Each year Playboy awards its Playmate of the Year a car as part of her winnings. The first few years the cars were all painted pink, but that changed after 12 years, and now the cars or motorcycle remain in their OE colours. Of those awarded over the last 50 years some are now valuable classics and others are (close to) worthless junk. Let’s take a peek underneath and see which cars have risen most in value and which should just be hauled away.
Michelle was the first Playmate to receive a car as a gift from the Playboy, a pink 1964.5 Mustang. Today a first year Mustang convertible with 289 V-8 in great shape should pull in at least R650K.
Liv had the amazing good fortune to have won the crown in 1972, as the prize was a new DeTomaso Pantera. Designed and built in Italy with a mid-engine Ford 351 V-8, Panteras were then sold through Ford dealers. Without the provenance of Liv’s ownership, but in excellent condition, 1972 Panteras run at about R1,5 million today.
The second Playmate to win a car with her title, Ms. Collins also did quite well for herself. While the car she won looks like a sleepy English roadster it actually has a Ford 289 V-8 under the hood. The Sunbeam Tiger was sold for just three years and in relatively small numbers, just over 7000 in total. Because of its performance and its rarity, a non-Playboy, non-pink Tiger can sell for R1,6 million
If you were a Shelby fan, 1969 would have been a good year to win Playboy Playmate of the Year. The prize: A 1969 Shelby GT500 with 428 Cobra Jet V-8. If you’re in the market to buy a matching car to Ms. Kreski’s (without pink paint, of course), you’d be looking to hand over about R2,0 million
The Not So Good
Unfortunately not all Playmates of the Year were so lucky as to be awarded cars that quickly became modern classics. Let’s face it, there were some dogs in the bunch. No, not the women. The cars they were given. Read on:
Poor Julie. While the Playmate the year after her takes home a Jeep Wrangler and the 1997 winners drives home a Porsche, Ms. Cialini gets a rebadged Mitsubishi sold as a 1995 Eagle Talon TSI. If she went to trade in the car today, maybe signed a few autographs, and took a selfie with the salesperson, she might get R40000 toward a trade.
I would say that Karen has bad timing. The Playmates of the Year in both 1984 and 1986 received Jaguars. Instead Ms. Velez takes home the only Toyota ever awarded to a Playmate of the Year (if you ask me, she doesn’t look very happy about it). If she’d held onto the car, kept it spotless, she might get R60000 in a trade-in.
The car awarded to the future Mrs. Jimmy Connors was a 1977 Dodge Charger. It’s tough to estimates its value as available engines ran from the slant 6 to a 440 big block, but could be worth about R75000 to a collector. And if there’s anyone who can argue for a higher price its Jimmy Connors.
Ms. Allen was the recipient of what must be the oddest vehicle ever awarded to a Playmate of the Year. While at first glance it might appear to be a genuine Lambo, let your eyes stop for a second and you’ll notice all the proportions (of the car) are wrong. So Ms. Allen was awarded a replica, produced by a company called Exotic Dream Machines (no longer in business, surprised?). As best as I’ve been able to gather it’s a tube frame chassis with a Mustang II front end, Chevy small block, Porsche trans and suspension. While some of these cars when well-maintained have significant values , they require constant maintenance and repair or they’re nearly valueless.