From the silver screen and Super Bowl to our silver coins and bank notes, their faces are instantly recognisable. But what about the iconic cars do iconic women drive? Here’s a run-down of who drives what in the world of lady drivers:
Sophia Loren must have caused quite a stir with her car of choice, the Mercedes Benz 300SL; but then again the Italian movie star was probably quite used to causing a stir wherever she went. Based on W194 300 SL Le Mans winning model, the Mercedes Benz300SL was unlike any of other seen before. First released in 1954, what stood out were the doors. These opened vertically, nicknamed Gullwing, and were actually a solution a problem raised by the shape of the chassis, which prevented the conventional car door opening. The engine wasn’t the first fuel injected one, but it was the first to work with fuel being injected directly into the cylinders. It was a 6-cylinder-inline engine and used the same engineering principles as a DB 601 fighter aircraft engine. It was thanks to this that the 300SL had a top speed of 161 mph, making it the fastest car at that time.
The Dual-Ghia was the car of choice of Hollywood bombshell Ava Gardner. Made between 1956 and 1958, only 117 cars were ever produced. But it was a distinctive and fast car with top speeds of 120mph and together with its price $7,741 price tag, this car soon became the cool car of choice for the rich and famous. The Dual-Ghia was based on the designs of Virgil Exner’s Firebomb in a partnership between Detroit-based Dual Motors and Ghia coachworks in Turin, Italy.
When it comes to iconic car brands, it’s hard to make as much of a statement as a Ferrari. Since it was founded back in 1929, it’s been the go-to car choice of the rich and the famous including sex symbol Jayne Mansfield who drove a Ferrari 275 GTS. The sleek body was designed by Pininfarina, an Italian coachbuilder synonymous with luxury and style. It housed a 3.3 L Colombo V12 engine and produced up to 300 hp. The Ferrari 275 took over from the brand’s 250 and was ranked as the third greatest Ferrari of all time by car magazine, Motor Trend. Only 200 of the 275 GTS model were ever made including 14 in right-hand drive.
Visitors flock to the basement of Chateau de Grandson in Switzerland. Why? To see the impressive collection of classic cars; this includes the white Rolls Royce Phantom that once belonged to arguably one of Hollywood’s biggest ever film stars, and famous recluse, Greta Garbo.
Sleek and sexy, the Thunderbird was the perfect choice for film star Marilyn Monroe. Made by US car giant Ford, the car was considered to be the height of luxury. It featured circular headlights and tailfins and following its 1954 launch the 312 cu V8 engine became standard.
Queen Elizabeth II
For official duties, the Queen has eight state limousines to choose from. These include three Rolls-Royces, three Daimlers and two Bentleys. The Bentleys were specially designed for her by the manufacturer with the Queen and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh also contributing. In comparison to standard Bentley models, the transmission tunnel doesn’t run through the cabin and they are nearly a metre longer than a standard Bentley Arnage. The oldest car in the official fleet is the Phantom IV. This was made in 1950 and has a 5.76 litre engine and Mulliner body.
Modern day and modern times but the cars choice of iconic women remains the same. Take Fashion designer and some-time Spice Girl Victoria Beckham. Together with husband David, the couple have been spotted behind the wheel of some luxury car brands including a Rolls Royce Drophead Coupe and a Rolls Royce Ghost.
Beyonce swapped her Maybach for a Mercedes van when she became a mum. The Single Ladies singer splashed a reported $1million on the vehicle, even installing a bathroom.
This article was supplied by Josh Hervall, a keen blogger and motoring enthusiast. He writes for www.design911.com, specialists in parts and accessories for Porsches.