You would expect a guy who has kicked ass for a living to have some kick-ass cars. Bill Goldberg definitely fits the mold. Following a stellar college football career, Goldberg played professional football for the Atlanta Falcons. When an injury ended his football days, Goldberg jumped into the squared-circle to become one of the nation's best-known pro wrestlers. When he retired from wrestling, he moved into the movie and television arena. This year, Goldberg can be seen in the remake of the Longest Yard and as the host of his own television series, Auto Maniac. What few people know about Bill Goldberg is that he is a hard-core automotive enthusiast with an impressive collection of motorcycles and musclecars.
When Goldberg was a kid in high school, he used to think his father's Jaguar was the fastest car on earth. That illusion quickly faded when he had his first ride in a yellow Hemi-powered '67 GTX. "It was my best friend's brother's car," recalls Goldberg. "I'll never forget the brute force that car possessed. It struck something in me that has blossomed into an addiction." Goldberg always remembered the thrill of riding in that Hemi GTX and made a promise to himself that one day he would own one. "There are certain reasons why collectors have the cars they do, and that is why I have the '67 GTX."
Although the GTX is Goldberg's most recent acquisition, he began collecting cars and motorcycles several years ago while still wrestling. His wrestling income allowed him to pursue his musclecar dream. In 1997, he bought a blue '68 GTX convertible, powered by a 440 with a four-speed.
He told us, "I always liked Mopars because all my life I marched to the beat of a different drum." When he was young, all of his friends had Camaros, Trans Ams, and Mustangs, but he preferred Mopars because they were different. He also loved the performance of the Mopars. "As cool as it was to go well over 100 mph in my dad's Jag, I preferred the violent zero-to-60 runs in the Mopars."
"The Barracuda is the coolest car," exclaims Goldberg. "When I started collecting cars, I wanted a Barracuda." He found his black-on-black '70 'Cuda, powered by a 440ci Six Barrel engine, in the Auto Trader in Salt Lake City. "That's a killer car. There's so much hoopla about Hemis, but these Six Pack 440s are awesome," he says. While on the road wrestling, he would always buy a local Auto Trader to see what was available in the area. He relates, "I thought I was done [buying] after those two [the '68 GTX and the 'Cuda]."
He found the four-speed '69 Hemi Charger in Atlanta. When he first saw the Charger, it was equipped with a highly modified stroker Hemi engine. Luckily, the original engine had been packed away. Goldberg swapped it back in the car and kept the built Hemi for a future project. It wasn't long before that monster Hemi would find a home in a '70 Challenger convertible. The Challenger convertible body had been a parts car for someone else's restoration that had been abandoned in a barn. Goldberg rescued the Challenger and installed the big Hemi. The project took two years to complete, but it's the culmination of a 20-year dream. "I had the vision of that car in my mind for 20 years," says Goldberg.
The sinister-looking black Challenger is equipped with racing seats and harnesses, along with a rollbar. A nitrous kit was added to the already stout Hemi. Behind the engine is a five-speed transmission. Goldberg prefers manual transmissions in his musclecars. He tells us, "I like the visceral feeling of shifting gears. One of my choppers has a suicide shifter [a tank-mounted hand shifter] just so I can get that feeling."
Goldberg's yellow '70 'Cuda convertible came from former Mopar Pro Stock racer, Al Corda. It is completely original and powered by a 383 with a four-speed. In the deal, Goldberg also bought Corda's Pro Stock Challenger. In the process of making several passes on the airstrip behind Bill Elliot's house in Georgia, he blew up the engine. "Nobody told me that race cars have such a small radiator," Goldberg says with a sly grin. He admits that running that car until it blew up wasn't the smartest thing to do, but being able to do repeated runs in a Hemi Challenger that ran the quarter in the 10s was too much to resist. Once repaired, he sold that Challenger, but kept the 'Cuda.
The most modern Mopar in Goldberg's collection is a black '99 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup. It was formerly owned and modified by a stuntman. It has a suspension kit with oversize wheels and tires.
Every one of Goldberg's cars is ready to drive at any moment. "Unless the car has zero miles on, it needs to be driven," says Goldberg. "I don't get any enjoyment out of having a car sitting in my garage. It needs to be well-tuned and driven." When Goldberg needs a tune-up, he relies on friend and former Top Fuel crew chief, Dale Armstrong.
Goldberg's collection of cars is constantly changing. He's always on the lookout for low-mileage Hemi Mopars, so if you by chance happen to know of one, you can contact him at www.billgoldberg.com.
If you're on the freeway in San Diego and see a really big guy with a smile on his face flying by in a classic Mopar, you can bet you have just been past by Bill Goldberg.
Bill Goldberg stands proudly in front of his collection of Mopars.
While wrestling in Salt Lake City, Goldberg bought an Auto Trader magazineand found this black-on-black '70 'Cuda. It's equipped with a Six Barrel 440 backed by a four-speed.
Goldberg found this '69 Hemi Charger in Atlanta. It came with two Hemi engines: the original and a highly modified version. The modified Hemi eventually found a home in his '70 Challenger convertible that began as someone's parts car.
Goldberg's '70 Dodge Challenger convertible originally rolled off the assembly line with a 318 under the hood. It eventually became a parts car for someone else's high-end restoration and was then relegated to storage in a barn. Goldberg saw the potential, bought the car, and after two years of work, the once forgotten Challenger was equipped with a highly modified Hemi and stunning black paint.
The yellow '70 'Cuda convertible is equipped with a 383 backed by a four-speed. Some may question why a collection such as this has a spot for a 383 car. The answer is-why not?
The newest Mopar in Goldberg's stable of cars is his '67 GTX Hemi. As a kid, Goldberg's first ride in a Hemi-powered car was in a '67 GTX. That ride left an indelible mark on him, and in 2005, he finally had a '67 Hemi GTX of his own.