Tupac Shakur is considered to be one of the most influential figures in the history of hip-hop. He rose to fame in the 90s thanks to his incredible prose and affinity for artistry. A loud voice willing to tackle any subject, Tupac earned as much acclaim as he did infamy before his tragic passing in 1996. As the embodiment of the 90’s gangster rap aesthetic, Tupac found himself amidst some of the most iconic moments in hip-hop history. Though not as highly publicized, Tupac was also an avid car collector.
Tupac and the 1996 BMW 7-Series
On September 7th, 1996, after leaving Madison Square Garden, Tupac Shakur was tragically shot and killed while driving in his 1996 BMW 750iL. This moment of tragedy would change the pop-culture world forever. At the time, Tupac was one of the biggest stars in the music industry. Known for his cutting edge lyrics and his unique approach to entertainment, Tupac had all of the makings of a true crossover star.
The BMW 750iL driven by Tupac was produced for almost seven years from 1994 to 2001. BMW has always been known for its quality car production and the development of the 7 Series was met with critical and commercial acclaim. Having said that, Tupac’s BMW wasn’t what you would have expected out of one of the biggest stars in the world. In fact, Tupac didn’t even explicitly own the vehicle. Instead, the car had been leased by Death Row Records and driven by Suge Knight. Still, since the day of Tupac’s tragic passing, the car would forever be associated with him.
Production on the 750iL began in 1993 with pilot models hitting American roads by 1994. While the 750iL was impressive for the time, we would find it relatively barebones by modern standards. The car featured double-glazed windows, also known as dual plane glass, as well as laminated security glass. Shoppers could also opt to upgrade their car to bullet-resistant glass if they chose to purchase the Protection model of this class of vehicle. We can only wonder what would have happened had Death Row Records purchased the upgraded defensive model of the car instead.
Inside of Tupac’s infamous BMW, you’ll find leather upholstery as well as polished wooden console materials. The car features a four-spoke wheel, an audio system, and satellite navigation thanks to the CARIN system developed by Philips and BMW. Impressive for the time, Tupac’s BMW 750iL featured multi-function control through the steering wheel. Under the hood of the car, the 750iL featured 322hp with 361 lb-feet of torque. With the pedal to the metal, the BMW 7 Series could max out at 155 MPH.
While we most closely associate the 750iL with Tupac, the car has been incredibly popular in a number of other areas of mainstream entertainment. The 750iL has appeared in a number of blockbuster films including The Sum of All Fears, Transformers, and Live Free or Die Hard.
The 750iL that Tupac passed away inside of is currently on sale for $1.75 million.
Tupac’s Private Car Collection Will Stun You
While Tupac is known for his lyrical poetry and his outspoken political stances, many of his fans don’t realize how big of a car collector he was. Tupac had an affinity for nice vehicles, and he made sure to collect a few of them during his career. Let’s take a brief stroll past a few of Tupac’s favorite cars.
The first car that we’ll introduce you to is the Mercedes 500SL. The ‘Picture Me Rollin’ rapper loved his 500SL so much that he featured the car during a verse on his 1996 record, All Eyez on Me. The song opens with the lines, ‘Picture me rollin in my 500 Benz’ as Tupac raps about everything he is going to do when he gets out of jail. Pacs Mercedes-Benz 500SL is worth around $90,000 at the time of this writing.
Tupac may have enjoyed modern luxury, but he understood how important the past was, too. Tupac had a bright yellow 1961 Chevrolet Impala that he loved to drive. The car was even featured in the music video for, ‘To Live and Die in L.A.’ in 1996. In the video, Pac cruises throughout Los Angeles in the yellow car. The Impala was more than just a favorite car of Tupac as the rap group NWA famously shouted out the vehicle, “Cruisin’ down the street in my six-four’.
The final car that we want to show you is probably Tupac’s most visually impressive vehicle, the 1996 Hummer H₁. Tupac purchased this gigantic SUV just a few months before his untimely and tragic passing. The Hummer H₁ featured a V8 engine supported by an automatic transmission. The truck had off-road lights, a massive spotlight, and an external PA system equipped with a trio of sirens. Tupac’s personal Hummer H₁ was recently sold at auction for a cool $337,114. Again, Tupac wasn’t the only person in love with Hummers. You can also see the 1996 Hummer H₁ in the video for ‘California Love’ alongside Dr. Dre.