Joe Elliott’s 1985 Porsche 944 Is a Measure of Superstar Success
Legendary Def Leppard frontman reveals to the Sunday Times why you’ll never catch him breaking the speed limit in any of his sportscars.
“Bit of Bowie on the stereo and a nice drive down the Limerick bypass [in a vintage Porsche], you can’t beat it,” says British rock singer Joe Elliott to the U.K.’s Sunday Times. The Def Leppard frontman is talking cars as part of the paper’s popular “Me and My Motor” profiles and sharing a bit of history about his personal rides, but not before dropping a bombshell.
“This is going to sound about as rock n’ roll as hemorrhoids [but] I hate driving fast,” says the rock icon who has written well over a dozen multi-platinum classics and whose iconic heavy metal band has sold over 100 million albums since forming in Sheffield, England, in 1977. “…I like to drive, but for me a car is just about Getty from A to B. If it looks good, great, but I’m more interested in comfy seats, a top-class stereo, and decent fuel economy.”
Despite currently owning a number of speedy and sporty vehicles, including the 1985 Porsche 944 us a 2014 BMW X5, 2005 Jeep Cherokee, and 1998 Panther Kallista, Elliott reveals in his chat with the Times that his wife Kristine often chides him for driving below the speed limit. However, all things considered, no one can discount the tragic history that is attached to the Def Leppard legend, including drummer Rick Allen’s 1984 car accident, which led to the amputation of his left arm.
“Rick’s accident made us all realize the dangers of driving,” says Elliott. “You have to treat the road with respect. …My wife will often say to me, ‘The speed limit is 70, ya know.’ Yeah, but 60 feels better. It’s sort of a Zen thing. Take your time, enjoy the journey.”
Despite his somewhat passive attitude regarding fast, flashy cars, the 57-year-old rocker considers his Porsche 944 one of his most prized possessions. After all, it was his first big rockstar-level purchase, made after Def Leppard made it big on the international rock scene after the 1983 release of its hits-packed third album, Pyromania.
‘My wife will often say to me, ‘The speed limit is 70, ya know.’ Yeah, but 60 feels better. It’s sort of a Zen thing. Take your time, enjoy the journey.’
“I bought the Porsche that they stopped making!” he says about his first new-car purchase, and one he has held onto for over 33 years. “But that’s why I love it: You don’t see many of ’em around.”
Although Elliott’s Porsche is a head-turner, it’s one that he enjoys driving more often than the Panther Kallista, which tends to be a bit too popular out in the wild, causing more trouble than he can handle.
“I only take it out on very special occasions,” says Elliott. “It’s too beautiful. Leave it alone for two minutes and there’ll be someone taking a selfie on the bonnet.”
Enviable luxury sports cars have also attracted the attention of Elliott’s Def Leppard band mates, with guitarist Vivian Campbell recently tweeting a shot of himself test-driving Porsches at the Porsche Track Experience at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
“Spent a lovely morning at the Porsche Track Experience at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham AL. Thanks to the whole team for having me, had a wonderful day. Cheers!” – Vivian pic.twitter.com/Se7gZJ2AxT
— Def Leppard (@DefLeppard) August 21, 2018
Photos: Sunday Times, Twitter