Most people know Miles Davis was a renowned jazz musician, band leader and composer. They also know he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. But only car collectors and enthusiasts know Miles Davis, the gifted trumpet player, had a fondness for exotic cars, compiling an impressive collection of luxury vehicles. In fact, he was often seen driving around in these prestigious vehicles, proudly showing off his unique style. Here’s a look at the jazz legend’s fascinating car collection.
1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4
Built by Carrozzeria Scaglietti, this was the first Ferrari model that included an independent rear suspension and a rear-mounted transaxle. The open-top models of the 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB are some of the most expensive cars in the world because only of them were ever built. The vehicle owned by Davis was built in 1967, the same year he released the albums Sorcerer and Nefertiti. Rumor has it some of the song titles had been influenced by the car.
Mercedes-Benz 190 SL
Rumors claim it was purchased as a personal statement of defiance against the music industry’s exploitation of black artists at the time. He bought the car when he was finally able to make the jump from Prestige records to Columbia. The car retailed for $4,000 at the time Davis purchased it. To put that in perspective, it was approximatively four-times what he got paid from Prestige. They famously paid $300 a record and didn’t seem to be familiar with the concept of residuals.
This infamous V12 sports car could hit 62 mph in 4.5 seconds. It’s known for being wrecked by Davis while zooming down Manhattan’s West Side Highway. Amongst car enthusiasts, it’s considered to be the world’s first supercar. It was first introduce to the world at the Geneva Motor Show in 1966 and shocked the auto industry due to the location of its engine. Miles Davis crashed his Miura in 1972.
A stylish and powerful British-made sports car, its top speed could reach 143 – something Davis no doubt pushed to the limit. This car was manufactured from 1975-1996.
Miles was frequently seen driving around Southern California’s celebrity sanctuary in a yellow Ferrari Testarossa. His bright yellow supercar featured 390 hp, 4.9 liter flat-12 engine with a 5-speed manual transmission. It went 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds. He made an appearance in the car in the 1985 TV show Miami Vice. It was up for sale in 2018 on eBay in collaboration with the Beverly Hills Car Club. A portion of the proceeds went to the Grammy Museum Foundation for Music Education in Los Angeles. The car itself had chocolate brown interior and under 10,000 miles on the odometer. The starting bid was $1.00 but the car ultimately sold for $90,450.
If you’d like to learn more about Miles Davis, go ahead and watch the 2015 film “Miles Ahead” (available via most streaming services) directed by Don Cheadle. It’s a great interpretation of Miles Davis’ life as a jazz musician. The film received mostly positive reviews (74% approval ratings) from critics and grossed over $5 million.