Loss of Pelé. Football legend car collection

Hospitalized since November, King Pelé died on December 29 at the age of 82. A football legend, the Brazilian was also a fan of cars. He made private concessions to manufacturers such as Volkswagen and Mercedes and was offered several models throughout his career.


Vincent Foultier

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King Pelé driving a Volkswagen Beetle at the Wolfsburg factory on June 3, 1961.


Suffering from colon cancer for over ten years, the inventor of “nice game”translation of good football, died Thursday, December 29, 2022. At the age of 82, Pelé is and will remain considered the best player in the history of this sport. If he has dedicated his whole life to football, the Brazilian has many other jobs off the field. Over the years, he built a garage of cars consisting of volkswagen, BMW or Mercedes, usually offered by manufacturers. A story that began even before his majority.

Each title has its own vehicle

A true figure on and off the field, Pelé is often called upon by car manufacturers to promote their products. At the age of 16, the Brazilian received his first car: a Volkswagen Beetle, named Fusca in Brazil. A reward for his first professional trophy won at his club, Santos. In 1958, he won his first World Cup with Brazil. On his return from Sweden, where the event was organized, he was offered a BMW Romi Isetta of the President of the country.

Old enough to pass his driver’s license, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pelé, is known to have had his driving instructor at the time offer him a deal: “Listen, if you take a picture with me, I’ll teach you how to drive for free. »

Four years later, he took the first copy of the Aero Willys 2600, before winning his second consecutive World Cup. Incidentally, Pelé was at the heart of a controversy in his country in 1970. After bringing the third star back to Brazil by winning the World Cup again, he and his teammates were offered a Volkswagen Beetle by the mayor of São Paulo. However, these cars were bought with public money, which led to a thirty-six year long lawsuit. If Pelé received a copy of this model, some of the other 24 players could not benefit from it.

At the end of the 1960s, King Pelé reached the 1,000 goal mark. Mercedes took the opportunity to start a relationship with the Brazilian by offering him a Mercedes 250 W114. In 1971, he received a Mercedes 280 S. A sedan that had an incredible history. Sold a few years later by the Santos player, the German manufacturer found it and returned to Pelé in 2004. Meanwhile, the German sedan is known to have no fewer than 18 owners.

A special relationship with manufacturers

Media Photo


Pelé and all his Santos teammates visiting the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg.


Throughout his life, Pelé kept one foot in the automotive world. Almost sixty years after visiting the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, the Brazilian striker became an ambassador for the German manufacturer during the 2014 World Cup, then for the Rio Olympics in 2016. A few years ago, in 2006, he took the paper. of ambassador for chair. If he liked his cars, O’rey as he was nicknamed had to sell his collection to cover his medical expenses. He parted with his two Mercedes before putting his Beetle up for auction a few weeks before his death. His very first car was valued at over $500,000.


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