Patrick Peterson has a track record few NFL players can keep up with. He was USA Today Defensive Player of the Year out of Ely High School in Pompano Beach, Fla. He won the Chuck Bednarik Award and Jim Thorpe Award at LSU. He was a top-5 NFL draft pick, and has started his career with six consecutive Pro Bowl seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. But if you think his football résumé looks good, you should see his car collection. We talked shop with Peterson, 26, who has a fleet of classic cars in the Phoenix area.
Did you always dream of having a car collection?
I won’t say a “dream,” but more of a “vision” to have the garage I have today. Growing up in South Florida, seeing donks [hi-risers with giant wheels], seeing dragsters, seeing all type of different cars, I had that vision. It’s really a blessing to be able to have the collection I have.
What was the first car you bought after getting drafted?
My 2010 Camaro.
Why so many Camaros?
I don’t know what it is about a Camaro. Maybe because the older ones have a muscle car and a European-type flavor to it. The thing about Camaros, they’ll continue to make those cars. You’ll never see a Nova again, like you’ll never see a Chevelle again. The Camaro will continue putting out those different generations. To be able to collect the different generations, that’s probably what I love most about Camaros.
What’s your most recent purchase?
My Rolls Royce. It’s a convertible. It’s white on white, with a red insert with some cherry wood on the door panels. My [18-month-old] daughter [Paityn] loves driving around in the car, especially when we drop the top and put her shades on. She swears she’s a big girl. The car speaks for itself. It’s probably the smoothest riding car that I have.
In what condition do you usually buy your cars?
I always want my cars in mint condition. But I end up putting my own touch on my cars. I always have to put that P2 flavor. Obviously, I don’t want to buy a rust bucket or something that’s not able to drive right now. When I do get cars, I want to be able to enjoy them before I put the new components on it.
How fast did you build your car collection?
I’m very particular in what I buy. I have yet to buy a car that has let me down. I’ve gradually grown my collection. I normally buy one car, maybe two in a year. Not too many at once, because I love to travel. I have to make sure that I space my finances out. There are things I want to do besides buy cars.
Are all your cars in the Phoenix area?
Yes, sir. All my cars are in the same city. When I do end up traveling, I ship them to Florida, I ship them to Vegas, or wherever a car show may be. A lot of my cars are in shows. So if need be, I definitely ship them where they need to be.
What’s your favorite song to listen to when you’re driving?
“You’re My Latest, Greatest Inspiration.” Teddy Pendergrass is one of my favorites. I’m old school. I love old R&B, old-school funk.
What’s your favorite muscle car?
If you have any Chevelle between ’68 to ’72, you’re the man. You have power. You have what it takes. You have a real deal muscle car. That’s definitely the definition of a muscle car, the Chevelle.
Do you have any limited-edition cars?
My 2001 Camaro [Intimidator SS]. Dale Earnhardt Sr. It was his car. They made 83 of them. And he signed every car up to car 33, before he died in his tragic accident at the Daytona 500. My car is 55. And my car is the only one that has Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s signature on my gauge cluster.
Dale Jr.’s autograph is on your Dale Sr. Camaro?
Yeah. I became very good friends with Dale Jr. I actually tried to buy one of Dale Jr.’s cars, to put his car in my collection, as well. But he wanted a little bit too much money. But once I told him I wanted him to sign my gauge cluster, we sent it over to him and he sent it right back within a week. That’s definitely the car that is different. I would never, ever, in a million years sell that car. That car is going to get passed down to my daughter, to her kids. I want that car to stay in the family forever.
P2’s Car Collection
1968 Chevrolet Camaro
1969 Chevrolet Camaro
1970 Chevrolet Nova SS
1971 Chevrolet Cheyenne C10
1972 Chevrolet Cheyenne C10
1972 Chevrolet Chevelle
1973 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS
1973 Chevrolet Caprise
2001 Chevrolet Camaro Intimidator SS
2010 Chevrolet Camaro
2013 Chevrolet COPO Camaro
2013 Ferrari 458 Spider
2014 Chevrolet Corvette
2015 Cadillac Escalade
2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn