Boy Toys: State of Bliss
2000 Ferrari Maranello
The 27-year-old boxing champ (also a singer, who released his first CD last month) sometimes tools around L.A. in a military-style Hummer or a midnight-blue Bentley convertible. (Frequent passengers include his son Jacob, 2, by a former girlfriend, and daughter Atiana,1, by another ex, actress Shanna Moakler.) But De Le Hoya's favorite ride is his custom-made Ferrari.
When I was growing up in East L.A., all the kids on my block talked about owning a fast car someday, and it had to be red. My Ferrari cost me $275,000 and that includes beautiful luggage that matches the tan interior. I wanted a classic car, but a very flashy, young, sexy car. The factory put a little plaque by the gearshift that says, "Specially made for the Golden Boy," which is my boxing nickname. The license plate says Golden Boy too. People always ask, "How fast does it go?" I point at the speedometer: It reads 220 mph. Whenever I find myself stepping on the pedal a little too hard, I feel like a kid again. I've gone over the speed limit a few times, but fortunately I haven't gotten any tickets—I'm a good driver. I had the exhaust system adjusted to give it a rougher, louder noise, like a race car, so people would say, "Wow, that Car has power." Whenever I'm in town, it's my everyday car. When I drive down the street, I know all eyes are on me. Everyone pays attention to my Ferrari. My son loves to ride with me, but he sits so low he can only see up, and he says, "Dad, the sky is moving fast!" I like driving my friends around, but I never let anybody else drive—never. Even when I valet park, I drive it myself into the lot. And I carry a rag so I can polish the rims. It's my baby!
The former star of The Partridge Family, now 50, has been enamored of horses since he was a boy. Riding, he says, helped him cope after his parents, actors Jack Cassidy and Evelyn Ward, divorced in 1953. Now living in Las Vegas (where he stars in the At the Copa revue) with his third wife, songwriter Sue Shifrin-Cassidy, 51, and their son Beau, 9, Cassidy keeps his 20 horses on farms in California (above, with racer-in-training Sook Loozy), Florida, New York and Canada.
I started buying horses when I was doing The Partridge Family and was a very wealthy guy. My first cost $40,000, which was a lot of money for a horse in 1973. It's a business for me now, but it's also my passion. Every free moment, I'm buying, selling, breeding, scheming, daydreaming and talking about thoroughbreds. My best horse ever, Lightning Touch, won the $100,000 purse in the Pomona Derby in 1985. I'm racing only about six today; breeding them is more important to me. I wish I could spend half the week on a farm—grooming horses, feeding them, petting them—but running a farm is a full-time job, and I don't need another responsibility. It's more fun to just visit. Whenever I can, I go to the races. My wife used to say, "You don't gamble. What are you doing there?" She's accepted it now. And I've accepted that I can't ride anymore. It's in my Vegas contract. If I break my leg or my neck, people who've invested in what I do onstage would lose a lot of money.
The 6'8" forward for basketball's Orlando Magic fulfills his need for speed with remote-control cars, which he and roommate Jessie Drain, 27, a Harlem Globetrotter, race most weekends on the informal circuit of racetracks setup by Orlando-area hobby shops. The pastime began in 1996 with four electric cars, but in 1999, Outlaw, who is 29 and single, stepped up to his pride and joy, a gas-powered near-replica of his own BMW 750.
A lot of people match their remote-control cars to their real cars. You get the fun without the risk. You can go fast, but you know you're not going to get a ticket. The electric cars cost $200 to $300, and they can go up to 20 mph. I spent about $1,500 on the gas car, but with modifications like a new motor and an air filter the total cost has been around $1,650. It takes unleaded gas and can go up to 60 mph. When I race my cars in the neighborhood, they usually draw a crowd. People stop on their way home from work and hang out of their cars. The little kids don't want to play with the cars; they like to be chased by them. It's fun. At the tracks there are lots of adults, because at this level and this speed you need money to spend on the cars. When you modify your car to a certain level, you race in a certain class, like NASCAR. Some guys are on a whole different level, with real sponsors. Their cars are more tuned-up than mine: They stop on a dime, they can make a 180 turn. Mine just turns 45 degrees. I don't race those guys. I just race for bragging rights. It's tough if I lose. Guys are like, "Guess who I just beat?"
After selling his stake in the Broadcast.com sports Web site to Yahoo last year for $1.5 billion, the Dallas entrepreneur bought the local basketball team, the Mavericks ($200 million), and a 24,000-sq.-ft. mansion ($13 million). When he and his pals want to play Wiffle ball, they often do so in his cavernous (l,000-sq.-ft.) living room. And when Cuban, 42 and single, wants to get out of Texas—or send his parents, upholsterer Norton, 74, and homemaker Shirley, 63, on vacation—the trip takes place aboard his new $42 million jet.
I wanted a plane, because the most valuable asset in anybody's life is time. The idea that I can call my pilot and leave in a matter of minutes is just phenomenal. I chose this Gulfstream because all the pilots I talked to said it was the plane they'd want to fly. I bought it online—I've been told it's probably the biggest online purchase ever made. The plane has a range of 7,000 miles, which means it can go from Dallas to China. It flies higher than most planes, 50,000 feet instead of 30,000, so it's much faster. It has leather seats for 14, and DirecTV, so I can keep up with the, Mavericks even if I can't make the game. I take it on trips to apartments I have in Miami and New York, or to Vegas with my friends. Sometimes members of my team fly with me during road trips. My first flight was to San Antonio, and it was an amazing feeling. I'm sitting there realizing, "Oh my God—this thing is mine!" I'm the first to admit I'm the luckiest guy in the world. I feel very blessed. I try to be generous in charitable giving and to my family, and I'm also trying to be generous to myself.
After hitting it big with the 1985 album Brothers in Arms, Dire Straits' founder and lead guitarist started buying motorcycles like the ones he had coveted as a boy. Now 51, he owns seven bikes—including a 1948 Vincent, a '76 Ducati (both pictured above), a '61 Norton and a brand-new MV Agusta—which he uses for fun on superbike racetracks or for transport. "I always thought I would grow out of the motorcycle thing," says Knopfler, who lives in West London with his third wife, actress Kitty Aldridge, 38, and their daughter Isabella, 2. "Now I'm not so sure."
As a kid I'd sit on the arms of sofas and pretend to be racing bikes and cars. I used a saucepan lid for a steering wheel. I think it's important to keep that little bit of you that never grows up alive. I'm on a bike just about every day now. There's a freedom that comes with motorcycling that you can't get in a car. When I'm riding I don't think of anything other than driving. As a matter of survival, you can't let your mind wander—you need to be one with the machine. I've become something of a curator with these bikes. But the feeling of actually getting a motorcycle is not as good as what I feel when I'm wanting a motorcycle. When I get a bike, it becomes a responsibility.
This Tennessee Titans running back and 1995 Heisman Trophy winner is a wine connoisseur who keeps a burgeoning collection in his Nashville home (above). George, 27, says his new hobby has proven useful: Ordering the right wine is now "one of the many tricks" he uses to impress a date.
About a year ago, I wanted to expand my horizons and become knowledgeable about certain kinds of foods and wine. Wine really intrigued me, so I've been going to tastings and educating myself. Pronouncing some of the names is still a challenge, but it's a process.
You can't learn all about wine overnight. I don't have a big collection yet—only about four dozen bottles that I keep along a wall in my kitchen. They were pretty expensive, around $50 to $200. I have a Taylor's and a Dow's, both from 1977, and a 1985 Fonseca—they're all ports. I'm a big port fan because it's very sweet. My other favorites are the merlots, because they're sweet with a nice smooth taste. When I build a house someday, I will definitely build a wine cellar. I usually open a bottle only for special occasions or when I have people over, but sometimes I open one just because I feel like it. My teammates don't know I do this. They're probably going to laugh and say, "Oh, you're making this up."
At 72, the composer of such classics as "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" and "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" is raising two young children—Oliver, 7, and Raleigh, 4—in L.A. with his fourth wife, Jane, 40. His dependents also include 48 horses, which he breeds in Maryland and races as far away as Dubai. He never rides, though. "I got thrown years ago," says Bacharach (above, at Hollywood Park with Gud Afternoon and jockey Yan Durepaire).
A friend of my mother took me to Aqueduct racetrack in New York City when I was 14. It was my first time at a track, and the whole atmosphere just kind of caught me. I said, "If I ever have enough money, I'm going to buy a racehorse." I got my first really good horse, Heartlight No. One, in 1983. For five or six months I went to the track all the time to see her. Couldn't write a note. I replaced one obsession, music, with another. In 1994 and 1995, horses I'd bred myself ran in the Kentucky Derby. They didn't win anything at that event, but one of them, Soul of the Matter, took home more than $2 million over the course of his career. But I've learned winning at that level doesn't last very long. Racehorses are fragile. They break down. And your luck changes. If you're in the winner's circle and you're already thinking about the next race, if you don't participate in the joy of the moment, then you're not gettin' it. My horses aren't doing as well as they used to. Some are kind of old. But I won't go and buy yearlings costing $200,000 or more. Spending that kind of money doesn't make sense to me. I had this amazing streak of luck. Maybe that's all you get in life.
Although his hoard includes two NBA All Star Game balls and a hockey stick autographed by Wayne Gretzky, the 6'4" R&B singer-songwriter-producer—who as a kid dreamed of being a pro hoopster himself—is proudest of his collection of NBA players' sneakers. McKnight, 31, whose CD Back at One went multiplatinum this year, keeps most of his 30 pairs in the game room of the L.A. house he shares ivith wife Julie, 29, and sons B.J., 11, and Niko, 8.
I've been collecting the shoes for five or six years. They all belong to people I hang out with—guys I've met at games and charity events. The shoe is an extension of the relationship. When I see it, I remember, "Oh, we did this or that together." A lot of players have 10 or 12 pairs in their locker, just sitting there. After a game I'll be like, " Yo, man, sign one of those for me." I've got Karl Malone's, Alonzo Mourning's, Penny Hardaway's, Patrick Ewing's. The only ones I've ever tried on belonged to Hubert Davis, who plays for the Dallas Mavericks. He wears the same size as me, 12, so I've played a couple of games in his shoes. Sometimes it is awkward to ask. Like with Michael Jordan. I've asked him for sneakers, but I haven't pushed. When someone's that big a star, people are always asking for something. Knowing him is actually better than having his shoes.
The host of CNBC's Rivera Live knows how to get around—by land, sea and air. Rivera, 57, owns a helicopter and two boats, which he often uses to commute to work in Manhattan. But in the garage of his Locust, N.J., home, the newly divorced (from fourth wife C.C. Dyer) father of sons Gabriel, 21, and Cruz, 13, and daughters Isabella, 8, and Simone, 6, keeps his collection of wheels: two Harley-Davidson motorcycles and three cars, including two vintage Jaguars, which he has refurbished to their original glory.
The coupe is an XK120, the model that held the world land-speed record the year they were manufactured—140 miles an hour. I happened upon it in a used car lot in Hempstead, Long Island, in 1974. It was like I was looking at my childhood dream. I bought her on the spot, for $3,500, which was a lot for me then. The other is the Mark 7 Sedan, which I got about 15 years ago for roughly the same amount. They're my weekend dashing-and-cruising cars. Sometimes I take them into work, but I think the city is insulting to the cars. These vehicles aren't just an engineering marvel; they're works of art to be treasured. They have a certain verve that modern cars don't have. It's a uniquely male thing, defining your personality through your stuff. The trick is to do it with style rather than just money. Things that say something about you—those are worth it. I think these cars say I appreciate the art in function, that great creations aren't necessarily relegated to museums. I've promised the XK120 to Gabriel and the other one to Cruz. Although I don't let anyone drive them now, I definitely want these cars to live on. I don't want them buried with me.
ANTONIO SABATO JR.
Growing up in Italy, the former Calvin Klein model and Melrose Place hunk discovered the Caped Crusader in comic books. "Batman was my role model," says Sabato, 28, whose family moved to the U.S. when he was 12. "He doesn't have any supernatural powers—just money, intelligence and hard work. I really respect him." Divorced since 1993 from model Tully Jensen, Sabato now competes with his son jack, 6 (Mom is actress Virginia Madsen, a former girlfriend), over the enormous Batman collection that he keeps in his L.A. home. Admits Sabato: "Jack always wins."
My custom-made Harley-Davidson is my joy. It's yellow, and there's a Batman symbol on each side of the gas tank. It's my Bat Bike. I also have a Batman boomerang that could actually kill somebody, so I don't leave that out. I've got two Batman tattoos on my lower back and a little bat on my shoulder—and two masks—the one that Val Kilmer wore in the third movie and the one that Michael Keaton wore in the first. In my living room I have a picture of myself wearing the mask. And I just opened a production company called Namtab—that's Batman spelled backward. Sometimes I do wake up in the middle of the night and think, "I wish I could go off in the Batmobile right now." And maybe, if I were a multimillionaire, I'd build a Batcave under my house. That would he fun. People think I'm nuts, but I'm not shy about Batman fascination. It's part of me, and it's actually getting worse as I get older. Now I really want to play Batman in a movie. That would be a dream come true. I see Bruce Wayne as being in his early 30s. I think when I get to that age I'm going to have to go to Warner Bros, and say, "Listen, give me a shot at this, because it's driving me crazy!"