Catching passes is a tough job, but what vehicle do you take to work in the morning?
You could say Larry Fitzgerald leads a charmed life. Check out this tall, good-looking athlete, just 23 years old with a fat NFL contract and a fine collection of European machinery parked at his home in Phoenix, Arizona. The gregarious guy with the infectious smile has the whole enchilada: fame; fortune; a multi-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals; and a reputation as one of the most talented wide receivers in the NFL.
You could say Larry Fitzgerald leads a charmed life. Check out this tall, good-looking athlete, just 23 years old with a fat NFL contract and a fine collection of European machinery parked at his home in Phoenix, Arizona.
The gregarious guy with the infectious smile has the whole enchilada: fame; fortune; a multiyear deal with the Arizona Cardinals; and a reputation as one of the most talented wide receivers in the NFL.
But still, when Fitzgerald gets up in the morning, he faces a dilemma. It goes something like this: which supercool car does he drive today? Will it be a bright red BMW 745i? Or how about that Range Rover Sport? Maybe one of the high-performance Benzes?
“I have to feel it,” Fitzgerald said. “I don’t have a favorite. I take whatever feels right in the morning.”
Fitzgerald ended up in Phoenix after being picked by the Cardinals as a first- round draft choice in 2004 from the University of Pittsburgh at age 20. The coach who most wanted to bring him on board, Dennis Green, had known Fitzgerald when he was a Minnesota Vikings ball boy. The son of veteran Minnesota sports journalist Larry Fitzgerald Sr., Larry Jr.’s dazzling speed and pass-snagging prowess have fans dreaming big.
Fitzgerald has settled nicely into Phoenix and so have his rides. At the time of Celebrity Car’s visit, he had four cars and a three-car garage, so one sleeps outside under a cover. That would be his 2007 Mercedes SL550, a slick, silver sports car with the styling of an art-deco rocket.
“This is my baby right here.”
Like all his cars, the SL has a fairly stock appearance, aside from custom wheels with tastefully painted details to match the body. On the Benz, he has a set of 20-inch rims that make it look even leaner and meaner. From the factory, the SL550 is a 382-horsepower machine with a seven-speed automatic transmission and a retractable hardtop. And Fitzgerald knows he looks “all that” when he’s behind the wheel.
The other Mercedes here today is a sinister black S500 sedan that Fitzgerald has had stripped of trim. Matching glossy-black 22-inch rims complete the look.
Fitzgerald is none too keen on today’s bling-bling car customizing, and the big S-Class car shows his restrained taste in personalization. Sitting low and clean, with a gleaming paint job that reflects every cloud in the sky, this is a car with a classic look and a strong presence.
His Range Rover Sport is on the opposite end of the spectrum, painted an eye-grabbing shade of metallic orange that Fitzgerald said was a limited-edition factory hue. But for this Rover, he began with a white version that he had repainted in the flaming color. The Sport is a handsome craft, looking lower and more aggressive than the regular all-terrain Range Rover. Fitzgerald has the supercharged version that boosts the V-8 horsepower to 390. Naturally, the Rover has Fitzgerald’s signature rim treatment, with the 22-inch wheels customized with matching paint.
“I like the wheels to accessorize with the color of the car,” Fitzgerald said. “It adds something to it.”
Bright red 22-inch rims on a 7-Series BMW might sound over-the-top, but the treatment on 2005 745i turned out great. Like the S500, the BMW has been stripped of its model emblems and extraneous trim and then sumptuously repainted. You won’t miss this red beauty coming.
At the time of our interview, Fitzgerald had a few other vehicles in his home town of Minneapolis, Minn. Among them was a GMC Yukon Denali, another Mercedes S500, and another Range Rover Sport.
And he always has his eye out for something new, he said, although he’ll probably have to trade in one or two of his current cars to make room. His sights were set on an Aston Martin V8 Vantage as well as a Ferrari 360 Modena, for obvious reasons.
“Every year, something new comes out, and I kind of have a budget for the fun things.”
As for classic cars, he was on the lookout for the right 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS 396 to come along. With the big-gun collector-car auctions happening every January in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Phoenix, Fitzgerald could be in the right place to make that happen. He certainly seems to be in the right place in every other respect.