Despite decades of high voltage rock ‘n’ roll, Sammy Hagar’s hearing remains just fine. Except when his grandkids try to get his attention.
“They’ll go, ‘Hey, Grandpa,’ and I won’t respond, until my wife Kari says something, and I’ll think, oh yeah, that’s me,” cackles Hagar. “Hard to imagine.”
Although Hagar remains fit and in fine voice at 76, the former Van Halen frontman is about to make one big concession to age: He is selling his beloved 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari, a land-based rocket of a car he can’t tame.
“My eyesight, my reflexes, they aren’t what they need to be to drive this car, so I decided someone else needs to enjoy it,” Hagar says, revealing the news of the sale first to USA TODAY. He will make his car a showpiece of the final weekend at the annual Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, Jan. 20-28, 2024.
While the car’s name was met with some chuckling at its debut a decade ago – in Italian, it essentially translates to “Ferrari the Ferrari” – it certainly projected the obvious: this was the apex of what the company’s engineers could produce at that time.
So why sell such a rare gem?
This certainly is no distress sale. Hagar could afford to keep this car and many more like it just for the privilege of staring at it daily, thanks not only to his rock success but also his decades of entrepreneurial acumen, highlighted by the sale of his Cabo Wabo tequila to Gruppo Campari Skyy for $100 million more than a decade back.
His coffers also get topped up regularly thanks to continued touring with his band The Circle, featuring guitarist Vic Johnson, former Van Halen bass player Michael Anthony and drummer Jason Bonham (son of legendary Led Zeppelin skins master, John Bonham).
“If I could just park that car in my living room and sit in it with some popcorn and watch movies, I’d do it, but these cars, all cars, are meant to be driven,” says Hagar, who has collected Ferraris and the occasional BMW, Ford and Aston Martin since his first blush of solo fame in the 1970s. “It’s the most amazing car I’ve ever owned. But it’s time.”
How much is Sammy Hagar’s Ferrari LaFerrari worth? Find out in January when someone forks over a fortune
Dazzling as the car’s looks and specs are (more on that in a moment), what’s even more astounding is its projected price.
While the car carried a price tag of around $1.5 million for the 499 people fortunate enough to be offered an allocation for the limited run, Hagar is hopeful his LaFerrari will fetch perhaps triple that. Or more, who knows.
“We’ll see just how much value is added to the car by the unique colors Sammy picked and the fact that it is his,” says auction house CEO Craig Jackson. “I’m optimistic.”
In recent months, a blue LaFerrari sold at auction for just over $4 million, while fellow rocker Rod Stewart, who had initially expressed interest in buying Hagar’s 1,000-mile LaFerrari, found his own low-mileage example and posed proudly with it in September for British outlets. No precise price was listed but the speculation ran in the same price range.
Sammy Hagar custom-ordered his Ferrari LaFerrari and requested the interior match his jet
Jackson points out that whoever buys the car will get a piece of Hagar history with it. The musician personally selected the soft cream exterior with the help of his wife and a Ferrari designer during various trips to the factory in Maranello, Italy. The dark leather and carbon fiber interior were selected to match Hagar’s jet interior. And the steering wheel features his initials and birthdate.
“This was literally custom made for Sammy,” says Jackson.
Hagar recalls being at an Italian restaurant near the factory and bumping into none other than Piero Ferrari (son of legendary founder Enzo, whose life will soon hit the big screen with Adam Driver playing the patriarch in “Ferrari”).
“He asked me what color, and I told him,” says Hagar. “Piero smiled and said, ‘Only one.’ I guess he felt it was that unique.”
Hagar plans to be at the Arizona auction when his car crosses the block. And he hints that there could be some fun in store for perhaps those in attendance and the winning bidder.
“I’m thinking about all that still,” he says. “Maybe the person who wins comes with me to my club Cabo Wabo (in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico). Not sure, but the event is going to be fun.”
Ferrari’s LaFerrari was good for almost 1,000 horsepower and a 217 mph top speed
Just what is the big deal with this Italian stallion of a vehicle? A quick Google search will get you all the data and barnstorming videos you could want of a LaFerrari in furious action.
But to cover the bare basics beyond its arresting sculpture of a body, the car features a V12 engine mated to electric motors for full hybrid power potential of 949 horsepower (or about five base Toyota Camrys). It will hit 60 mph in under 3 seconds and tops out at 217 mph. Anyone who has been in one can tell you the acceleration induces tunnel vision.
“My wife won’t ride with me in that car. No one will,” says Hagar, who memorably took veteran journalist Dan Rather for a terrifying spin in that LaFerrari for an episode of Rather’s AXS show, “The Big Interview.”
But rest easy, Red Rocker fans. The man who can’t drive 55 isn’t exactly trading in his LaFerrari for a minivan.
Besides his existing corral of vintage Ferraris, including the legendary black 512 BBi from his “I Can’t Drive 55” video, he’s waiting to take delivery on a new Ferrari Purosangue – the very first four-door produced by the factory and SUV, although Ferrari brass bristle at that put down, preferring their term, FUV, or Ferrari Utility Vehicle.
Silly acroynym aside, the car promises eye watering acceleration, handling and braking. Which suits one particularly incurable speed demon just fine.
“That car is more my style these days, with the kids and the grandkids and the dog,” Hagar says, offering a shrug. “But that doesn’t mean I’ll be driving slow.”