Racing isn’t just a hobby, it’s a passion. And for many celebrities, the allure of driving is too strong to resist. Indeed, who can resist taking a beautiful car for a spin, testing its steel tubes, mufflers and engines to its limits? Not only do they own some of the hottest rides around, but they also know how to use ‘em! Let’s go meet some of them!
Before any of the Kardashians became popular, Caitlyn or Bruce was one of the most revered Olympian athletes in the United States. But what many people might have missed is that Bruce also had a post-Olympic career as a driver. In fact, he won the 1986 12 Hours of Sebring motorsport race, driving a 7-Eleven Roush Racing Ford Mustang with Scott Pruett. Jenner would later comment that he “was a lot more badass runner than [he] was a driver.”
Renowned for portraying the hilarious Mr. Bean, the British King of Silent Comedy is also known as a serious car enthusiast. He first started this hobby with his mother’s ride, a Morris Minor, driving it around their family farm. Then he wrote for numerous British car magazines like Car, Octane, Evo, and SuperClassics, wherein he reviewed the McLaren F1 in 1995. Atkinson also indulged himself by competing in various racing circuits, most notably during 1981 when he gained a category C+E lorry driving licence as well as in the one make series Renault Clio Cup where he drove a Renault 5 GT Turbo for two seasons.
James Dean developed an interest in the auto racing career back in 1954, buying many hot rides after the filming of East of Eden, including a Porsche 356 and a Triumph Tiger T110. Unfortunately (and ironically), this new-found hobby prove to be his undoing for Dean lost his life when his Porsche 550 was hit in an intersection in California. James Dean was famous for his roles in the club racing scenes as well as becoming the standard for actor-racer archetype.
Yes, the late Paul Walker was a gritty racer—just like Brian O’Conner, the character he played in the Fast and Furious films. He was also well known for his love and passion for exotic cars. He was a superb racer in the track, having been able to race in the Redline Time Attack racing series.
Remember Doc Hudson from Disney’s Cars? Well, he’s voiced by Paul Newman, who also happened to be an auto racing enthusiast. Also considered to be one of the best actors of his generation, Paul Newman first made a mark in the film Winning, where his passion for racing coincidentally helped won him a role as a race car driver. From then on, his acting career rose, but he didn’t stop his beloved hobby, remaining passionate about the sport and competing in various professional races.
An accomplished car racer, Steve McQueen is notable for doing his own stunts in many films—as long as it involves anything with wheels on it! Famously known for his line “I don’t know if I’m an actor who races or a racer who acts,” McQueen also took racing to the next level by being one of the most proficient drivers ever to roll the circuit (and that’s without mentioning his love for motorcycles). Indeed, few other people could outmatch McQueen’s appetite for cars.
Combining star power with horse power, these celebrities made a name for themselves both in the acting industry and the racing circuit. Got any comments? Type them down on the section below!