5 Cars In Billy Joel's Collection That Prove He Has Great Taste

Billy Joel's success behind the keys has been electric. The singer and pianist has long held a special place in the hearts of music lovers. Selling over 150 million albums in his time as a recording artist, Billy Joel is a force in the American sonic landscape. He began playing piano at just four or five years old and joined his first band, The Echoes, ten years later. In 1971, he signed his first contract as a solo artist, and the rest of his career has seemingly taken flight as a result. Just a few years later (in 1973) he recorded the album "Piano Man" and etched his name in the annals of history. More recently, Joel has garnered headlines for his motorcycle shop in Oyster Bay – 20th Century Cycles. He told Newday's Glen Gamboa in 2010, "The first place I lived on my own was in Oyster Bay. I was always enchanted by this little village."

Joel has owned his fair share of iconic automobiles throughout many years in the spotlight. He's famously a great lover of motorcycles and owns a number of Harley-Davidsons (as part of more than 70 motorcycles in total). His collection of automobiles is varied and his tastes clearly refined. Billy Joel is a legend in the music industry, but as a driver and vehicle owner, he's perhaps surprisingly down to Earth, preferring stories and memories to flashy rides.

1973 VW Beetle

Billy Joel purchased this classic Beetle in 2008 after a show in Des Moines. He took a detour to see a few vintage cars at the American Dream Machines dealership. The owner told Joel that among a range of classic muscle cars, the humble VW was both underpowered (unsurprisingly) and "the least expensive car in the shop." It didn't matter to the singer, who was enthralled by the iconic curvature of the '70s Bug and purchased it on the spot in order to add a lighthearted cruiser to his garage.

This is perhaps the best vehicle, to begin with when considering Billy Joel's taste in automotive creations. He isn't a flashy driver or a wanton spender who only cares for the big-ticket items. Joel likes what he likes and truly, what's not to love in a vintage Beetle?

The car utilizes a 1.6L, 1,585 cubic centimeter, opposed four engine. The vehicle produced a modest 46 horsepower and there were over 1 million VW Beetles produced in 1973. This makes the vehicle less than a unique auto, but Billy Joel's style isn't built on the backs of one-of-a-kind cars or potent engine muscle. The Beetle is iconic for a variety of reasons, chief among them perhaps the fact that it's the longest-running single-platform vehicle ever made. The car has inspired generations of young people coming of age and looking for their first ride. The cruiser is the perfect option for car buyers from all walks of life.

[Featured image by IFCAR via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | Public Domain]

1962 Jaguar Mark II

The Jaguar Mark II in Billy Joel's garage has to take top billing when it comes to style and class, at least when considering just his cars. Jaguar has long been a household name in the luxury car conversation, and Joel's Mark II in British Racing Green showcases exactly why Jags remain at the top of this pack. In a 2017 episode of "Unique Rides" Billy Joel's Mark II was featured undergoing a series of audio upgrades. The team, led by Will Castro, rewired the car's sound system and introduced a new subwoofer in the trunk that's disguised inside a casing that looks like a piece of vintage leather luggage.

The Jaguar Mark II incorporates a 6-cylinder, 3,781 cubic centimeter engine that produces 220 horsepower and was built between 1959 and 1966. Jaguar built 4,442 Mark II models in 1962, making this a vehicle that enjoyed a modicum of rarity but remained an option that could be found on the market by a Jaguar aficionado. Unlike the collections of some (like Nicholas Cage) who thrive on ultra-rare automobiles, Billy Joel clearly prefers a classic aesthetic and smooth edges that make driving pleasurable and carefree, even if that's in a typical production model car.

[Featured image by Berthold Werner via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | Public Domain]

2002 Mercedes Benz S 500

Billy Joel owned a 2002 Mercedes Benz S 500 but crashed it in 2003. He swerved off the road and hit a tree in Sag Harbor around 10:30 at night. This wasn't the first accident Joel had experienced in the early 2000s, and it wouldn't be his last either. Fortunately, even though the singer was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and then airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital, he recovered quickly and returned to his musical pursuits and daily life.

Joel's crash is perhaps a fitting demonstration of the safety features packed into the S 500. The car utilizes ABS brakes and stability controls that automatically kick in when handling limits are surpassed. These automatic features likely slowed Joel's car significantly as he careened off the road. Similarly, the S 500 includes front and side-impact airbags as well as overhead airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners that all act in concert to secure the passengers in an optimal position to survive and recover from a collision. Safety isn't the only reason to drive a Mercedes, though. The S 500 was a luxury vehicle that used a 5-speed automatic transmission and a 5.0L V8 engine that produced 302 horsepower. Driving in luxury and style is a must for many celebrity personalities in the modern world, but mixing in the safety features required to protect the car's occupants is simply common sense thinking!

1973 Audi Fox

The Audi Fox was an interesting automotive choice for an up-and-coming musical titan. This isn't the most elegant-looking vehicle, but it was built to stand the test of time. The Audi was named the European Car of the Year in 1973 (known in the European markets as the Audi A80), and certainly included some classic features that made for a much-loved and durable ride befitting any type of driver. Billy Joel purchased a Fox as the first car to enter his garage after he gained notoriety as a singer. "I thought it was a sexy little car," Joel told GQ, "and it was easy to drive," he said of the sedan.

The vehicle is a product of precision German engineering and utilizes a four-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive. The car produced 75 horsepower with a 1.5L Inline four engine measuring a 1,471 cubic centimeter displacement. It certainly won't turn heads like Joel's Jaguar, but the Audi Fox remains a fantastic vintage automobile and an understated one at that.

[Featured image by Charles01 via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY-SA 3.0]

1967 Citroen 2CV

Last, but certainly not least, is the Citroen 2CV he bought in 1990 for his wife at the time, Christie Brinkley. This Citroen offers a vintage feel that drives like a dream. The body appears much like a VW Beetle, but with the flaring across the hood and other, uniquely Citroen design inclusions, the vehicle is something all its own. To make Joel's purchase of the vehicle all the more special, he had to work with the only broker in the country who worked with Citroen's 2CVs – the French automaker had stopped selling these cars on the market in the United States in 1975. Unfortunately, Billy Joel would later crash the Citroen in 2004 after two other roadway incidents in just a few years. This led E News! to playfully call him a "great piano player, lousy motorist." In this accident, he seemed to have lost control of the vehicle while driving in wet conditions and slid into a house. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the accident.

This model was another that was a classic and readily available option for all types of drivers. The 2CV (Deux Cheveux, or 'two horses') was produced from 1948 to 1990 and almost 4 million were rolled out during this time. The 2CV is a small cruiser much like the VW Beetle and sits within the same frame of mind as some of his favorite bikes as lightweight and carefree daily drivers.

[Featured image by Dennis Elzinga via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY 2.0]