Celebrity Car: Ronnie Coleman - East Valley Tribune: Business

Celebrity Car: Ronnie Coleman

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Posted: Friday, May 18, 2007 12:00 am | Updated: 5:50 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

If you ever find yourself in Arlington, Tex., and a policeman pulls you over, be sure to say, “Yes, sir,” especially if it’s Ronnie Coleman. You won’t mistake him since he’s the biggest, beefiest policeman you’ll ever see. Anywhere. Guaranteed.

If you ever find yourself in Arlington, Tex., and a policeman pulls you over, be sure to say, “Yes, sir,” especially if it’s Ronnie Coleman.

You won’t mistake him since he’s the biggest, beefiest policeman you’ll ever see. Anywhere. Guaranteed.

Coleman is quite possibly the most muscular man on earth, actually, which would explain why he has been named Mr. Olympia, the highest award given in international bodybuilding competition, eight times. Nearly six feet tall and weighing in at about 300 pounds (during bodybuilding competitions, 330 when not training), Coleman strikes quite an imposing figure in his custom-made police uniform.

“No, nobody gives me a hard time,” Coleman says in a classic understatement. “I’ve never really run into that.”

A big man needs a big set of wheels, and Coleman, now in his early 40s, has gained the wherewithal through his bodybuilding career to own some of the biggest and best machines on the road.

At the time of Celebrity Car’s visit there were a pair of Cadillac Escalades. That’s right, two of them: a fully customized sport-utility vehicle that served as his regular driver; and an EXT four-door luxury pickup. Coleman won the truck as part of a Mr. Olympia prize. Because it was new, the EXT was still in stock condition. Not so the other Escalade. That one had the full treatment, customized to catch the eyes and ears of everyone on the street.

On the outside, the gleaming white Caddy sat on 24-inch wheels. And on the inside, well, everything was customized and upgraded.

“I have five TVs in there,” Coleman said. “Two in the back row, two in the middle row and one in the dashboard. You can watch different things on them.”

Of course, the audio system was massive, with various speakers and subwoofers, and a variety of amplifiers that powered them. The total cost of the audio/visual system was about $15,000, Coleman estimated.

This was actually the second system in this particular vehicle.

“One time, I drove my daughter to the mall and someone stole all the stereo equipment out of it in about five minutes flat. When I came out, all five TVs were gone, all the speakers were gone, the amps were all gone. They just took everything, even my CDs.”

So, even one of the world’s brawniest men — and a policeman in this case — can be ripped off. The theft is now just a bad memory.

“I drive that one all the time,” he said of the Escalade SUV during our visit.

“It’s real roomy and it drives real smooth. It’s my favorite car.”

That’s saying something, because another of Coleman’s drivers was a dream machine in any car nut’s book: a Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG, which he simply described as “super fast.” This big luxury sedan boasted a supercharged 500-horsepower V8 and included enough high technology in its engine, transmission, brakes, and suspension to support a flight to the moon.

Following in the footsteps of another famous Mr. Olympia, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Coleman had an Hummer H1 during our visit, the enormous off-roader that Schwarzenegger helped popularize when it was first transformed from the Army HumVee in the early 1990s.

Appropriately, Coleman won his H1 at a past Schwarzenegger Classic, an annual bodybuilding contest held in Columbus, Ohio. Other than its screaming yellow paint, the Hummer looked factory fresh. But Coleman added his special touches to the interior such as woodgrain and chrome accents. Due to the H1’s off-road wheels and tires with built-in pressure adjustment to pump them up or let the air out when needed, Coleman was unable to put on an aftermarket set. It’s a vehicle that certainly seems to fit the frame of this beefed-up lawman.

Coleman said that in 1989, before his bodybuilding career took off, he joined the Arlington police because “I needed a job and they were hiring. I don’t do it fulltime anymore. I’m way too busy for that.” And with his consistent bodybuilding winnings, he doesn’t really need the job, either.

“I just do it because I enjoy it.” Bodybuilding contests have taken Coleman to all corners of the globe where he continues to wow the judges and fellow competitors with his massive physique.

The Hummer H1 works for his size, unlike some other vehicles he has owned.

“I used to have a (Dodge) Viper, but I had trouble getting in and out of it, so I had to get rid of it.” But when the talk turns to muscle cars, you have to believe that Coleman has all the muscle that anyone could ever need.

Which leads to the obvious question. How much can you bench press, Ronnie? “About 600 pounds,” he said. “Kind of heavy.”

Celebrity Car is produced by Wheelbase Communications in conjunction with quarterly publication Celebrity Car Magazine (celebritycarmagazine.com) and the duPont Registry (dupontregistry.com).

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