By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
We all know Kelsey Grammer flipped his brand-new Dodge Viper, a gift from NBC, in what police politely referred to as a single-car accident that landed him in the Betty Ford Center. Speaking of crashes, Matthew Perry’s Beamer collided with another car not long after the Friends star completed a stint in rehab. This time, it wasn’t Perry’s fault, even though a year earlier he pressed a Porsche’s pedal to the metal and landed on the porch of a Hollywood Hills home — again, shortly after being hospitalized for medical problems relating to his alcohol and drug abuse.
David Letterman, a devotee of Porsches and Ferraris, has made himself the butt of scores of jokes because of his lead foot and speeding tickets. It’s not surprising that he soon was bankrolling a racing team at the Indianapolis 500. Real-life race-car drivers include Paul Newman, Tom Cruise and Jason Priestley (who’s so nuts about it he’s going to race again even after it almost killed him). Smarter celebs, such as Cameron Diaz, exercise their need for speed by signing up for the annual Long Beach Grand Prix Pro-Celebrity race every April, and the required training ahead of time at the Willow Springs racetrack, north of L.A. In real life, Cammy famously drives that putt-putt car powered by hamsters known as the Toyota Prius.
No, this won’t be the 800th article listing all the big Hollywood names who’ve gone green, like Woody Harrelson and his electric Zenn or Leo DiCaprio and his Think. (Leo also reportedly owns four Priuses). By now, you’re sick of hearing about Hollywood’s pledge to switch to eco-friendly cars, know by heart the names of those stars who waved off the limo and opted for a hybrid ride to the Oscars (like Charlize Theron). But, trust us, this Prius fad will be short-lived with celebs because the autos are too pedestrian. Stars need that leather and lit cosmetic mirror and luxury, so they’ll hunger for next fall’s hot car: the full-frills Lexus hybrid based on the RX platform.
Celebs can drive anything they want (though, if you’re in rap or hip-hop, there’s only the Cadillac Escalade), but mostly they’ll drive any car that’s free. Arnold Schwarzenegger now owns eight GM-made Hummers, but, back in 1992, he persuaded then-manufacturer AM General to convert one of the original Humvee military vehicles that saw action in the Gulf War into a civilian model, and Ah-nuld got one free. And if you’re J-Lo, you’re handed a $350,000 Bentley convertible just for being “her” by then-boyfriend Ben Affleck.
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