Mike Tyson had a long and distinguished boxing career, we all know this, and it allowed him to cash cheques of astronomical figures for a long, long time.
For a man named ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’, who destroyed all before him in the 1980s and 90s, how would you spend the wealth, reportedly in the region of £200 million?
Prior to his bankruptcy in 2003, Tyson had a penchant for beautifully expensive cars.
And in his garage in the past, Tyson had an incredible portfolio of limited-edition motors.
Names such as Rolls-Royce, Ferrari and McLaren, that are mere fantasy to the rest of us, all lined his house, presumably beautifully expensive too.
After racking up 19 knockout victories in the mid-1980s, Tyson purchased himself a classy Cadillac Eldorado, following that up with a Cadillac Seville.
The vintage vehicles, worth more than a few quid in today’s market, were replaced and in no finer style when he won the WBA title.
After becoming world champion, he simply trotted into a Manhattan garage and asked for the keys to a Rolls Royce.
His manager Jim Jacobs persuaded him to wait until he was 21, and he did, splashing £110,000 of his cash on a blue Rolls-Royce Silver Spur.
The IBF title was added to his collection, which of course meant a new car and once you’ve bought a Rolls-Royce, it’s hard to buy elsewhere. Probably – we wouldn’t know.
In 1987, Tyson added to his collection with a Rolls Corniche, worth approximately £150,000.
He didn’t even have to buy his next two cars. In 1988, his promoter Don King, who was keen to keep him on side, just bought him two vehicles like that.
Another Corniche and a black Rolls-Royce stretch limousine, worth in the region of £165,000.
This is a man, who by the age of 22, had four Rolls-Royce just gathering dust in his garage.
Out of the 1980s came the 1990s and with his rising stock and increasing popularity, he began mixing in different circles. In one circle was Tupac Shakur, who inspired his next purchase.
The west-coast rapper advised Tyson, after personal experience, to get a Mercedes-Benz SL-Class 560SL.
Soon, Tyson’s undefeated streak evaporated, his world title belts lost. But fear not, he still got himself a car, merely as a present to himself to cheer himself up. A Mercedes Benz 500 SL.
Tyson’s boxing career was stopped dead in its tracks, with Tyson behind bars, guilty of rape. He would spend three years in prison, but be back in the ring quickly enough, and he soon regained his WBC title in 1995, with a win over Frank Bruno.
Of course, Tyson had to have another car, and with his purse bought two Ferraris in one fell swoop – an F50 and a 456 GT Spyder.
The latter was one of only two convertibles made by the Pinnfarina factory whilst the other was specifically ordered by the Sultan of Brunei.
So now we’re in special edition territory, you’d assume Tyson would be more careful. Nope. He crashed one of them into a convenience store in an incident Tyson labels his “favourite arrest.”
“My favourite arrest I would have to say is when I bought a Ferrari.
“I didn’t know how to drive the Ferrari and my car went through the glass window. I had to get arrested for property damage.”
As the new millennium approached, Tyson splurged winning purses on vehicles such as a Lamborghini Super Diablo Twin Turbo in 1996 and a Bentley Continental in between his Evander Holyfield double-bill.
After his disqualification to Holyfield and £23m in the bank, Tyson threw more money at vehicles – a Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster, a Jaguar XJ220 and another Bentley Continental.
But sure enough, the declaration of bankruptcy came and with £15m of debt tied to his name – he had to sell up and most of that cash was brought on by car auctions, selling the stock in his garage.
Fun whilst it lasted.
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