Since 1981, the hard rock band Metallica has been selling music like crazy and wowing devoted fans with their spectacular shows around the world. The members have been through all the ups and downs common to a rock and roll band, but instead of disappearing overnight or slowly but surely fading away, they have become increasingly popular year after year as each album they release. Launch has hit the charts and radio. Decades and generations after their beginnings as a young band in Los Angeles, they are bigger and better than ever, and they have earned the right to be called one of the best rock bands of our time.
As he is the voice, James Hetfield is also practically the face of Metallica. As the leader and guitarist of the band, he is the first to come to mind when one thinks of Metallica or sings one of their songs in the shower or while driving to work. He is no longer the young man with the stars in his eyes, who dreams of performing in front of thousands of sold-out spectators; He’s now an experienced man with a lot of professional success and world renown under his belt, but that’s probably just the icing on his heavy metal cake. The 56-year-old rock star has a beautiful wife, three children, a beautiful but comfortable home, and… a mind-blowing collection of cars that would make even the most avid collectors jealous.
While Hetfield isn’t famous for his car collection (in fact, he’s completely unaware of it by most fans), he loves and nurtures it. His cars, which he has been building and working on for years, are an incredible sight to behold, both as a group and individually. Anyone who has listened to his music is familiar with his style, and if you pay attention to the lyrics he writes, you will see that his personality is reflected in this collection as well. It’s all ‘James’, and it’s super awesome, to say the least. These beautiful vehicles will be on display on January 30, 2020 at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, and suffice it to say that many, many people are on the edge of their seats waiting for a chance to see them. The exhibit is titled ‘Reclaimed Rust: The James Hetfield Collection’… and aptly so.
So get together kids and hold my hand as we check out James Hetfield’s dynamite cars… we’re definitely going to Neverland…
1. Voodoo Priest (1937 Lincoln Zephyr)
‘Voodoo Priest’ was first presented to the public at Goodguys 30th All-American Get Together, where it won the 2012 Mother’s West Coast Custom of the Year award. In Sacramento Autorama won the HA Bagdasarian award months earlier for World’s Most Beautiful Custom as well. . This car is the result of a collaboration between custom hot rod builder Rick Dore and Hetfield, who told him what he was imagining to Dore, and when they finished Voodoo Priest was born. The original engine, a Flathead V12, sits in its wicked belly, rebuilt and rumbling, thanks to H&H Flatheads. It also features Stromberg 97 chrome carburettors and a C4 automatic tranny. Chrome artillery-style 16-inch wheels carry it, and Coker Tires’ wide Firestone whites with Zephyr caps are handwritten. A black mohair art deco interior with caramel red and vanilla white accents serves as the icing on this cake, as does the mirrored red paint. Amazing…
2. Aquarius (Packard, 1934)
Also from Rick Dore and James Hetfield is ‘Aquarius’, a 1934 Packard. With Marcel’s Custom Metal sheet metal that sits atop a 124 ”wheelbase Morrison chassis, the car travels with Accuair airbags. It also has silver-painted skirts by Himsl covering the wheels and tires, almost giving it a ghostly ‘floating’ appearance. Sherm’s Plating did the chrome. It also features a 4L80E transmission and an LS engine. This car is almost too perfect for words.
3. Str8edge (1956 Ford F-100)
Called ‘over the top’ by Hot Rod magazine, James bought ‘Str8edge’ from an old man online, bringing it to Scott Mugford for a remake. According to Mugford, it was painted purple when he got it, but it was a different shade at the time. Today Str8edge features an amazing rework by Scott and others at the BBC. The design, both inside and out, was done knowing that James would drive the truck regularly. It has an Oldsmobile 455ci engine that has been “upgraded” by Rex Hutchinson Racing Engines, as well as a transsexual TH400; the beast has a 9 ”butt where its motivation comes from (it’s rear-wheel drive). Converting the …