Historic celebrity cars on display at the 2024 New York International Auto Show

Lee Goldberg Image
Friday, March 29, 2024
Historic celebrity cars on display at the New York Auto Show
Lee Goldberg has more on some of the celebrity cars on display at this year's show.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- What do Elvis Presley, Princess Grace Kelly, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have in common? The answer lies in a unique exhibit you can only see at this year's New York International Auto Show.

It's no secret that celebrities can afford the best of the best, but this exhibit proves that has been true for decades.

"When he bought the Stutz, this was essentially at the beginning, it was ordered for Frank Sinatra but they sold it to Elvis so Frank Sinatra vowed he would never buy one because in the pecking order, nobody could compare with Elvis, even to this day, nobody ever has," said collection owner Bob Kerekes.

This year, the auto show is taking a look at some of the stylish rides the biggest stars of the last century owned.

These cars date back as far as 1948 - including a Packard Super Eight that was made for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

"This is all custom done for Kareem, everything in it, it's got power roof and power windows the seats and everything were done all for him because look how big he is," Kerekes said.

There is also a Mercedes Cabriolet that is fit for a king, or a princess, after Prince Rainier of Monaco bought it for his wife - Grace Kelly.

"This is a car that supposedly and was discovered by someone in Monaco in a garage somewhere and it was a complete wreck, I mean it was a total loss, a total wreck and whoever got wind of that had it totally restored because he realized the significance of Princess Grace," Kerekes said.

The 1971 Stutz Blackhawk that Elvis owned was the first ever produced, and one of 14 Stutz Blackhawks that has survived that test of time.

So what makes these pieces special beyond their owners?

"At that time when these were built, they were made on Pontiac Chassis and the bodies were all handmade over in Italy, you see, they were the most expensive cars in the world at that time," Kerekes said. "It's a really, really special car, it cannot be duplicated, no matter how much money you have, you can't buy this."

Check out the celebrity vehicle exhibit throughout the Auto Show's run right on the main floor.

Join Eyewitness News meteorologists Lee Goldberg and Brittany Bell and sports anchor Ryan Field for an inside look at the New York International Auto Show in our special, In the Fast Lane on Saturday, March 30th at 7 pm.


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