Modern Classics Star in Eric Kendricks’ Car Collection

Brandan Gillogly

Eric Kendricks, now entering his 10th year as an NFL linebacker after signing with the Dallas Cowboys as a free agent, has been a fan of cars from the get-go. We visited his car collection near his home in Los Angeles to find out how the avid, 32-year-old collector got started with cars and what might be coming next.

While many pro athletes purchase expensive or classic cars to signal that they’ve “made it,” Kendricks’ love for cars runs deep. “I feel like it was just fundamental—Hot Wheels, train sets, anything with wheels,” said Kendricks, a native of California. When he found himself with expendable income, it was only natural that he build a collection of the cars he loves most—including the toys of his childhood. “I used to go to the country in Madera and race R/C cars with my brother, Chad. I still have that love for R/C cars.” Provided his L.A. shop doesn’t fill up with an extra car or two, he’s planning to build an R/C track in the space, which will also serve as a place for him and his friends to hang out. The garage, recently renovated with three lifts, was still under construction when we visited.

Brandan Gillogly

The E36 BMW M3 parked under the lift by the pile of boxes containing its parts belongs to Hendrick’s friend and former Minnesota Vikings teammate, Eric Wilson, who now plays for the Green Bay Packers. “We’re gonna train together in a few weeks,” said Kendricks. “After we finish training, we’re going to put wheels on it. I think he’s gonna get an exhaust, coils—just little things.”

Brandan Gillogly

Beside the BMW is a car that Kendricks drives less often, but one to which he is more sentimentally attached, a 1995 Dodge Viper R/T10. “It’s completely raw,” Kendricks noted, pointing out the monster V-10, the side pipes, and the minimalist interior. “This was my grandpa’s. This is what really started my love [for cars]. It’s cool that I get to take care of it now. It’s gonna stay in the family.” Kendricks and some of his friends have put in some effort to get the car back into good shape. It’s due for detailing soon, so it should be looking spiffy soon.

Brandan Gillogly

An immaculate, glistening black Fox-body Mustang is next in the lineup. “So this is the car that I wanted when I was in high school,” Kendricks explained. He couldn’t justify a money pit of a project car when he was 16 or 17, but after he started his NFL career, a Fox-body was one of the cars on his shortlist. He had two deals that fell through, but he didn’t rush. Instead, Kendricks played it safe and kept his eyes out for the right car. Finding it took several years.

“This is the first car of mine that I worked on myself, with my buddy Carter. We did a lot of little stuff, it’s OEM+, kind of how I like it.” It’s riding on an upgraded suspension and brakes, and it’s his go-to car for weekend car shows. It’s also his wife’s favorite and the car they use as an excuse to take the long way home through the canyon roads of Malibu.

Brandan Gillogly

Kendricks’ 991-generation Porsche 911 GT3 RS is his track car, naturally. He was in the market for a new performance car and drove its predecessor, which blew his mind. “The braking is the best. You’ve never experienced sports driving until you experience the brakes in a Porsche. That was my dream car when I was finally able to afford it.”

Several of Kendricks’ friends have urged him to take his Mustang or his daily driver to the track, but he saves such high-speed activities for the Porsche. He recounts one memorable track day when, during a break in his training, he took the GT3 RS to The Thermal Club. “They had a big breakfast spread for us, and nobody was eating it,” Kendricks told us. He and his friend topped up on bacon and eggs, and then hit the track. ”We had this belly full of breakfast, and a GT3 RS doesn’t mix,” he joked. “I did a couple of laps in the passenger seat, which really started turning my stomach.” The situation didn’t improve when he took his turn behind the wheel. “I did maybe four or five laps. I pulled into the pit lane, didn’t even make it to the pits, and threw up in my mask and all over myself. Then I opened the door and threw up outside,” Kendricks laughed. The experience hasn’t dissuaded him from learning more about performance driving. He’s also received track instruction at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama and Road Atlanta in Georgia and is looking forward to more. His GT3 RS is no worse for the wear, so to speak.

Brandan Gillogly

Kendricks’ daily driver is a CT5-V Blackwing. “This is my daddy car—it has a car seat in the back,” he beamed. Kendricks and his wife, Ally, have a son, Knight, who just turned one.

Like the other cars in his collection, save for the Porsche, his Cadillac is almost a sleeper. It’s able to fly under the radar and yet it is incredibly capable. GM’s adaptive, magnetorheological suspension makes it easy to live with. “I love this car, I love the color,” he said—Dark Emerald Frost, in case you were wondering. None of his previous four-door daily drivers, which have included a TRD Pro 4Runner, an Audi RS7, and a Subaru WRX STI, managed to get everything he wanted in one car. “It’s a beast.”   

Brandan Gillogly

Finally, there’s the R34 GT-R, a car that Kendricks has wanted since he was a teenager. “Everyone grew up watching The Fast and The Furious,” he explained, adding that the fact that the car wasn’t available in the United States only added to its appeal. He purchased this one and waited to import it, catching the car just as prices started to go up.

“I want to buy a car that’s completely original and then do a little bit personally that’s gonna enhance my drivability of the car. I don’t want to have to track down anything,” Kendricks said, adding that the modifications he does to his cars are bolt-on and reversible. That philosophy explains his GT-R perfectly. It was original when he purchased it, but now it has a new blow-off valve that makes all the right sounds—convenient, because another part of the car that’s remained original is the radio and navigation system, both of which are still in Japanese.

“I want to keep that stereo system in it, so I don’t listen to music because I don’t even know how to connect to it,” Kendricks laughed. “When I’m in the car I just enjoy driving it, hearing the sounds of the engine, the blow-off valve.”

Brandan Gillogly

After seeing the lifts that allow him to stack vehicles in his shop, and noting the extra room he has outside the garage, we couldn’t help but ask if Kendricks has plans to expand his collection. Of course he does, as any genuine enthusiast would. The next question was what he had in mind. “I don’t know, we’ll see,” Kendricks said. There are three cars he’s considering. He said they’re below the performance level of the Porsche, which doesn’t narrow things down too much, but the one he’s really considering is a modern classic that’s still quite powerful. “I’ve said it out loud, but it’s still on the hush.”  

We’re gonna keep his secret, but we know it won’t be long before he’s shopping. “I think for my tenth year in the NFL, I have to reward myself with a car,” Kendricks said. The purchase will be well-deserved—and, if his current group is any indication, it will be well-chosen, too.


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    Great collection! Dude knows his cars. So cool to have grandpa’s Viper. Just goes to show, buy what you like, you’ll be happy with what you have.

    Nice variety in the collection, a fox body Mustang and an R34 GT-R are nice touches to this mix.

    Loved this story, reading between the lines it says this guy is a true car guy who is collecting some driving cars that have a lot of variety and first and foremost appeal to him. As an old guy he touches my heart with his grandpa’s Viper. This guy seems to be real deal, I’m sure his wife and son appreciate him.

    A car enthusiast! He could’ve done the obvious baller thing and bought a new Bentley and a Lambo, but instead has a fleet that looks like a budding Gen X/Y dream garage.

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