Tina Turner wasn’t just a rock legend, she was a car lover

Tina Turner poses with a James Bond Aston Martin DB5, London, 1995. Phil Dent/Redferns/Getty Images

Tina Turner was known for many things: her unmistakable raspy voice, her unrivaled on-stage energy, and her ability to overcome whatever life threw her way. Did you know she was also an avid an auto enthusiast?

The Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll, who died on May 24 at the age of 83, loved the freedom that cars provided. They represented a blessed escape for the musical superstar, who couldn’t go anywhere in public without being recognized. Perhaps that inescapable cost of fame was part of the reason she lived out her later years in Switzerland, rather than the United States.

Turner always found solace in automobiles, most notably her white Jaguar XJ6, which she received as a gift from Sammy Davis Jr. in 1970. She also had a silver E-Type, given to her in 1973 by then-husband Ike Turner.

According to Turner’s 2018 autobiography, My Love Story, Davis originally wanted to gift her a Mercedes-Benz, but her assistant suggested a Jaguar instead because the singer “was into English cars.” Turner admitted the Jag “awakened my passion for fast cars.”

“It may sound silly,” Turner wrote, “but one of my favorite escapes, and a secret pleasure, was driving my Jaguar. I loved it because it was something I could do by myself, one of the few times I could be alone and free.”

The 12-time Grammy Award winner experienced similar joy in the Jaguar XKE.

“I’ll never forget the moment I got behind the wheel and pulled out of the dealership,” she wrote. “It was late and a little misty when I drove the sleek silver Jaguar on Wilshire Boulevard. As far as I was concerned, there was no one else on the road—just me, driving with the windows down, looking and feeling fabulous. I can still hear the sound of the motor, the vroom that signaled it was ready to take me anywhere I wanted to go.”

In 1978, she nearly lost both cars in a contentious divorce from Ike, whose mental and physical abuse is well documented. Ultimately, the judge sided with Tina.

With the success of Turner’s 1984 comeback album, Private Dancer, she treated herself to a new Lamborghini LM002. Turner and German record producer Erwin Bach, who would become her husband in 2013, had it customized to Tina’s liking. The biggest change to the bespoke Lambo was swapping the LM002’s V-12 engine and manual transmission for a V-8 and automatic gearbox from a Mercedes-Benz 500E. Turner sold it in 2008.

Even if you didn’t know about those vehicles, Turner offered plenty of clues that she appreciated automobiles, most notably when she did a series of television commercials for the 1990 Plymouth lineup.

In one ad for the new Acclaim, Turner walks past the driver’s side door and gets into the back seat. Running her hand over the car’s plush interior, she says, “Mmmm. Now, this car is built for comfort. Wonder what else we have in common?”

Before getting behind the wheel of a Laser, Turner suggests she’s ready for a drive, and confirms what we already knew about her flamboyant personality.

“Sometimes you get to know someone so well that they kind of get … predictable. Well, not this time. This is the new Laser by Plymouth. That’s right: Plymouth. And no matter what you thought about it before, my friend, I promise you: This is not for wallflowers.”

Spoken like a true rock goddess … and, as it turns out, a car lover too.




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    When 60 Minutes interviewed Tina, it was at her Villa de France home, she was driving her Lamborghini SUV which was black.
    Queen Latifah has expressed a similar sense of freedom when she rides her motorcycle. Nobody knows who she is until she lifts her helmet’s face shield.

    I saw Tina Turner perform at Grand Valley State College in 1968 with Ike and their band. It was a low key performance, seating on the gym floor with the performers on a makeshift stage. I attended on a whim and because tickets were $3 each.

    WOW! What a show!

    I became a life-long fan that night and still smile whenever I recall her performance. RIP Ms. Turner. You are a class act.

    You know you are a good person when you are a music legend and not one person has anything bad to say about you after you are gone

    Back in the good ole days when all tixs were $2-$3. Festival seating (which was standing shoulder to shoulder getting cig and joint burns in your shirt) I remember being upset when tixs rose to $5. Needless to say, I quickly got over it considering I paid $750 a ticket to see Eric Claptons 2019 Crossroads Concert.

    This brings back old memories. Back in the mid 70s I started to go to concerts for $5.00 . Then in 78 Eric Clapton came around to Springfield Ma. on his Slow Hand Tour and his tickets were $7.50. Thought the price was ridiculous but went anyways and never regretted it.

    I only wished I had the opportunity to have seen Tina. What a class act she was!

    My wife and I saw Tina and Bryan Adams perform together in Honolulu I believe in 1984. Tickets were 30 bucks and she absolutely stole the show.

    She embodied joy, energy, pain and fun all at her lifetime and her music made her a legend…Thank you
    Ms. TURNER..Rest in peace and harmony.

    Though we never met I am mourning one of my dear friend’s passing. May you live in God’s eternal peace Tina. Thank you for sharing your amazing voice, wisdom, beauty, elegance, and vibrance. Tina, you were “The Best”! 🌹

    She was the best definitely my best I listen to her songs more than ever now ❤️You Tina get your rest in paradise….

    America will forever love u . I’m so happy I got to see you in concert. A woman I admired . I’m so glad that you finally had and endure true love which u so much deserved .rest in peace .🙏🏻🕊️watch over us and your wondercsring husband who will forever love you.

    The best besides your music is God’s Blessings giving you a husband that adored you the way you deserved.and Heaven will erase all your pain n you are now singing for God

    Dear Tina a real icon. Never to be forgotten and what a pair of pins. RIP you are simply the Best

    Dear Tina,
    Absolutely incredible, when I watched your last concert, it was not just about you, but your whole team and how much you love appreciated them.
    Heaven is no longer missing an angel 😇. Rest in peace and in the lord
    You will never be forgotten.
    You just were SIMPLY THE BEST xx

    “A traitor to America” ? What on earth are you talking about?

    As far as “not a big deal”…one of the greatest rock/blues vocalist of all times, with 12 Grammy’s! She was a national treasure!

    Well Will, you obviously have been living under a rock for the last 40 years.
    She was a class act and a patriot, who decided to live out the few years she had left in Switzerland. More power to her!

    What a vile, clueless remark. How does living in another country, Will, make someone a “traitor.” Hey, I left greater NYC, which I will always love, to live in another part of the country. People move, Will. Perhaps you can’t afford to leave your domicile so you snarl about a successful, hardworking singer?

    As for not knowing “what the big deal about her is,” you’ve gotta be kidding. Even if you’re not a fan of R&B or rock, you had to admire her talent. Sammy Davis, Jr. and other gifted performers from all venues certainly did.

    Saw her in ’69 at Madison Square Garden where she opened for the Stones. Good grief, what energy, precision; Tina should’ve closed the show.

    Will, try going onstage with just your ability and pluck and moving millions. Send us a postcard from wherever “patriots” like you live. Ever hear of the United Nations, of NATO?

    When Wallace asked how “American” she is, Turner — who grew up in rural Tennessee — said: “Still very much American. I still don’t speak the foreign tongues over here yet. I still pay American taxes. I have property in America. All of my businesses run from America still,”

    I am tempted to stoop to your level, and call you a troll. But, instead, I will just say: “prove it”.

    Man, that was a completely crude and common statement. She’s dead for God’s sake! Evidentially you were never taught anything about respect. I wonder if you would say that in the presence of her loved ones. I doubt it. People like you don’t have that kind of guts.

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