Playboy magazine has long recognized their Playmates with lavish prizes, but in 1964 they began giving winners their very own car!
Donna Marie was the lucky first winner, receiving a Playmate Pink Mustang convertible painted to compete. A mint condition 1965 Mustang with 289 V8 can now fetch as much as $50,000.
Early Life and Education
Playboy would award its Playmate of the Year with a car every few years; these were typically painted Playboy Pink; Donna Marie received one such car when Playboy first gave one away in 1988.
Hugh Hefner reportedly found inspiration in this Mustang from Playboy Car Company when starting his men’s magazine. According to reports, an employee there suggested its name.
Playboy cars included a 1969 Shelby GT500 Fastback that was presented to Connie Kreski. Although originally painted pastel grey from the factory, Kreski repainted it pink before giving it away. Unfortunately it has since vanished from Shelby Classic Registry records.
Angela Dorian also received an AMC AMX, but unlike its Mustang counterpart it was painted an unnoticeable hue to prevent unwanted attention from outsiders. Unfortunately it was later destroyed in an accident.
One of the rare Playmates to become a major TV star, April 1997 Playmate Kelly Monaco has leveraged her acting chops and made headlines across television series such as ‘Days of Our Lives” and “Dancing with the Stars.” A lively blonde with ample bosoms, Kelly Monaco has graced 12 Playboy covers since 1997.
Anna Nicole Smith became tabloid fodder after marrying Texas oil billionaire J. Howard Marshall and later dying from an overdose. Prior to that she appeared on several game shows like Talk it Up, Down You Go and Match Game.
Dorothy Stratten, Miss August 1979 and 1980 Playmate of the Year, gained celebrity status before her murder at the hands of her husband. Former Miss USA Shanna Moakler has graced eight Playboy covers since being featured as Miss USA and is best known for her on-and-off relationship with Blink 182’s Travis Barker.
Achievement and Honors
Every year Playboy magazine would give away one or more cars as prizes for its Playmates of the Year. Over time some of these Playboy cars became iconic while others may have simply stood out due to being odd-looking.
Jo Collins won 1965’s Playmate of the Year honor with her Sunbeam Tiger fitted with a Ford 289ci V8, creating an ideal Playmate car.
Marilyn Lange was selected as 1975’s Playmate of the Year, receiving a Porsche 911S from Playboy as part of her award. Over time, Playboy would present numerous such vehicles to its Playmates as awards.
Playboy magazine would award its Playmate of the Year an eye-catching pink car each year, though some survived and others were sold. Some vehicles have found a special place in history.
Donna Michelle was the first recipient of a pink car: she received a 1964 Ford Mustang convertible with not only pink hues, but also an impressive set of features such as Mustang II front end and Chevy small block engine under its hood.
Liv Lindeland won an impressive prize with her 1972 DeTomaso Pantera finished in Playmate Pink. There’s simply nothing lustworthyer than this Italian-American exotic car!
In 1973, Playmate Magazine took an unconventional route with Marilyn Cole’s gift – an 1800ES Volvo shooting brake – one of the most eye-catching Playmate cars ever given away to models and believed still to exist today.
Though Playboy models today can expect a reasonable salary, Hefner’s company once paid them $15,000 over two years – that amount covered only centerfold spreads!
Playboy Playmate Cars
The ultimate prize for any model was an automobile – one year’s winner received a 1964 Ford Mustang painted Playmate Pink that soon became one of the most desirable collector cars – one such Mustang can fetch as much as $50,000 today!
Pamela Anderson was a Playboy model who also appeared on various television shows and films, using her Playboy money to purchase a home and cars. Today she works as a real estate agent, being featured on Selling Sunset with an estimated net worth of approximately US$1 Million.