Sir Elton Hercules John CBE is one of the best-selling and well-known musicians in the world, with over 300 million records sold (all with the help of his writing partner since 1967, Bernie Taupin). He has more than 50 Top 40 hits, including seven consecutive Number One albums in the US! His tribute single “Candle in the Wind 1997” was rewritten in dedication to Princess Diana and sold over 33 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling single in the history of the US and UK charts.
Elton John is also a huge car fanatic and he has been since he first started getting a little bit of money. At one point, his collection was dozens of cars big, though it has shrunk down since then. In fact, many of his cars have been sold at auction (though he still keeps his favorite ones, supposedly). On June 5, 2001, 20 of Elton’s cars were sold at a Christie auction in London, bringing in over £2 million for the already super-rich musician (he’s worth approximately $500 million).
He’s also sold cars at other auctions and by the cars he’s sold, we get a taste of his style. The flamboyant, eclectic artist tends to gravitate toward the UK's brilliance, which should come as no surprise. He flaunts his Bentleys, Rolls-Royces, Jaguars, and Aston Martins more than any other cars. He also has a special affinity for older, vintage cars, many of them built in the 1950s and 60s.
Let’s take a peek inside Sir Elton John’s garage and check out 20 of his coolest, most fabulous cars.
20 1956 Bentley S1 Continental Sport Saloon
Elton John is a big fan of all things lavish, especially UK-made beauties from companies like Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar, and Aston Martin. He bought this stunning 1956 Bentley S1 Continental Sport Saloon in 1976 and held onto it for 25 years before finally putting it up for auction in 2017 (alongside cars owned by Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney). Bonham’s lot notes for the car declares it “the most beautiful car, I think, that’s ever been designed.” The celebrity provenance added 15-20% to a $530,000 to $660,000 auction estimate. Elton’s car is also covered in H.J. Mulliner coachwork, which made it even more desirable.
19 1997 Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550
Just last year, Elton John put up one of the most desired Aston Martins of the past century for auction at Silverstone Auctions Race Retro Classic Car Sale. This rare 1997 Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550 was hand-built and was expected to bring in $347,500. Made in England, this car’s V8 engine gave it a whopping 550 horsepower, a 0-60 mph time of 4.8 seconds, and a top speed of 185 mph. The car had been maintained thoroughly, with only 8,663 miles on the clock. Only 240 of these cars were ever made, making it a must-have collector’s item. This was one of the last coach-built Aston Martins before they moved to a more machine-centric process.
18 2005 Maserati Quattroporte V
Back in 2016, this beautiful Maserati owned by Sir Elton John was also slated to hit the auction block at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre, Leamington Spa, during an event held by Classic Car Auctions (CCA). It was painted in Verde (green) and Cuoio (biscuit) upholstery, complemented by elegant rosewood veneer that blended with the stunning design. It’s powered by a 4.2-liter V8 engine and only had 28,000 miles on it—plus, it had been recently serviced. Despite its celebrity owner, this was a pretty common car—and certainly not the most stunning Maserati—so it was only expected to fetch between $21,612 and $24,993.
17 1985 Bentley Continental Convertible “Nikita”
Elton John’s “Nikita” Bentley was sold at the same auction as Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour’s Ferrari F40 in 2017. Elton’s Bentley was iconic because it was the same Bentley Continental Convertible that appeared in his hit 1985 music video for “Nikita". It sold at a 2015 Bonhams auction for £71,000 and was expected to bring in £120,000 at the more recent auction, meaning its value increased by 69% in just two years. This “Tudor Red” (cherry red) Bentley ran on an enormous 6.7-liter V8 engine, had a top speed of 120 mph, and it has the original registration plate of “B20 ELT.” It also only had 40,972 miles on the clock, which added to the value.
16 1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur
Elton’s 1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur was one of 20 cars he auctioned off back in 2001 at Christie’s in London. The collection had been compiled over 30 years or so and consisted mostly of the UK manufacturers that Elton loved. Elton sold the cars because he didn’t get to drive them anymore, saying, “I’d rather they went to people who can get pleasure out of them everyday.” The Bentley S2 was only produced from 1959 to 1962, with 2,308 manufactured. It ran on a 6.2-liter Bentley V8, replacing the S1’s straight-six engine. This one sold for about the equivalent of $88,300.
15 1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III
Elton John is also a big fan of the other biggest luxury manufacturer on the planet—and Bentley’s primary competition—Rolls-Royce. The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud was manufactured for 11 years, from 1955 to 1966, through three generations, with a total of 7,372 produced. It was the core model of the Rolls-Royce range during that time, replacing the Silver Dawn before it, in turn, was replaced by the Silver Shadow. Only 2,044 Silver Cloud IIIs were produced between 1963-1966. It was powered by a 6.2-liter V8 engine that produced 220 horsepower. It sold at the 2001 Christie auction for the equivalent of $112,780.
14 1965 Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Roadster
One of the most iconic cars that Elton John owned was a 1965 Jaguar E-Type, which had been called “the most beautiful car ever made” by Enzo Ferrari himself when it first came out in 1961. With a top speed of 150 mph and a sub-seven-second 0-60 mph acceleration time, it combined beauty, high performance, and competitive pricing, establishing it as an icon of the motoring world. Sports Car International called it #1 on their Top Sports Cars of the 1960s, and The Daily Telegraph named it #1 on their “100 most beautiful cars” list. At the Christie auction, it sold for a pretty reasonable price of around $105,600.
13 1973 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI Limousine By H.J. Mulliner
The second best-selling car at Elton John’s Christie auction in 2001 was his 1973 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI Limousine with H.J. Mulliner accouterments. The coachmaker H.J. Mulliner & Co. operated out of London from 1897 to 1959, when Rolls-Royce bought the company. They first began as a family business founded in the 1760s! The Phantom VI Rolls was manufactured as an ultra-exclusive rolling chassis. It spanned from 1968 to 1990 but only 374 were produced during that 22-year time period. They were primarily bodied as limousines, like this one, though some were landaulets. Either way, they were highly elegant and lavish and made the perfect ride for Elton John. This one sold for about $292,000.
12 1975 Bentley Corniche Convertible
The sixth out of nine Bentleys that sold at the Christie auction in 2001 was this beautiful 1975 Corniche convertible. It was actually one of the more affordable sales at the auction, bringing in only $64,500, but that doesn’t take away from how nice this car looks. These days, Rolls-Royce also has a Corniche while Bentley's version became the Continental in 1984. This car was powered by a 6.75-liter L410 V8 engine, which gave it 237 horsepower and a top speed of 118 mph. There were a total of 1,090 Rolls-Royce Corniche saloons, 3,239 Rolls-Royce Corniche convertibles, 69 Bentley Corniche saloons, and 77 Bentley Corniche convertibles built, the latter of which this is one.
11 1978 Aston Martin V8 Vantage
There were a total of four Aston Martins sold at the Christie auction, including this 1978 Aston Martin V8 Vantage, which was the oldest Martin sold at the show. This sports car was hailed in 1977 as “Britain’s First Supercar,” or sometimes nicknamed the UK's muscle car, for its 170 mph top speed. Its engine was a 390-bhp, 5.3-liter, 48IDF2/100 Weber engine, which allowed it to reach 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds (one-tenth of a second quicker than the Ferrari Daytona). Only 534 of these cars were built from 1977 to 1989 and Elton John owned two of them! This one sold for about $106,000.
10 1964 Bentley S3 Continental Convertible
This four-door luxury convertible was built for just three years, from 1962 to 1965. The S3 was very similar to the S2, with the most visible exterior difference being the four-headlamp setup that was also put on the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III released the same year. It was powered by a 6.2-liter V8 engine. In total, only about 1,500 S3s were built between saloons, long-wheelbase, and Continental chassis. The Continental version of the S3 was strictly coach-built, with the help of H.J. Mulliner. Despite being rare (only 311 exist) and owned by Elton John, this one only sold for $91,200 at the Christie auction.
9 1985 Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Elton John has quite the affinity for Aston Martin V8 Vantages, seeing as how he sold four of them (one of them a convertible Volante) at the Christie auction in 2001. Or maybe that means he didn’t like the car much since he got rid of them all? Either way, starting in 1985, the Vantage was given an “X-Pack” upgrade, featuring Cosworth pistons and Nimrod racing-type heads that produced 403 horsepower. Only 580 of these “X-Pack” Vantages were ever made. A “Big Bore” aftermarket option was also available from Works Service, which gave it 432 horsepower thanks to a straight-through exhaust. This one sold for about $134,300.
8 1986 Ferrari 412 Coupe
The Ferrari 412 is one of the few Italian exotic cars that Elton John sold at the 2001 Christie auction. Admittedly, the 412 is one of the less attractive Ferraris and doesn’t look very exotic (to many sets of eyes). But it’s still a rare car, with only 270 GTs and 306 A models ever produced. The 412 was built on the same line as the Ferrari 400 GTi and the 365 GT4 2+2. It ran on a 4.9-liter F101 E010 engine that produced 340 horsepower. Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear, unfortunately, described the car as “awful in every way” which might be part of the reason why it only sold for $55,300 at the auction.
7 1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante
The “newest” of Elton John’s Aston Martins that sold at the Christie auction was this 1987 V8 Vantage Volante, which means it’s a convertible Vantage. It was included with the “X-Pack” and “Big Bore” features. This was one of the last years that Aston Martin offered their V8 Vantage until 2007, when the company unveiled their concept car based on the V8 Vantage, dubbed the V12 Vantage RS. This older Aston Martin Vantage Volante was only produced from 1986 to 1989, with a deeper front spoiler, wider wheel arches, and extended side skirts than typical Vantages. It also had a rear spoiler. This is one out of 166 and sold for almost $133,000.
6 1987 Ferrari Testarossa
The Ferrari Testarossa was a 12-cylinder, mid-engine sports car that was manufactured by Ferrari from 1984 to 1996 as the successor to the Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer. The car was designed by Pininfarina, with almost 10,000 produced, making it one of the most mass-produced Ferrari models. It ran on a naturally aspirated, 4.9-liter, Tipo F12 engine which gave it 385 horsepower and allowed it to accelerate from 0-62 mph in 5.3 seconds. The car didn’t sell well at the auction, fetching only $64,500 at the Christie event, which is very low for a Ferrari—especially one owned by Sir Elton!
5 1987 Bentley Turbo R Saloon
The Bentley Turbo R was a high-performance car built from 1985 to 1999. The “R” stood for “roadholding” which was meant to set it apart from its predecessor (the Turbo). This 1987 version had the same turbocharged engine from the Mulsanne Turbo, though it also sported a retuned suspension and wider tires on alloy wheels, which was a first for Bentley. About 7,500 of these cars were built, so they weren’t especially rare—or really, especially expensive and sought after, either. But Elton John loves old Bentleys, so this one was just as special to him as the rest. It sold for $64,500 at the Christie auction.
4 1992 Ferrari 512 TR
This was the Ferrari that Elton John sold at the Christie auction in 2001. The “TR” here stands for Testarossa, like the one above, though it was mostly a different car (built on the same chassis, however). The 512 TR used a 4.9-liter Ferrari flat-12 engine that was mid-mounted and provided a maximum of 428 horsepower at 6,750 RPM. The car could accelerate from 0-62 mph in 4.8 seconds, which was very quick for the early 90s, and it had a top speed of 195 mph. This was a first-year model (they were built from 1992 to 1994), which would have cost $212,160 brand new. Elton sold this one for about $117,000, so it depreciated quite a bit over the nine years he had it.
3 1993 Jaguar XJ220
Probably the coolest—or at least, the rarest—car that Elton John owned that was sold at the Christie auction in 2001 was this Jaguar XJ220 from 1993. This car was only manufactured from 1992 to 1994, with a total of 282 produced. At the time, it was the fastest production car in the world (from 1992 to 1993), with a recorded top speed of 213.3 mph, making it a true supercar. It also managed a Nurburgring lap time of 7:46:36 in 1991, which was faster than any other production car before it. It was powered by a 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine that gave it 542 horsepower. It was the highest-selling car out of the 20 at the auction, fetching almost $307,000.
2 1995 Bentley Continental
The Bentley Continental has been in existence in one form or another since 1952, but with a noticeable gap where none were produced. The first generation of Continentals was built from 1952 to 1965, and then the next-gen models were built from 1984 to the present. This 1995 sat right at the end of the 1984-1995 run. Nowadays, any Continental is worth a lot of money: a 1952 R Type Continental was sold in 2015—in unrestored condition—for $1 million! This one didn’t bring in that much but was still one of the highest-selling cars at the Christie auction, bringing in about $213,000.
1 1997 Bentley Turbo R 400 Saloon
While one of Elton’s Turbo R saloons sold at auction was from the older end of the manufacturing lifetime (1987, the first year with a retuned, fuel-injected V8), this one was built toward the end, 10 years later, in 1997. Production stopped after that year to make way for the Bentley Arnage. This “new” Turbo R included Zytek fuel injection and appearance modifications, as well as sporty alloys and carbon fiber (rather than walnut) panels. This car originally sold for about $150,000, had a power output of 385 horsepower, and it was the last car of 20 at the Christie auction, selling for around $108,000.
Sources: Robb Report, Motor 1, Odometer, Elton John World, and This Is Money UK.