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Much like his music, James Hetfield of Metallica fame loves his cars loud and fast. Here is the collection he donated to the Petersen Automotive Museum in 2019.

These cars are simply incredible and, much like Metallica's music, timeless too. Each one has been carefully crafted, with a multitude of custom bodywork on each vehicle. 

Many of the vehicles are from the 1930s and 1950s but reimagined to knock your socks off. And that they certainly will do, regardless of whether you like cars as old as these.

The exhibition in Los Angeles is called Reclaimed Rust: The James Hetfield Collection, and it follows on from his book of the same title. They include nine of the heavy metal legend's most prized custom vintage automobiles. The vehicles include art-deco inspired masterpieces, old school Hot Rods and a magnificently modified pickup. 

The reason for the donation is that Hetfield wanted the cars to be appreciated by everyone, and not just sit in his garage for his eyes only. That's pretty badass of him. Anyway, in no particular order, the cars are as follows:

The Black Pearl

This car is based on a 1948 Jaguar but wears an entirely new sculpted aluminium body and a 302 cubic inch Ford V8 under the hood.



The Aquarius is massive in stature, with a 6.2-litre LS3 V8 to boot. It sits on bags, with its wheels hidden behind sheets of curved bodywork with splashes of chrome to elegantly finish the look.



This Hot Rod relies heavily on the parts available in the 1930s and sports Stromberg carbs and Edelbrock air intakes on its 296ci Ford V8. It's the getaway car that Bonnie and Clyde would have paid good money for.


Iron Fist

This bare-metal 1936 Ford Coupe draws inspiration from the art deco movement, with swathes of bare, curved bodywork, chopped roof and thumping V8.



This music-inspired purple 1953 Buick Skylark is loaded with striking details. It uses a bass drum pedal as the accelerator pedal, and the gauges look like guitar picks, and it has an ESP guitar and Mesa amp to match.


Slow Burn

This was a 1936 Auburn before James and his friend, Rick Dore, converted it into this masterpiece. With its boat tail and outrigger style rear wheels, you'll be gawking at it for hours.


Voodoo Priest

Coated in a gorgeous cherry red, the Voodoo Priest is a 1937 Lincoln Zepher with a 4.4-litre V12 sending power to its white-walled rubber. Once again, Rock Dore was the mastermind behind the build.


Str8 Edge

This 1956 Ford F-100 has been transformed into an insanely gorgeous purple monster after a life as a workhorse towing boats and golf carts.


Dead Kennedy

This car is rather special as James wrenched on this one himself. It's a 1963 Lincoln Continental, the same as the one John F Kennedy was assassinated in. This one sits on bags, has a 430ci V8 and side exit pipes that run the length of the doors, the rear of which are suicides.


All of these vehicles are astounding and will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum for a while before they go on their very own world tour. How heavy metal of them. Find out more about them in the video by the Petersen Automotive Museum below.

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