppy BMW M3. But it's the Eos that makes her inner Katniss Everdeen proud. (Source:

Kevin Federline in a GMC Yukon

We admit, we were on the fence about including K-Fed in this lineup. We wondered: is he really famous? Was he ever more than celebrity-adjacent? How did the former Mr. Spears lose so much weight? And most importantly: is that really his Yukon, or is he working as a bag boy at Ralph's? We're going to assume the answer to that last question is "yes". After all, if you're the type of guy who uses "posse" unironically, you probably need third-row seating to schlep that posse around. (Source:

David Beckham and a Chevrolet Camaro

As a professional model and soccer champ, David Beckham can afford to motor around in anything he likes. But apparently, Mr. Posh Spice grew bored with the trappings of his exclusive, page-six lifestyle and opted to go fully American by ponying up for one of our favorite pony cars, the Chevrolet Camaro. Of course, Becks' ride came completely blinged-out, with a retail price north of 50 grand, but still: it's a Camaro, dude. Maybe this will finally convince L.A. Galaxy fans that he's in it to win it for the home team. (

Elijah Wood in a Mini Cooper

We're not sure that this is actually Elijah Wood's car, but how could anyone pass up a shot of Frodo Baggins in a Mini? Cat videos on YouTube don't achieve this level of cuteness. Plus, the Mini makes it so much easier for the paps to snap him. Could you imagine trying to photograph the little guy in an oversizedEscalade? (Source:

Benicio Del Toro in a Ford Bronco

Benicio Del Toro is an immensely gifted actor, but he's not your traditional silver-screen dreamboat. Sure, he could've followed some of his colleagues down the long, winding, unpredictable road of plastic surgery (cf. Mickey Rourke, Heidi Montag), but instead, Del Toro has bravely embraced his menacing looks and fostered an image as a Hollywood bad boy. Still, driving a Ford Bronco seems like pushing it -- unless, of course, Benny's campaigning for the lead in an as-yet-unannounced biopic of OJ Simpson. (Source:

Simon Cowell in a Smart Fortwo

For years, we've thought Simon Cowell's endless collection of supercars was compensating for certain...shortcomings. After all, you don't run out and purchase a $1.7 million Bugatti Veyron unless you've got something to prove. But perhaps we were mistaken about the guy, because even with custom wheels, his Smart Fortwo is anything but grand. Who knew you could fit Cowell AND his massive ego in such a tiny ride? Looks like someone's trying to re-brand himself as America's most grounded entertainment entrepreneur. Only the voters at home can tell us if it'll pay off. (Source:

Barack Obama's (former) Chrysler 300C

President Obama no longer drives this 300C, but at one point in the not-too-distant past, he and Michelle could be seen motoring around Chicago in the sleek, Chrysler sedan. Back then, it was an affordable set of wheels for the esteemed Senator from Illinois, though given its provenance, it's now become a bit more valuable: the seller on eBay set the starting price at $1,000,000. (FYI, no one bid.) What's curious is that Obama unloaded his 300C in 2007, roughly a year before the federal government began bailing out Chrysler and GM. And according to the eBay listing, he traded it for a Ford Escape Hybrid. Was it a coincidence, or did our president have a premonition that owning a Chrysler might open him up to charges of favoritism? Armchair psychic Mary Todd Lincoln would be envious. (Source: ebay)

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