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Celebrity cars: Cool rides of Tyra, Paris, Britney, Shaq and others

Celebrities get to drive the coolest cars ever. Their wheels aren't just nice. They're fantastic. With help from my reporter friend Dave Menard, let's take a look at what these pretty people are into these days when they take to the road.

Tyra Banks, the supermodel, gets around in a Lexus SC. Base price: $65,355. The creator of the show "America's Next Top Model" had FunkMaster Flex of Ford Flex fame customize her Lexus SC convertible on his show, "Ride with FunkMaster Flex."

Paris Hilton has been driving a Bentley Continental GT. Base price: $171,285. Bentley's Continental GT is iconic for Paris in that both are famous for being famous. Hilton is perhaps the most visible celebrity who has been spotted behind the wheel of one of Bentley's new-generation beauties, and a variety of other famous drivers have made the Continental GT an icon among the rich and famous.

Anna Kournikova fancies the Cadillac Escalade EXT. Base price: $54,185. The former tennis player has been seen driving the pickup version of the Cadillac Escalade.

Britney Spears has great taste for the finest. She slums in a Maserati but her ride of choice is the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Base price: $452,750. The flagship Mercedes-Benz is one of the world's 10 most expensive cars, which for pop-star Spears is not an obstacle, but fodder for bragging rights. The SLR McLaren is a street-legal racecar that has an automatic transmission.

Julia Roberts goes real world with the Toyota Prius. Base price: $22,305. Roberts is part of a vocal group of celebs who have been seen driving gas/electric hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius sedan. You can get a highly fuel-efficient car for $10,000 less than a Prius, meaning the benefits of the Toyota are less about saving money on gas and more about saving the environment with lower emissions. For Roberts and other advocates, hybrids are a visible commitment to saving the planet, or at least their corner of it.

Madonna, the ultimate Material Girl, rides in style in a Maybach 57. Base price: $335,250. As one of the music world's most successful singers, Madonna chooses to be seen in what may be the ultimate symbol of success. The Maybach is more than just a limousine. Sure, it has every creature comfort you could imagine, but it also has a 543-horsepower V12 with twin turbochargers.

Charlize Theron toodles about in the Land Rover Range Rover. Base Price: $74,950. Theron is from South Africa, and the Range Rover is an appropriate choice for her. Having dominated several African rallies, the Range Rover is known for its ability to conquer the wide variety of off-road terrain on that continent, from deserts to tricky mountain passes.

Lindsay Lohan's cool ride when she's not in jail, rehab or a courtroom is a Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG. Base price: $185,775. Lohan has been seen driving a Mercedes sports car that some consider more exciting than the company's $450,000 SLR McLaren flagship: the SL65 AMG convertible, which uses a 604-horsepower V-12 with twin turbochargers.

Shaquille O’ Neal: Shaq's glidin' on the road to visit Comcast customers in a Rolls-Royce Phantom. Base price: $328,750. Shaq is one of the greatest basketball players (and at 7-foot-1, 325 pounds, one of the largest) of all time, and the car he has been seen in is fit for such royalty. The Rolls-Royce Phantom, with carpeting you can bury your feet in and leather so thick you can pull it up from the seats by the handful, is one of the most stately, plush cars ever made.

Tom Cruise prefers to cruise old school: The Porsche 911. Base price: $71,300. Cruise has been seen in what is perhaps the world's most iconic car: the Porsche 911, which has been around for over 40 years.

You can reach's Hawke Fracassa at [email protected].
Image source: Bentley Motor