September 27, 2006 at 9:12 AM #7618mydogsarelazyParticipant
In the spirit of continuing to provide spirited off topic forums with high entertainment value, I have a question for you all…
Have you had encounters with the truly rich, and what do they drive?
This is an offshoot of the thread on Financial Wisdom for under 30’s, since I took some heat for saying that “flash” should be avoided.
Over the years, having worked in the art field, I have been acquainted with a few very wealthy folks, and have noticed their cars. My sense is that Hollywood types do go for “flash” — for example I saw Bruce Willis in Malibu not long ago in an outrageous Yellow Ferrari — but that the truly rich avoid showy cars.
Here are some car memories I have:
Norman Lear, in the late 70’s, drove to work in a 1963 VW beetle.
Eli Broad, in the early 80’s drove a ten year old Mercedes 280 SE. Nothing fancy, but well taken care of.
A friend of mine was rear ended by Rupert
Murdoch in LA a few years ago — he was very apologetic and took care of the repair bill quickly — and she reports he was in a Camry.
Your car sightings please…
JSSeptember 27, 2006 at 9:19 AM #36568vegasrenterParticipant
Rich people in small Texas towns drive old Ford pickup trucks as they cruise through main street checking on all the 100-year-old commercial buildings they own.
Rich people in West Texas drive similar old Ford pickup trucks from section to section (1 section = 1 mile square) of their ranches repairing wells and cattle troughs.
For the record, they buy their blue jeans at WalMart. The only luxury item they spend money on is a nice pair of boots, which become encrusted in cow ____ within days.
I’m not kidding about this.September 27, 2006 at 9:26 AM #36569sdrealtorParticipant
The nicest car my very wealthy uncle in FLA (net worth in the deep 8 figures) ever drove was a Maxima.September 27, 2006 at 9:44 AM #36571masayakoParticipant
My wealthy uncle owns a 1985 civic 4 doors sedan. The car is manual tranny and well maintained. He does not drive daily, only weekends.
He ride public transportation to work in the weekdays.
Well, he is from the far east where driving is not a must.September 27, 2006 at 9:47 AM #36573avidsaverParticipant
Doesn’t Warren Buffett just drive an ordinary Ford (model unknown)?September 27, 2006 at 10:00 AM #36575heavydParticipant
Warren Buffet generally drives (or more accurately, is driven in) a Lincoln Towncar. In fact, he just donated one to a charity that was sold on Ebay for about $70K. So nothing special there.
A family friend who founded NTAP a decade ago (think he might have been a billionaire for a few days during the height of the tech bubble) drives a Toyota Prius.
Some wealthy people just aren’t “car guys”. Jay Leno owns literally dozens of cars, whereas I understand Tiger Woods actually drives the Buicks he endorses, which (as a car guy) just blows my mind.September 27, 2006 at 10:13 AM #36578JESParticipant
My dream is not to drive a luxury car, but to be the guy who cruises around his 10,000 acre ranch in the Wal Mart jeans driving a pickup truck. I just read the article below about John Walton who died not long ago. He was worth 18 Billion and the 7th richest person in the world, yet lived in a house in what they say is a very average neighborhood in National City. He was also a Medal of Honor and Silver Star receipant in Vietnam!September 27, 2006 at 10:21 AM #36579ChrispyParticipant
The owner of the San Diego Reader takes public transportation to work. He started the Reader in his Mission Beach garage 30 years ago and now lives in Coronado. Not a well-known guy outside of San Diego, but I wanted to add a local touch and nearly everyone knows the Reader.September 27, 2006 at 10:44 AM #36582anParticipant
There was an article awhile ago on I think CNN about this topic. Bottom line is, wealthy guys don’t care about flaunting their money, so if they’re car guys, they’ll buy cars, if they’re not, they don’t. Just look at Bill Gates and his 37 cars garage and Jay Leno with a much more impressive collection. A car to some is just a mode of transportation while to others, it’s a mode of enjoyment. I personally would eat rice and soy sauce everyday and drive a fun/nice car than eat out everyday and drive a Civic. Different strokes for different folks.September 27, 2006 at 11:29 AM #36588RudyParticipant
New (faux) Wealth is a sickening result of the housing bubble. My wife and I sold our home (of 12 yrs)in ’05, choosing to cash out and be patient. We rented in coastal (Santander) Carlsbad, and recently moved to Solana Beach (off Cedros). The difference in cars, lifestyle and attitude is amazing. Carlsbad was full of people who, with a run up of equity believed that they had actually “earned” their new found wealth. The gorging of boob jobs, Escalades, 24″ Spinner rims, “you deserve it honey” weekend Porsches, jewelery and $30,000 Harleys, lavish vacations, and everything else that comes with people who don’t truly love what they do or where they live, but believe in their “genius”. Their children were starting to display the same attitudes.
We were treated as second class (even though our personal wealth and income was well above most in the area, home or not), almost with pity. The arrogance was disturbing.
The atmosphere in Solana has been so refreshing, with people who have owned and loved their homes and community for many years, friendly, with a confidence in their lives. Sure, some had bought in with a flip mentatilty (417 Glencrest is a good example), but the overall atmosphere is actually human.
One other aspect of faux wealth are the kids growing up in it, believing in their “entitlement”, and losing the life skills, true satisfaction and awareness that earning, hard work and patience will bring.
The burst will shock more than one generationSeptember 27, 2006 at 11:34 AM #36590heavydParticipant
Great comment about “entitlement” in some of the up and coming communities in Coastal N. County, Rudy. I see a lot more Aston Martins and Lambos here in Carmel Valley than I ever do hanging around in La Jolla and Del Mar.September 27, 2006 at 11:49 AM #36593La Jolla RenterParticipant
“the truly rich don’t flaunt their money”
If I hear this stupid statement again on piggington, I may have to shoot myself.
This is a silly statement that I usually hear from a “I got a chip on my shoulder cuz I make 150k in San Diego and am very envious when someone drives by in a Ferrari” or some blue blood aristocrat who is jealous they aren’t smart enough to start with nothing and make their own money.
Tiger Wood drives a Buick so he is truly rich??? Have you seen his 100 bazillion dollar Yacht.
Bill Gates doesn’t flaunt his money… Why not donate his billions anonymously???
Asianautica is right, different folks for different folks…
I am over this post.September 27, 2006 at 1:39 PM #36615PerryChaseParticipant
I agree with asianautica and La Jolla Renter. Rich people flaunt their wealth in different ways (cars, houses, power, women, men, museums, maids, chefs, etc…)
BTW, we don’t have aristocrats in America, at least not the same as in Europe. It’s good enough simply to be rich.September 27, 2006 at 4:37 PM #36638speedingpulletParticipant
Actually, most of the Landed Gentry in the UK are as poor as church mice these days. Just because you have a posh accent, a double-barrelled name and coat of arms doesn’t guarantee that you are stinking rich anymore.
OK, your family might own Blenhiem Palace…but what with Estate Taxes and prohibitive maintenance costs, you have to rent the crumbing pile out to the National Trust in perpetuity.
And if the NT is feeling generous, they might allow you to rent one of your own coachhouses, or gardener’s cottages for a nominal fee.September 27, 2006 at 5:07 PM #36642AnonymousGuest
JES, I didn't find John Walton's name on the MOH list. I think that you may have mistakenly keyed on John Walton Collier, who was awarded the MOH posthumously for Korean War service.
When John Walton passed away, I remember reading about him serving nobly in Vietnam (as a medic?), but I don't remember heroic citations attached to him.
To teach my kids the meaning of Memorial Day, we go to Fort Rosecrans on that day and read the citations posted on select MOH recipients. Sad but edifying.
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