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Celebrity Collector: Funnyman Adam Carolla Races to Collect Fast Cars

by Reyne Haines (10/03/12).

Funnyman Adam Carolla with just two of his many cars in his colleciton.

I remember many years back watching “The Man Show” and thinking how mindless, yet genius it was. Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel drinking beer, girls on trampolines and lots of guy talk. Both guys were funny, and well, the visuals often needed no explanation.

Both comedians have gone on to do bigger and better things. Carolla went on to produce “Crank Yankers” and write for his buddy at “Jimmy Kimmel Live” among numerous other things.

A friend of mine knew of my interest in celebrities who collect and pointed out Carolla’s interest in cars. Say no more! I’ve had a passion for fine automobiles for as long as I can remember. I have never seen a vintage Corvette I didn’t like. So of course, I had to find out where Carolla’s interest came from. . .

Reyne Haines: Adam, thanks for talking with me today. I’m dying to know how you became interested in collecting cars. For me, I grew up at the track. My mom raced Corvettes when I was little. I was hooked immediately. Were you a fan of Matchbox cars when you were a kid and decided to start collecting the life size versions or what?

Adam Carolla: I had Matchbox cars . . . I’m not sure exactly where I got the interest. I’ve always been mechanical. I guess I’ve always had the bug. I’ve never had an outlet before. My dad had no interest in cars, and I didn’t really have any money, so I was sorta lost. I was like a guy who needed a drum but couldn’t afford a drum kit. I banged on pots and pans every day. I got into show biz and made a few dollars, so now I could scratch the itch. Once I got into that, I was making up for lost time! I was over compensating. Now I have too many cars and projects.

RH: What was your first acquisition?

AC: The first thing I went after was my 1989 E30 BMW M3. Not a whole lot of horse power but a cool German car.

RH: Do you still have the car in your collection?

AC: I sold it recently. I started collecting too many cars and decided to thin the herd. I wanted to focus more on racing.

RH: Thinning the herd huh? I suppose I’d rather have one ’63 split-window Corvette instead of three 1970s era Cameros (not that there is anything wrong with a Camero!). Living in California, I’m sure you’ve seen several nice car collections. Let’s face it, if you are going to have a collection of cars, California would be much better than, say, New Jersey to take them for a Sunday drive. Have you ever seen Jay Leno’s collection? Is his collection better than yours?

AC: Yeah, I have been to see Jay’s collection many times. I am very friendly with him. In fact, I’m heading over there this Saturday. I am headed to Laguna Seca to do a vintage race. Jay doesn’t have many race cars, but his car collection is much better than mine. Now, I’m most interested in collecting race cars. My favorite is a Datsun BRE roadster, which was the first car BRE built in the late ’60s. I won the Rolex Cup driving that car. Old school all the way!

RH: After doing a little looking around on your website, I found you have a pretty popular podcast for car enthusiasts. So you really are a car nut! Tell me more!

AC: It’s a weekly show called “CarCast.” You can find it on my network. You can also downtown it for free on iTunes. Me and a guy named Matt talk about guys and interview other car nuts. If you are into cars, it’s a pretty cool show. However, it’s not very politically correct.

REYNE’S NOTE TO READERS: Funny and modest describes Carolla; it’s the #1 downloaded podcast.

RH: Don’t get politically correct on us now! I tweeted to my readers that you were our next celebrity collector and asked if anyone had a question for you. One reader, Janine Godwin, replied back with a NoHo shout out to you, and asked the oh-so serious question: “If money were no object, what would you buy?”

AC: I’ll mix it up a little and not say Ferrari GT, but go with a mid-1960s Ferrari 250 LM.

RH: Good choice! Will you take me for a ride?

Adam’s also got a new eBook out titled “Rich Man, Poor Man.”

Reyne Haines is an appraiser with an expertise in 20th Century Decorative Arts. She hosts “The Art of Collecting” on KPRC in Houston, a weekly program spotlighting trends and news items in the world of antiques & collectibles, is a repeat guest on CBS’ “The Early Show” and can be heard on Martha Stewart Living Radio on Sirius Satellite Radio Network. She is also the author of the richly-illustrated book “Vintage Watches” published by Krause.

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