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The five best cars from the late Eddie Van Halen’s personal collection

The five best cars from the late Eddie Van Halen’s personal collection
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On October 6, 2020, we lost one of the greatest guitarists ever to grace our grey little marble floating in the sky — Eddie Van Halen.

While it was undeniable Van Halen was a god among guitarists, he also had a passion for other things in life, namely cars.

Van Halen was a massive fan of all things automotive, and owned several cars, trucks, bikes, and even some heavy military machinery.

There’s a lot of pictures of Eddie sitting on cars, but we’re not sure he owned all of them. After all, are you going to tell Van Halen not to take a picture with your vehicle? I didn’t think so. Here are Van Halen’s five best cars.

Van Halen didn’t have a particular affinity for any one car brand, he owned all sorts — but more than others, he had Chevies. Among his Chevrolets were a 1956 210, 1956 Nomad, and 1955 210. While he commissioned guitars that matched the paint jobs of those hot rods, none of them could match the sheer brutality of his 1970 Chevy Nova.

The Nova featured a 650-horsepower LSX 454 engine paired to a Tremec Magnum T-56 six-speed transmission. The suspension is all RideTech and features tubular control arms and air bags, while the body features carbon-fibre pieces and a wild orange paint job.

When you’re a rock star, a lot of weird stuff happens. We’re willing to bet any musician will have ten times the interesting stories of a similarly famous actor, and Van Halen is certainly no exception. One weird thing that happens when you’re a musician and a car fanatic is: you build weird cars, just like this 1947 Dodge cab-over-engine truck.

Eddie’s 1947 Dodge COE “Stake-Bed” truck was built by Bones Fab in California, and features a Ford 7.3-litre turbodiesel and a ZF five-speed transmission with Gear Vendors overdrive. Apparently, Eddie would use this truck for his Saturday drives to Lowes and Home Depot. Could you imagine seeing Eddie Van Halen at Home Depot, let alone picking up some lumber in this beast? Now that is weird.

Even Eddie was charmed by this famed Modena brand, and owned a black Ferrari 550 Maranello. While his sports car of choice for years was Porsche, he couldn’t resist picking up one of the prettiest and best Ferraris of the modern era.

However, Eddie is known to tinker, and tinker he did with this black beauty. Eddie intended to take the Ferrari where it was meant to be, the track, and therefore fitted a roll cage, racing bucket seats, and a six-point harness. A 485-horsepower V12 sits up front, while a six-speed manual transaxle sits behind the driver for optimal weight distribution.

Van Halen acquired the car in 2008, but only kept it for about a year before selling it to a friend. Perhaps he couldn’t kick the Porsche habit, but we still think this machine is much more interesting than anything ever turned out by Stuttgart.

When you’re in a band, you’ve gotta get your gear to your gig, and that means you need a truck. By 1993, Van Halen probably didn’t need to haul his own gear around to concerts, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t still need a truck.

The truck to fit the bill was this custom Chevrolet C1500, tricked out with an awesome side stripe down the length of the body with the classic Van Halen design, as well as a set of wicked wheels that also featured the pattern. The vehicle was built by Boyd Coddington, and featured a Corvette LT-1 engine and a fully independent rear suspension.

Two C1500s were built; the more “sedate” version was owned by Eddie himself, while the other was completely covered in the Van Halen stripe pattern and given away in a magazine contest.

Somehow, it’s not surprising that one of the world’s biggest rock stars would drive such a rock star of a car as the Lamborghini Miura. The Miura was a gift from Eddie’s wife at the time, Valerie Bertinelli, and it’s this car’s engine that can be heard revving during the song “Panama” during the breakdown section.

What is surprising, however, is that Eddie couldn’t leave well enough alone with the car, and modified it to his own tastes. The wheels have been swapped out for wider rims, and the rear section of the car has also been modified with wider arches to accommodate said wheels.

During the 1990s, Eddie was set to record some music with Limp Bizkit. After practice with the band devolved into a bunch of the members sitting around smoking weed, he left. But Eddie left his equipment there, waiting until the next day to call the lead singer Fred Durst about getting his stuff. When there was no answer at the phone, Eddie showed up at Durst’s house — and he wasn’t happy.

In fact, Eddie was so unhappy, he showed up driving a military vehicle with no shirt on, his hair in a samurai bun, his jeans held up with a strand of rope, and wearing combat boots held together by duct tape. He was also holding a gun, which was enough to get the attention of Fred and convince him to give Eddie his stuff back.
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