The James Hetfield Collection

16 August 2021
The James Hetfield Collection

Metallica co-founder, singer and guitarist James Hetfield’s classic car collection was recently exhibited at the Petersen Automotive Museum.

What could be better than the harmony of heavy metal and engine sound? Also, Metallica front man James Hetfield likes the engine sounds together with drumbeats and we have known him with his classic car passion. His automobile collection was recently exhibited at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. Before I began to write this article, I chose to listen to “And Justice For All” to go together with my journey through Hetfield’s classic car collection. If your Metallica song to accompany this article is ready, let us take a short journey through Hetfield’s collection.

While many collectors acquire automobiles from pre-existing example, Hetfield builds vehicles reinterpreting them in a unique style. Thus, he can reflect his musical spirit into the design of automobiles. He says that his car enthusiasm is a way to convey forms of freedom and expression. Hetfield’s both classic and modern cars are in harmony with classic designs, while reflecting the heavy metal spirit of the artist.

1956 Ford 100, “Str8 Edge”

The 1956 Ford 100, which was such a popular model once, is among the vehicles of Hetfield’s collection. At the first glance, it draws attention with its stunning color. When Hetfield acquired the car, it had already been modified with a lengthened cabin. The previous owner had also added fiberglass fenders and used Bondo paste on the body to fill in its imperfections. In order to customize it further, Hetfield had restored the vehicle to its original. All the whole, the winged taillights and ventiports from a 1953 Buick were added to the truck’s hood, giving the “Str8 Edge” a futuristic 1960s look.

The James Hetfield Collection

1934 Packard, “Aquarius”

Indeed, “Aquarius” is a car that created as a result of the blending two different aesthetics: 1930’s French Art Deco and American aesthetic first developed in “The Black Pearl”. Referring the design of European cars, the vehicle features billowing fenders and a rear fin with a sharp style. Its DuVall-style windshield winks at the famous American hot rods of the 1950s. Of course, car has an aggressive look. Pointed accents inspired by the hooked ends of medieval battle axe were added to the grille, side exhaust pipes and rear window trim also reinforced the aggressive look of the car.

1953 Buick Skylark “Skycraper”

Another car from the collection that stands out with its stunning color is the 1953 Buick Skylark “Skycraper”. The “Skycraper” is Hetfield’s first car produced in collaboration with designer Rick Dore. To emphasize the shape of the Skylark, which is a rare piece, many customization techniques has been made, for instance the front bumper has been smoothed by removing the badges. With its bass drum pedal accelerator and gauges resembling Fender pearlescent guitar picks, the interior of the vehicle is designed to reflect Hetfield’s musical spirit.

The matching ESP guitar and Mesa Boogie amplifier were displayed alongside the Skycraper at the show.

You can see Hetfield’s interview about his cars in the video below.