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The incredible collection of cars that the leader of Metallica could not see in his house and donated to a museum


James Hetfield is a fan of hot rods. He owns classic Fords, Jaguars and Lincolns: they recall his personal history and evoke key moments in America.

“Son, father, husband, singer and guitarist for the band Metallica.

And obsessed with cars.

This is how James Hetfield

defines himself

, a banner in the history of heavy rock.

For him, speed and artistry go hand in hand, both in the furious fingerings along the neck and in

his impressive collection of his cars


If for his father - a truck driver - engines were work, the leader of one of the most popular groups preferred them as a hobby.

For years, he housed in his garage an incomparable fleet of cars, including handcrafted hot rods

, even some modified by his own hands.

Until one day he couldn't see those isolated cars from the world anymore, hidden in a corner of the United States, and

he donated them to a picturesque museum in Los Angeles


James Hetfield, the leader of Metallica.

in his garage.

“An old guitar is lying around, with a song inside, waiting for someone to come and breathe life into it.

Doing that is what I love.

I also did it with several cars.

I saw cars dumped in the middle of the field in Kansas and I said 'They have a story to tell us, let's give it a second life'”, the Metallica leader once related about those hobbies that accompany him almost as a sign of birth: ropes and wheels.

Hetfield behind the wheel of the 1936 Auburn 'Slow Burn'.

His vast heritage came to include 300 guitars, including valuable Gibson and ESP examples, as well as a Fender Telecaster and a customized Jackson King V with a suggestive name: “Kill Bon Jovi”.

If those instruments came to light in spectacular albums and shows, his other half of the heart was contained to his inner circle: family and friends.

In total,

around thirty classic cars modified by the most prestigious hands in the United States


With his unique style, it became a quaint collection of hot rods that is now available to fans.

Of millions and engines, the incredible collection of cars of the leader of Metallica

Born in 1963, Hetfield was enchanted by the vehicles speeding down the road in Downey, in the far west of the United States,

where the salt of the Pacific mixes with burning fuel


He also enjoyed scenes around the house:

his dad, Virgil, immersed himself in auto and boat repairs in his spare time


It served as a refuge for both of them after Cynthia died in 1976.

Metallica frontman James Hetfield's car collection: 1948 'Black Pearl' Jaguar.

Five years later, Metallica began shooting.

In 1983 his first album,

Kill 'Em All

, came out .

Since then he has not stopped billing.

It is estimated that the group -of which James is the only current original member-

has already exceeded one billion dollars in revenue

, with more than 120 million records sold and tours that -as in the case of the last one they completed, the WorldWired Tour- represent income of 427 million dollars.

Metallica frontman James Hetfield's car collection: 1937 Ford Coupe 'Crimson Ghost'.

With a wealth of 300 million, the singer has among his luxuries the purchase of classic cars

, some of them highly valued rarities in the market, and their modification to turn them into wonderful hot rods.

“The rehearsal room and the garage are the places where I like to be,” said the vocalist.

Metallica frontman James Hetfield's car collection: 1932 Ford Roadster 'Blackjack'.

Although he himself embarked on design and even craftsmanship on some occasions, he usually does so in collaboration with well-known firms in the field and with the assistance of the Beatniks of Koolsville club.

His motto of him?

"No rules.

We live as we want."

A Tattoo, John F. Kennedy and Vietnam: Stories from Hetfield's Garage

For him, wanting is power.

His broad economic back allowed him in recent years to part with some land, ceded to the community, and also donate his impressive collection of vehicles.

Eleven of them -more details, less details, in art deco style- are on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum

, one of the most important on the planet.

With just a fraction of his fleet, the leader of the group knew how to show stories that cross his personal life with the history of the United States.

Metallica Frontman James Hetfield's Car Collection: 1936 Ford “Iron Fist”.

The Ford logo is drawn on the right arm.

With wings on the sides, instead of the company name, the rhombus reads "Faith."

Religion and motor are mixed in the biceps.

For the singer, initiated into both by his family, they are more or less the same.

He attests to that

1932 Ford Roadster

that he had modified with an order: that only vintage parts be used.

An obsession that led him to "an almost perfect restoration."

Metallica frontman James Hetfield's car collection: 1937 Lincoln Zephyr 'VooDoo Priest'.

Another brand vehicle,

a 1936 Ford

, gave way to a work by Blue Collar Customs, the customization firm with which Hetfield worked most closely.

In fact, he was in charge of welding some materials in this car completely renovated in 2006 and that, dressed in bare metal, lives up to his name: "Iron Fist" ("Iron Fist").

Metallica frontman James Hetfield's car collection: 1956 Ford F100 'Str8 Edge'.

Retouching gets to the heart of the vehicles.


1948 Jaguar

received a total refresh to be, according to its proud owner, “the best coupe ever”.

European-inspired, its black exterior is matched by a 375-horsepower Ford V8 engine.

In 2014, he received the “Custom of the Year” distinction from the Goodguys Rod & Custom All-American Association, one of the many exhibitions that the Metallica leader toured with his fellow adventurers.

Metallica frontman James Hetfield's car collection: 1961 Lincoln Continental 'Dead Kennedy'.

The fleet also includes a

1936 Auburn

with which he dived back in time and tried to recreate the original spirit of the two-door boat-tail speedster.

To avoid deception: the evocation of the past can also include visible traces of the artist.

Subtle additions on the grill and on the fenders (which cover the rear wheels) make this creation, called “Slow Burn” (a play between the original name and the idea of ​​“slow combustion”), an elongated silhouette that blends in with another hobby of the vocalist: firearms.

In addition, he received an award: Goodguys West Coast Custom of the Year, in 2010.

Metallica frontman James Hetfield's car collection: 1934 Packard 'Aquarius'.

From the same brand, but from opposite corners of history, two Lincoln brand cars arrive.

The oldest, a 1937 Zephyr

, is the embodiment of that phrase about cars lying around waiting for someone to wake them from their eternal sleep.

Metallica frontman James Hetfield's car collection: 1952 Buick Skylark 'Skyscraper'.

Hetfield found it lying in a Sacramento field since 1972


He belonged to a veteran of the Vietnam War.

Like the Auburn, changes included a new front end and wheels tucked behind the fenders.

It also loads up with a dual exhaust system.

The bodywork, as if glued to the ground, also underwent alterations in the passenger compartment and at the rear.

The other Lincoln, a 1961 Continental

, is one of the rare works in the collection.

It is the same vehicle in which John Fitzgerald Kennedy was traveling when, on November 22, 1963, he was shot and killed

on a walk through Dallas.

Mourning in color, it is equipped with reverse-opening doors, also known as suicide doors.

The name of the creature?

"Dead Kennedy"


James Hetfield in action at the latest edition of Lollapalooza in Chicago.

(Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File)


the most iconic for his personal life was a 1967 Chevrolet Camaro

that the leader of the band auctioned off several years ago.

This vehicle is the one that stars in the video clip for “I Disappear”, the song that was leaked on Napster and that started the extensive legal conflict between the group and that piracy program.

In the end, the author of the book

Reclaimed Rust: The Four-Wheeled Creations of James Hetfield

auctioned it off on eBay, with the money raised going to school music education programs.

As an additional act of charity, he

donated his hot rods in 2019


"At some point in our lives, all human beings are born again," said the guitarist.

Something similar happens with cars.

After being brought back to life in the hands of the Metallica leader, they received a third chance.

Hetfield working on one of his cars.

Metal and motor fans marveled at them at the Petersen Automotive museum, while the devastating start of “Fuel” resounded, the song in which -among vehicles with squealing wheels that sparks from each other in dives- Hetfield leaves his heart:

“Gimme fuel, gimme fire.

Gimme that which I desire”


Fuel, fire and desire.

Cars, like life, at full speed.

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Source: clarin

All tech articles on 2023-02-04

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