Regardless of whether you believe Tupac Shakur is dead or still alive, one thing’s for sure: His fully-loaded 1996 H1 Hummer purchased a month before he was shot in Las Vegas and the last car the West Coast rapper ever bought is about to go on the block.
Amherst, N.H.-based RR Auction, which specializes in the sale of pop-cultural artifacts and ephemera, will host the online-only sale as part of its “Marvels of Modern Music” auction, accepting Internet bids from May 12-19.
Shakur picked out and drove the jet-black, four-door, hardtop Hummer himself, customizing it with off-road wheels and tires; a 6.5-liter, turbo diesel V-8 engine; burl wood and beige leather interiors; privacy glass; a 12,000-pound winch; and a rear driver’s side fender emblazoned with the legend “ELIMINATOR.”
He also put in a 12-disc Clarion sound system and an external PA system with three sirens.
The mileage sits at a bit more than 10,000.
Though the Kelly Blue Book value for a similar vehicle is about $45,000, RR has set the estimate for the Hummer at $100,000, citing the high-price uptick for cars with celebrity provenance: Last year, the auction house sold the champagne-colored 2003 Cadillac Escalade driven by James Gandolfini on “The Sopranos” for $119,000, well more than its top estimate of $50,000.
In 2013, RR had the 1963 white Lincoln Continental convertible that JFK and Jackie rode in on their way to Dallas from Ft. Worth just before the president was assassinated. It went for $318,000, more than six times the estimate.
“It’s huge, huge, huge, huge, huge,” says RR Executive Vice President Robert Livingston, when asked about the effect of high-profile ownership on the auction price of vintage autos. “The Kennedy Cadillac was otherwise just maybe a $30,000 car.”
Livingston also notes that the Shakur Hummer’s provenance is locked down. RR has the original registration and the affidavit for transfer to the rapper’s mother following his death, and it’s now got the car on consignment from a Vancouver collector who’s had it since 2010, after it passed from Shakur’s mother to the winner of a BET sweepstakes in 2003.
“It’s a top-of-the-line, tricked-out, bad, bad car,” says Livingston. And even without all the bells and whistles or the tragic celeb history, the car would be rare. Hummer produced fewer than 1,400 H1s in 1996.
All of which is tempting, to be sure. But one big question remains: If Tupac is still alive, do you really want to be the person driving around in his car when he comes back?