Check Out Coldplay Bassist Guy Berryman’s Cool Car Collection

To the extent that you know Guy Berryman at all, you know him by the steady bass that runs through every Coldplay song you’ve ever loved—or ever had stuck in your head:

“Look at the stars, look how they shine for you… I came along I wrote a song for you and all the things you do. And it was called yellow…

“Para, para, paradise…

“I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing, Roman cavalry choirs are singing…”

But before he became the bassist for one of the most successful bands ever, Berryman was a mechanical engineering student at University College London, and before that he was a small child climbing around in his dad’s Triumph TR3A. So it was only natural that once he had the means to collect them he would acquire, and restore, some beautiful classic cars. He seems to be quite happy to share the collection with visiting manufacturers and even with the occasional journalist, with recent documented visits by Porsche and Lamborghini as well as YouTuber Mr JWW, explaining each car to each visitor.

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“My interest in cars fundamentally lies with the engineering and concepts behind them,” he told Julian Hoffman, managing editor at the Porsche Newsroom, who recently got to visit Berryman’s collection in the Cotswalds. “All of the cars in my collection have something significant beneath the surface. I’m a great believer in the idea of form following function, and it’s something that works for me across a range of different fields. Whether it’s industrial design, clothing or cars, if you follow that mantra you always end up with real purity.”

He likes “elegant 1960s European cars,” he told the European pub Classic Driver, headquartered in Zurich. To wit, his collection includes or has included: a Maserati Citroën SM, Lancia Flaminia Sport with Zagato body, Bugatti Veyron (along with an Aventador one of only two modern cars in the collection), a Miura, F40, McLaren F1, 914-6, Zagato-bodied Porsche 356 recreated by Zagato, Renault Alpine A220 works car with a V8 Gordini engine that raced at Le Mans 1968 and ’69, a Corvette-engined Bizzarinni GT Strada that had been an Iso Grifo, 1967 911 S, Abarth Zagato that was originally owned by Elio Zagato himself, Ferrari Dino, Jaguar E-Type, Ferrari 275 and a Vignale… 25 or so cars in all.

And each has a story.

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“The Miura is the car that I remember from when I was a teenager as being just the ultimate expression of a sports car,” Berryman says on a Lamborghini video in which he drives his Aventador. “I think Lamborghinis are very dramatic. They’re designed to be visually arresting as well as creating this incredible opera of noise, just filling the cabin up with sound. Lamborghini is all about emotion. It’s about how the theater, how the cars look, it’s about how the cars sound, it’s about the performance, everything is designed to be big and to be spectacular. They’ve never been afraid to be brave.”

The 911 is another favorite.

“I remember seeing Steve McQueen driving around in his slate gray 911 in the opening scenes of his Le Mans movie,” he tells a Porsche camera crew. “As a teenager seeing that movie and loving cars and loving racing it had such an impression on me. I was restoring a car but then it got left behind because I went to university and I met my bandmates and then we went off forming Coldplay and we’ve had this amazing adventure. And I guess it was a few years ago that I had decided that I was really missing that kind of hands-on contact with engineering and with making something which didn’t work work again.”

And because this was the Porsche video, that lead into a video of his 911.

“For me I had to have a 911 because it’s such an iconic car. It’s just a reliable old friend.”

His collection and lifestyle follows just a bit in the tradition of Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason.

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“We’re neighbors,” he told FCA Heritage, which had come to the Cotswalds to see his Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Villa d’Este. “He’s also been collecting amazing classic cars.”

Of the 6C he says, “It’s a lovely sports car, with coachwork by Touring of Milan. One of the most incredible ever built.”

The car came from the U.S., where it had sat parked in a backyard for 50 years.

“From the look of it, you’d have said it might as well be demolished. But I like buying cars that have an interesting history and are in a very bad state, so I handed it over to a group of talented Italian mechanics for restoration. I sometimes do some work on my cars myself: I clean them, I take a few pieces apart …. it really helps me to relax. But when it comes to bodywork and mechanical parts, I call in the professionals.”

As if rock star and car collector wasn’t enough, Berryman also publishes a real, live print magazine called The Road Rat. It’s edited and art-directed in a space that sits above the cars in his garage.

In 2018 he did the Mille Miglia in an Alfa Romeo 1900 Sport Spider with Derek Hill.

“I met Derek last year at the Concours d’Elegance at Villa d’Este. We hit it off at once and it occurred to me he might be the right person for me to spend 15 hours with on board an uncomfortable, noisy historic racing car!”

Anyone who’s met Derek would agree.

Berryman sees the fleeting passage of time in his historic collection, too. He knows, perhaps like fame, this era when all these wonderful old sports cars can still be fixed up and driven on public roads might fade away.

“Our roads are starting to fill up with electric cars; perhaps the transition will be quick or it may take longer. In any case, in my view it is important to conserve the memory of automotive engineering, and of the engines, designers and builders of classic cars.”

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