Though, by definition, Flaneurs were more known for walking, some of history's most famous flaneurs were not shy about their love for the most luxurious means of transport around, the automobile. Some of the most famous flaneurs of the past exhibited exceptional taste in their choice of automobile. More modern flaneurs are not averse to customizing their vehicles to express a little bit of their personality.
01 Prince Edward VIII
Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor was the elder brother of King George VI. He was crowned King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire, and Emperor of India, from 20 January 1936 until his abdication on 11th of December the same year. Prince Edward was best known for abdicating the throne to marry American divorcee, Wallis Simpson. The marriage conflicted with Edward's status as the titular head of the Church of England, which at the time opposed the remarriage of divorced people if their former spouses were still alive. He was succeeded by his younger brother Albert, who chose the regal name George VI, while he was given the title Duke of Windsor. Prince Edward was assigned to the Bahamas as the islands' governor and spent the remainder of his life in retirement in France. Though never known to drive himself, the Duke of Windsor was frequently chauffeured in a 1936 Buick Limited Series 943 Eight Limousine, with coachwork by McLaughlin.
02 F. Scott Fitzgerald
Widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century, Fitzgerald is an American author of novels and short stories whose works are the paradigmatic writings of the Jazz Age. Among his most famous novels are This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night. Fitzgerald was brought up in an upper middle class family, was a fixture of New York society and made several excursions to Europe, mostly Paris and the French Riviera. Besides novels, Fitzgerald also wrote short stories for such magazines as The Saturday Evening Post, Collier's Weekly, and Esquire. Fitzgerald had long admired the vehicles from the Stutz brand and though he owned a number of coupes and convertibles, finally purchased his own Stutz eight cylinder coupe in 1931.
03 Ernest Hemingway
The 1954 Nobel Prize winner for Literature was an American author and journalist. He published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works, among them A Farewell to Arms, The Sun Also Rises and The Old Man and the Sea. One of the modernist writers and artists of the 1920s "Lost Generation" expatriate community, which includes Fitzgerald, Hemingway lived in many cities for long periods of time, among them Paris, London, Key West, Florida, and Cuba. Easily Hemingway's favourite automobile is his 1955 Chrysler New Yorker convertible which he used in Cuba. The car has recently been lovingly restored by its current owner.
04 Dan Bilzerian
Among the more modern flaneurs is American professional poker player, actor, and internet sensation Dan Bilzerian. Though Dan was born in Florida, he is of Armenian descent, with many of his ancestors killed in the Armenian Genocide. His father, Paul, was a successful corporate raider on Wall Street and set up large trusts funds for each of his sons.
Dan entered the Navy SEAL training program but did not graduate after several attempts. He later attempted to be a professional poker player, Hollywood stuntman, and film actor. Perhaps his most successful endeavour is as an internet sensation, gaining popularity from his Instagram account which frequently features scantily clad women and lavish displays of wealth. Dan displays two of his favourite cars in his Instagram account, a 1965 Chrome Shelby Cobra and a limited edition Mercedes-Benz G63 6x6.
05 Paris Hilton
The American socialite, television personality, model, actress, singer, DJ and author is easily the most famous on the list, being the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels. Though already an accomplished model, Hilton found herself in the spotlight after a 2003 sex tape was released on the internet. Despite being cut off from the Hilton inheritance, Paris turned her fame into fortune with perfumes and a fashion line reportedly earning $1.5 billion. Bentley Motors will gladly customize any vehicle to suit their clients' taste. Not surprisingly, Paris ordered a Bentley Continental GT sports car in pink.
06 Joel Thomas "Deadmau5" Zimmerman
Better known by his stage name deadmau5 (pronounced "dead mouse"), Zimmerman is a Canadian progressive-house music DJ and performer. Zimmerman produces a variety of styles within the house genre and sometimes other forms of electronic music. Deadmau5 is one of the highest paid electronic artists in the world. True to his stage name, Zimmerman frequently performs wearing a mousehead. Zimmerman is also an automobile enthusiast, being a proud owner of a Ferrari 458 Italia. He covered it with a vinyl coat as a tribute to the internet meme Nyan Cat, and also installed custom badges that indicated it as a "Purrari". He used the vehicle for a number of publicity stunts before Ferrari USA sent him a cease and desist letter. He stripped the vehicle of its custom trim and has recently purchased a Lamborghini Huracan, customizing it with a similar theme and called it a "Nyanborghini Purracan."
This story first appeared in Vault Issue No.21 2015