We’re following rock ‘n’ roll legend Sammy Hagar as he becomes one of 499 people in the world to own a LaFerrari. Here’s the next leg of the journey — Ed.
Sammy Hagar looks cool, calm and collected as he chills with a beer on the patio of his Mill Valley, Calif., restaurant, El Paseo. But don’t be fooled. Inside, he’s as jumpy as he was in his days as Van Halen’s effervescent frontman.
“Last October, I went to Italy to visit Ferrari with my wife, Kari, and the folks there said, ‘Don’t worry about a thing, you’ll have your car soon,” Hagar says of the $1.4 million Ferrari LaFerrari that he custom-ordered in white with black and beige accents while touring the Maranello factory for the first time in his Ferrari-loving life.
“They said, ‘Sammy, a few months, maybe Christmas,’” he sighs. “Man, now I’m thinking they meant Christmas 2015.”
Rock stars are used to getting their wishes. But this one knows full well that despite his ownership of a half-dozen new and vintage Prancing Horses, he’ll have to be patient.
For one, as collectors go Hagar is a big-named small fry, considering Ferrari has deep lists of so-dubbed “friends” who get priority when new and special models come out. That would include folks like collector, investor and former movie director James Glickenhaus, who routinely orders one-off custom-built models with don’t-ask seven-figure price tags, and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, who owns dozens of marauding red classics.
And for another, Ferrari is building only 499 La Ferraris, which boast an interplanetary scissor-door design along with a V-12-gas-plus-electric-motor 950-hp powerplant that yields sub-three-second zero to 60 sprints. According to Ferrari of San Francisco, Hagar’s Bay Area dealership, only two LaFerraris have made their way to customers here. And while they can’t say for certain if Hagar will be the third, they’re busy pressing his case.
“Sammy is on our mind,” says Emmanuel Turin, Ferrari of San Francisco’s marketing director. “We can honestly say we don’t know when his car will be ready. But we are trying to work on something special for him.”
[Sammy Hagar rehearsing at his studios/garage in Northern California with The Circle. From left: Michael Anthony on bass, Jason Bonham on drums, Vic Johnson on guitar, and Sammy on vocals. Photo: Marco della Cava]
So Hagar will have to cool his jets. Actually, by way of distracting himself from his LaFerrari wait he’s revving up his personal one, using the plane to wing him between appointments for a half-dozen projects. The list is dizzying and not what you’d expect a 67-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer to be bothering with at this stage in his storied career.
“Retire?” Hagar says, almost choking on his amber-hued brew when asked if he ever thinks about doing, well, nothing. “The way I see it, retirement is about doing the things you finally really want to do.”
In Hagar’s case, this would include: hitting the road for a summer tour with The Circle, his all-star gig with Van Halen bass buddy Michael Anthony, drummer Jason Bonham and guitarist Vic Johnson; taping episodes of “Road Trip with Sammy Hagar” for Mark Cuban’s AXS TV, where the Red Rocker talks music and life with the likes of Bob Weir and Tommy Lee; and pitching a family reality TV show called “Are We Having Any Fun Yet? Hanging With the Hagars,” along with a cookbook by the same name.
“The reality show would be like the Kardashians, only we’re a functional family,” Hagar says with a cackle. “I say to the kids, ‘Yes, we’re rich, but you’re going to see how we earned it.’ So on the first episode we’re all going to be workers in the rum factory in Hawaii that I have. My eldest daughter wasn’t too thrilled about that one.”
That’s not to say he won’t be keeping tabs on his Ferrari. Hagar may be well known for his catchy classic, “I Can’t Drive 55,” but the truth is, he can’t. While he doesn’t risk tickets these days - and admits his hit song has helped with a few cop fans - he isn’t shy about putting the pedal to the metal whenever possible.
Just the other week he was shooting a video that required him to floor his mid-2000s Ford GT in order to try and get it airborne over a rise. Mission accomplished, along with a dusted clutch.
“Oh well,” Hagar says, smiling.
He confesses a few other cars have caught his acquisitive eye in recent months, including Audi’s R8 coupe. But ultimately, he has snapped back to his fortunate reality.
“I see a lot of cool stuff out there, sure, but then I think, wait, I’m so hot for a car that could well be the best there is,” he says. “It’s like thinking about eating a hot dog when you’ve got this tasty Italian sausage waiting for you.”
Not long after our chat, Hagar gets a call from Ferrari of San Francisco. When we reconnect, his mood is bright.
Word is that the dealership, one of the top-selling Ferrari outlets in both North America and the world, has had a few discussions with top brass about perhaps having Hagar collect his LaFerrari at the factory, which might include some time getting familiar with its F1-rated capabilities on the home track, Fiorano.
“What do I have to say about that?” Hagar says rhetorically. “Just one thing. Fire up the jet.”