Justin Bieber’s customized, neon-blue Ferrari 458 is quite infamous. The young superstar expressed questionable judgment when he purchased the six-figure sports car back in 2011, at the ripe young age of 17, had it wildly modified with performance and cosmetic upgrades, and then proceeded to implicate it in multiple infractions, including speeding tickets, fender benders and lethal paparazzi chases.
Then, a few months back, when heading out for a night of revelry in Los Angeles, Bieber parked the car and actually forgot where he’d left it, resulting in a frantic three-week search in which it was eventually uncovered in the care of a Beverly Hills hotel valet.
So is it a sign of maturity that he’s now selling the car at the flagship Barrett-Jackson car auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Jan. 21? Perhaps, though he still maintains a stable of other supercars from Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari and others. The more interesting question is whether Bieber’s notorious ownership adds value to the vehicle. The 458 is a wonderful sports car, but as of right now, it’s simply a used car — albeit one valued at around $175,000, or about what it was when it was new. It’s not exactly a collectible, but one of around 18,000 the brand is estimated to have produced between 2010 and 2015.
“I think having a celebrity provenance with a car like this always helps,” says Barrett-Jackson CEO Craig Jackson. “Though this car has sparked a lot of controversy on our Facebook page — that he was rear-ended in the car, and that he customized the car. And we tell people this all the time: Once you customize a car, it’s like having a custom suit made. You may love it, the next person may not, and it may not fit them.”
More inherently collectible is the $1.5 million 2012 Hennessey Venom GT Spyder that Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler is selling at the same auction, to benefit his charity Janie’s Fund, which provides services and support for abused and neglected girls. The car, one of only 12 ever built and the first convertible version of the model, is among the fastest cars in the world (top speed 270 mph). As alluring and quick as it is, we couldn’t find any evidence of the more, ahem, mature Tyler running into problems with the law in the Venom (though deadmau5 did once tell us a story about an embarrassing little incident he and Steven had in the car on the streets of L.A.).
“Tyler’s car is very unique in itself,” Jackson says. “It’s a supercar without even having the provenance of it being Steven’s car, his personal car customized for him. And it’s going to charity. So that one is going to be one of those wild cards.” Meaning, the car’s final hammer price could wildly outstrip its actual value.
Jackson was unsure if either musician would be present in Scottsdale for the event next weekend, though both had hinted that they might. Furthermore, Jackson was unsure how Bieber’s presence would be received by his collectors if he did attend. “If he’s up there on the block, you never know what might happen, how the audience might respond,” Jackson says. “I’ve had celebrity cars that have not gone over huge — one of the O.J. [Simpson] cars, for instance. We pulled it up on the block, and my audience actually booed the car.”