The 5 Most Expensive Cars Owned By Wayne Newton

Now known as "Mr. Las Vegas," Wayne Newton's long relationship with the gambling mecca began way back in 1958 when he was still a teenager — Newton quit high school to play six shows per day at a Fremont Street casino. But it wasn't until 1963 that he truly catapulted onto the national stage with his Americanized version of the German pop song "Danke Schoen." Younger readers might remember that the song had something of a resurgence when Matthew Broderick lip-synced it in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

Over the years, Wayne Newton built quite a career and for a period, he was a bigger draw to Las Vegas showrooms than any other entertainer, performing over 30,000 shows to date. He also enjoyed over 55 film roles and even more television appearances. In spite of his consistently high level of income, Newton has experienced financial ups and downs over the years due to bad investments such as the now-defunct Aladdin hotel and casino.

Nonetheless, he's managed to assemble an amazing car collection that until recently, could be viewed by the public on a tour of his palatial estate four miles from the Las Vegas strip, called Casa de Shenandoah. But with the tours discontinued and the property now for sale, we'll just have to settle for a virtual peek at the lounge lord's past and present whips.

[Featured image by Bob n Renee via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY 2.0]

1981 Mercedes 380SL

Mercedes' SL roadster, internally dubbed the R107, was one of the longest-running body styles ever for the brand, ranging from 1971 to 1989. During that time period, it starred in countless films and television shows whenever a character needed to project a simultaneously affluent and sporty nature. But none of those plain vanilla SLs holds a candle to Wayne Newton's 1981 380SL, which was completely customized by coachbuilder Niko Sokol out of Long Island, New York.

It's unknown who originally commissioned the custom car, but Wayne Newton purchased it during the 1990s. Between all owners combined, the nautical-themed 380SL traveled less than 2,000 miles. Unlike the original R107, which featured a fabric convertible top and/or a removable hardtop, Newton's 380SL sports a bespoke two-piece retractable hardtop, delivering the best of both worlds — the quiet of a hardtop, but one which stays with the vehicle at all times. Reportedly, the space requirements of the new top arrangement required relocating the spare tire to the outside of the car's trunk lid. 

This wild Mercedes has a piano black paint job with gobs of genuine gold trim, including oversized Mercedes emblems, unique vintage-looking door handles, and accent trim inlaid with Egyptian hieroglyphics. The wheels are quintessentially 1980s gold mesh by BBS. Remarkably, the interior escaped with no modification whatsoever, as did the drivetrain. The 380SL sold at a Barrett-Jackson auction in 2021 for $84,700, which seems quite reasonable when you consider how much time, money, and effort went into the build, not to mention the celebrity provenance.

1999 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph

Although we kicked off this list with a Mercedes, Mr. Las Vegas definitely has a fancy for English marques like Rolls-Royce and Bentley and this particular 1999 Rolls-Royce sedan is one of the rarest. Between 1999 and 2002, only 1,570 Silver Seraph cars were produced before the storied Crewe Works factory shut its doors for good. 

Notably, the Silver Seraph was fitted with a 322 horsepower V12 from BMW, the first time ever that Rolls-Royce used an engine from another automaker. It was also some serious foreshadowing because BMW would take over the entire company a few years later. Newton's Silver Seraph is finished in navy over cream Connelly leather upholstery, with the iconic fold-out picnic tables so rear seat passengers can enjoy a meal.

But we don't suspect that too many meals were consumed in this exact car. Before being acquired by Newton in 2015, the Silver Seraph was part of Nevada television executive Jim Rogers' extensive collection, which was auctioned for charity upon the businessman's passing in 2015. After displaying the car for several years at his Casa de Shenandoah estate in Las Vegas, Newton resold the car in 2021 for $66,000.

1933 Hudson Essex Terraplane 8

Not too many non-car enthusiasts are familiar with Hudson, but in the 1920s, it was the third-largest automaker in the United States. A few years into the Great Depression, however, the brand's status had fallen to the seventh-largest. In a last-ditch attempt to reboot its fortunes, Hudson unveiled the all-new Essex Terraplane for 1932. The Essex Terraplane incorporated an early version of unibody construction — one of the first motor vehicles ever to do so. This made the car 200 pounds lighter than a comparable Ford and 400 pounds lighter than a Chevrolet, which translated into spirited performance and handling. 

Speaking of performance, a majority of the Terraplanes were equipped with an inline six-cylinder engine, but in 1933 only, a powerful eight-cylinder engine was also available. The eight-cylinder's horsepower-to-weight ratio was reportedly among the highest of any automobile at the time, making the car a favorite of criminals seeking to make a fast getaway, including bank robbers John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson. Of course, we're sure that gangsters would prefer a nondescript coupe or sedan body style, not the red convertible like Wayne Newton owns.

Newton's Terraplane was purchased and subsequently restored in the early 1980s and has lived a pampered life on display ever since then. Reportedly, either Newton or his family owned a similar automobile in his youth, which inspired the acquisition. An extremely similar car sold at a Mecum auction in 2022 for $99,000, albeit without the crooner connection. 

[Featured image by Joe Ross via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY-SA 2.0]

1975 Stutz Blackhawk

In the summer of 1968, American banker James O'Donnell resurrected the long-defunct Stutz Motor Company name for an over-the-top line of personal luxury cars. The result was a flamboyant vehicle that was over 19 feet in length with a non-functional side exhaust, freestanding headlamps, and a spare tire mounted on the trunk lid. It also cost as much as an average house.

The Stutz Blackhawk's heavy gauge steel body was made in Italy, but belying the car's exotic appearance, the chassis and engine are pulled straight from a Pontiac Grand Prix (Pontiac Bonneville in later years). As a consolation, the engine was a massive 455 cubic inch Pontiac V8 that was reportedly tuned to produce 425 horsepower. As the 1970s energy crisis moved farther along, that engine would grow smaller, however.

As a Blackhawk owner, Wayne Newton would find himself in good company. Elvis Presley owned several Stutzes, as did Rat Packers Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin. Little is known about Mr. Las Vegas' particular Blackhawk, except that it's the version with a convertible top, known as D'Italia, and sources list it alternately as either a 1975 or 1976 model. According to the valuation website, the second-generation Blackhawk is not a terribly valuable car, with average prices hovering around $50,000. However, an example once owned by Elvis Presley sold for almost $300,000 in 2022. 

1979 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II

This is another example from Wayne Newton's perennial favorite automaker, Rolls-Royce. This 1979 Silver Shadow II represents the penultimate production year of this classic body style before Rolls moved on to a much more modern and boxier Silver Spirit and Silver Spur in 1980. Just like the Silver Spirit and Spur shocked purists with their fresh, but less distinct styling in the early 1980's, so had the Silver Shadow done to its predecessor, the Silver Cloud. 

Perhaps conservative Rolls-Royce owners are simply resistant to change, because the Silver Shadow (later II) was faster and better handling than any Rolls-Royce before it and had more interior space in spite of its compactness. Wayne's car is a particularly sweet example of the last of its breed with a rad 1970s Walnut (brown) over Porcelain White paint job and period-correct wide whitewall tires.

A Barrett-Jackson advertisement for the Rolls boasts that it's always been garaged, as if we'd expect any less. This Silver Shadow's celebrity connection was a huge boost to value because, referring to again, the average sales price for a Silver Shadow II over the past five years is just $18,900. Newton's car, on the other hand, sold in 2021 for a much more impressive $93,500.