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  • Celebrity Drive: Kerry Rhodes, Arizona Cardinals safety

Celebrity Drive: Kerry Rhodes, Arizona Cardinals safety

Range Rover Guy Goes British Again with New Aston Martin Rapide

K.S. Wang
Sep 10, 2010
Quick Stats: Kerry Rhodes, Arizona Cardinals safety
Daily Driver: 2010 Range Rover HSE (Kerry's rating: 10 on a scale of 1 to 10)
Other car: 2010 Aston Martin Rapide (rating: 11)
Favorite road trip: Louisville to Birmingham
Car he learned to drive in: 1998 Lexus ES 300
First car bought: 2005 Range Rover HSE
Photo 2/8   |   Arizona Cardinals Kerry Rhodes Safety
Since getting drafted by the NFL, Arizona Cardinals safety Kerry Rhodes has had Range Rover as his stalwart daily driver. But lately the trusty Range Rover has some tough competition from his resplendent 2010 Aston Martin Rapide.
Rhodes proudly says, "I think it's the first one in the States." He chuckles as he talks about how he bought this exclusive car with its hefty $200,000 price tag. If ordered now, a Rapide wouldn't be shipped to the buyer until February.
"You can't buy it at the Aston Martin store; you had to order it," Rhodes says. "A good friend of mine who went to college with me works at Aston Martin and she gave me the heads-up on it a while back, and I jumped on it. I ordered it back in January and it came the first week of June."
Photo 3/8   |   2010 Range Rover HSE Front Three Quarters
Rhodes ebulliently gives his glorious 6.0L, V-12-powered ride an off-the-charts 11 on a scale of 1 to 10. "It's not even about words. When you see it, you'll be like, 'Ok, I get why.' The Range Rover, it has competition now," he laughs. "I can't neglect my baby though -- the Range -- but right now I've definitely been driving the Aston a little bit more than the Range. But that's just because it's a new toy, but I'll go back to my baby soon."
Rhodes says the handling on the Rapide is second to none. "With Aston Martin, it combines an elegance to it. The body's great, but the handling and the way you can put it in sport mode, it's like a race car. It's versatile as well. I put it in sport mode and it kicks a little bit faster than you would think."
This summer was the first time Rhodes trained in L.A., so he had the Rapide shipped to him in this car capital, where even jaded California car buffs turned their heads at the sight of it. "People would stop me in the middle of the road, or I've had people at the light tell me to roll down the window just to say, 'I've never seen a four-door Aston Martin!' "
Photo 4/8   |   2010 Aston Martin Rapide Side
While sports fans sometimes recognize the driver, Rhodes particularly enjoys when passerby stop him because of the Rapide. "It's actually more fun -- the people that don't know me and they see me in the car because they wonder, 'Okay, what does he do?'" he laughs. "It's kind of an appeal that way.
There is only one complaint about this new high-priced toy. "The only thing I don't like about the Aston Martin is I had to wait so long to get it," he laughs.
Photo 5/8   |   2010 Aston Martin Rapide Front End
Rhodes says he's a careful driver but admits that the Rapide makes any driver want to open up the throttle. "I try to open it up a little bit. As far as driving, I'm usually a drive-around-the-speed-limit type of guy, but I've gone a little faster in the Aston than I would in the Range," he laughs. "I've got a place in Hollywood, there's so much traffic out there you really can't open it up like you want to, but it's good to drive around the town and see people look at it though. It's funny."
To valet or not to valet?
Rhodes has contemplated the dilemma that many with high-priced rides in L.A. face, since self-parking is a rarity at restaurants: To valet or not to valet?
"You know what? That's a funny question because I've been thinking about that," he says. "When I first got it, I was like, 'Okay, yeah, I'll valet it like usual.' And then somebody brought it up to me and then I was like, 'Damn, you know what? You're right!' Valet people can do anything they want to it. So I'm a little bit cautious with valet now. If it's close, where I can park, I'll park it myself. But if it's somewhere where I don't have a choice, then I'll valet it, but I'll let them know 'Take care!"'
Rhodes has been known to ask valets to let him park the Rapide himself, and they've agreed. "I think they're actually kind of scared to do it themselves sometimes. It's automatic, but it's confusing if you don't know what you're doing. It doesn't have a key. It's keyless entry. The key is a little block."
Rhodes is referring to the sapphire crystal, polished stainless steel, and piano-black-lacquered trim "emotion control unit" that some consider a work of art in itself. "People don't know how to start the car most of the time and it's all push button to get it going, so it's confusing. So some people don't want to bother with that."
Rhodes laughs when he admits the Rapide is quickly usurping the Range Rover for the title of "dream car" in his heart. "It's making my Range mad. My Range Rover looked up at me yesterday and she was feeling a little down. She got pissed at me yesterday. So I had to drive her and wash her and give her something to drink yesterday."
Daily Driver
But the 2010 Range Rover HSE still holds the title of daily driver, and he rates it a perfect 10. "I love it. That's my baby. I like the new Range Rover body style. It's pretty sexy for the car. As far as trucks go, I don't think there's any truck that's more elegant than the Range."
Photo 6/8   |   2010 Range Rover HSE Front Three Quarters
When Rhodes got drafted to the New York Jets, the Range Rover was his dream car. "It hasn't given my any problems; let's knock on wood," Rhodes says. "I have a Range Rover deal, so every year the new Range Rover comes out, they give me the new one. I'm spoiled by them. That's the only car I've had in the league."
Car he learned to drive in
Rhodes, who was born and raised Bessemer, Alabama, learned how to drive in a 1998 Lexus ES 300, with his dad teaching him at a big circular lot across the street from their house.
"It was my parents' car, but I took it over. I was spoiled," he says. "We just drove it in circles, and I backed up, just put it in reverse, simple stuff -- put it in gear and drive around. It was a safe little circle right across the street from my house."
But Rhodes did get an initiation on driving with care on the first day he piloted the Lexus on the streets outside of the safe little lot across from his home. "I've got a funny story about going on the road with it. I was driving it and went to a baseball game down the street. The first day I'm in it, I back out and bump another car," he says. "And the guy was in there. I didn't really do any damage to it, but it scared me straight right away. It was a wake-up call to pay attention to what I'm doing."
The Lexus was his daily driver to high school. "I had the car at 16 and I was a star quarterback, so I was okay," he says, with a chuckle. He took the Lexus to the University of Louisville.
Photo 7/8   |   Arizona Cardinals Kerry Rhodes Safety
First car bought
Although some athletes are confident they'll go pro, Rhodes was sensible and waited to buy a car until he got drafted by the New York Jets in the 2005 NFL draft. He bought the 2005 Range Rover HSE just before heading to Jets practice that summer.
"I had to make the team first and know that I was going to make the team and sign the contract," he chuckles. "That's the car I wanted and I had the ability to get it. That's usually not the first car you get in the NFL. For a rookie, they don't do that. People were like, 'Wow, he got a Range Rover on the first deal, so he must think he's going to get that big deal eventually.' And I did, I happened to do that, but it's a weird situation. I guess some people thought it was too much at the time, but I didn't. I knew I was going to excel and get that big contract and that happened."
Favorite road trip
"I'm not a big road tripper,' Rhodes says. "But I used to drive from college back home to Alabama. You take 65 South straight from Louisville to Birmingham, Alabama. That was a pretty good experience for me-going back home."
Driving the Lexus home with friends was the most memorable part of those five-hour road trips. "It was more about my friends at that time," he says. "I have a lot of friends that go back with me, so we had a lot of camaraderie driving back home, just being able to bond that way."
Kerry Rhodes Foundation
Besides football, Rhodes has a passion for helping schools and promoting education, so he created his foundation in 2005 right after he got drafted to the Jets.
Photo 8/8   |   Arizona Cardinals Kerry Rhodes Headshot
"I always said that once I made it, I'd give back and I know a lot of athletes say that," he says. "I wanted to be one of the guys that was more involved with it. My mom's the chairman of it."
Rhodes is proud of helping his old high school, Jess Lanier High School, with whatever it need, such as new basketball jerseys and redoing the gym. "When I first started, I saw there was a lot of stuff needed around schools," he says. "Not just sports, but school in general. So whatever was needed, I always give back to helping that way. Just this year the all-black women's lacrosse team back in Alabama needed money to get their uniforms and go compete in the World Lacrosse Championships, so I gave them money to go be a part of that."
This year is the first year the foundation will be offering a college scholarship. "I have a big ceremony and the kid who writes the best essay on whatever my mom chooses the subject to be, gets a scholarship this year," Rhodes says. For more information please visit kerryrhodes.com.

2015 Land Rover Range Rover Specifications

Fair Market Price $81,821
MSRP $83,495
Editors' Overall Rating
Mileage 17 City / 23 Highway
Engine 3.0L V6
Horse Power 340 hp @ 6,500 rpm
Torque 332 ft lb of torque @ 3,500 rpm
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Land Rover Range Rover

Fair Market Price
Editors' Overall Rating
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MSRP: $83,495
Mileage: 17 / 23
Engine: 3.0L V6
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