24h Le Mans
Coldplay’s Guy Berryman and other musicians who have rocked up at Le Mans
The Tour Auto vintage event taking place this week features several high-profile participants, including Coldplay bassist Guy Berryman, at the wheel of a Dino 246 from his personal collection. On Tuesday, the Tour stopped off in Le Mans for a few laps of the Bugatti circuit, making Berryman the latest member of the very select circle of rock stars to have paid a visit to the 24 Hours circuit, alongside members of Pink Floyd and AC/DC.
Coldplay is one of the biggest bands in the world today, but before bassist Guy Berryman turned his teenage love of music into a full-time career, he originally planned to become an engineer, inspired by his father who worked on the Channel Tunnel project. Berryman’s interest in all things mechanical now serves him for his impressive collection of classic cars. He is a big fan of 1960s Ferraris and owns a 275 GTB (found in an American barn!) and one of his favourites, a 365 GTC.
Berryman is not the first rock star to use his fame and fortune to fuel his passion for fast cars. Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason used the royalties earned from 1973’s Dark Side Of The Moon (the album that spent 917 weeks in the top 200 in the USA!) to start his car collection and acquired the most iconic Ferrari of all time, the 250 GTO. He went on to race at Le Mans five times between 1979 and 1984. He also took part in the first ever Le Mans Classic in his GTO in September 2002. In 2016, he returned to Le Mans to cheer on son-in-law Marino Franchitti, one of Ford’s works drivers in the LMGTE Pro class.
In 2014, AC/DC singer Brian Johnson came over from Vancouver (where he’d just completed work on mixes for "Rock Or Bust", the group’s latest album) to take part in Le Mans Classic in a Porsche 911 with a teammate of note: Jochen Mass, 1989 Le Mans winner. Johnson is an avid collector and takes part in vintage car races all over the globe. He was forced to leave AC/DC in early 2016 due to serious hearing problems. He appears to be on the road to recovery, however, as he’s returned to the race tracks in the United States in recent months.
Photo (Hervé Petibon - Le Maine Libre): Beside his Dino 246, Guy Berryman brandishes a copy of the official 24 Hours magazine as he revels in the spirit of Le Mans at the Bugatti circuit.