Tiger King: a Hot Mess with Some Cool Cars

Tiger King Joe Exotic Standing On The Hood And Singing

Hey, all you cool cats and kittens!

I’m a fan of reality TV – I’ll just put that right out there. The trashier the better. So, when I heard about the Netflix docuseries, The Tiger King, not watching the train wreck of all train wrecks wasn’t an option. If you haven’t watched it yet, I know you’ve at least heard of it and that you’re probably familiar with the plot line: flamboyant polygamist breeds big cats and plots to kill his sworn enemy who might or might not have fed her husband to her pet tiger. I mean…who wouldn’t like that? But, in addition to the fast-moving drama that sucks you in, there are also cars and trucks that may give you insight into the minds of the people featured in this show.

So, I give you, the cars of Tiger King.

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Tiger King

Tiger King Joe Exotic with a tiger cub

The Cars of Tiger King – Hot Mess Meets Cool Cars (sort of)

To be clear, Tiger King is not a show about cars. It’s a show about keeping exotic animals as pets and murder and intrigue and weird plural relationships. However, there are a few different vehicles featured, so if you want to channel your inner Joe Exotic or Jeff Lowe, we can give you some direction for your next ride.

And, please keep in mind that this was written for fun and meant to be very tongue and cheek.  I am not, nor is this site, recommending an exotic cat as a pet. And we especially don’t recommend keeping one in the back of your minivan or riding around with a lion in the back of your convertible with the top down.

Lion Riding In The Front Seat Of White Convertible

You know…so normal. A lion in a 1968 Cadillac DeVille. ?Netflix

The Perfect Car for Riding Aound With Your Lion – Top down (because obviously)

A classic convertible is your clear choice. You see an adult male lion riding in the passenger seat of a white 1968 Cadillac DeVille convertible during the first few minutes of this strange documentary series. This must be the perfect car for such a cool cat- I mean the adult male lion needs a lot of room and it’s probably wise to let him have that spacious front seat to himself. Would you be brave enough to ride wit a lion? I surely would not.

The car that you’ll associate with when you realize that yes, people do keep exotic cats as pets.

The show’s producers happens to run across a random guy who just happens to have a snow leopard in the back of his Chevrolet Astro Van. Chevy stopped making the Astro in 2005. If you still happen to have one of these, obviously keeping a snow leopard in the back is a very poor idea.

Tiger King


The truck you need for the best music video

In addition to being a zookeeper, Joe Exotic is also an aspiring country music star. I Saw a Tiger is the title track of Joe Exotic’s first album and this Chevy pickup is used as the stage for the music video by the same name.

I wasn’t able to learn much about this truck other than that it’s name is “White Buffalo” and it’s either been made to look like an emergency response vehicle or it was once in service as such. Either way, it’s obviously the perfect vehicle for when you want to stand on the hood and croon about tigers.

Because of course, it is.

Tiger King


Get a Ride Just Like Don Lowe in the Early Days of Don and Carol…Possibly.

When Carol recounts the story of how she met her husband Don (who’s rumored to have been fed to a tiger but it’s just that – a rumor) it involved a tense ride in a two-tone Chevrolet Silverado that looks to be circa 1980 or so. It’s important to note that we don’t actually know if Don drove such a truck but it was featured in the reenactment.

Still, I love these older Chevy trucks that became popular in the early eighties after the release of Urban Cowboy. That was when trucks made the transition from just being work vehicles to cool rides for cool people.

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Tiger King


A little more about Joe Exotic’s trucks…

…what we know, anyway. We do know Joe Exotic (AKA the Tiger King) was indeed a pickup man. The Tiger King features quite a bit of footage of Joe riding around in trucks, although it doesn’t feature any clips of Joe actually talking about his trucks.

Joe’s hobbies appear to include driving around and listening to himself sing and driving around while cuddling with a juvenile tiger who sits in the cab with him. Among Joe’s trucks are a GMC and a Ford 4×4 – the latter might have been a Super Duty from the early 21st century but it’s hard to tell since we don’t get very long to look at the full body of the truck while this crazy story is being played out.

One of Joe’s husbands – John Finlay – talks about how he was given “five pickup trucks and just about anything else he wanted” in exchange for his…um…companionship, but we don’t actually see all of these trucks in the show. As with most things Tiger King, there are more questions than answers but we can deduce these are definitely truck guys.

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A Girls Guide To Cars | Tiger King: A Hot Mess With Some Cool Cars - Giphy

Jeff Lowe’s cars – Extra is the word of the day

Jeff Lowe (AKA The Godfather, according to the docuseries) is the legal owner of what used to be Joe Exotic’s zoo and took over as legal owner once Joe’s legal troubles started to become evident.

Lowe’s Tiger King persona (which is probably not far from reality) is flashy and flamboyant, although in a different way than Joe Exotic, and that carries over to his cars. Lowe is spotted driving both a Hummer H2 with over-sized wheels and a flame colored Ferrari. He’s definitely a “look at me”kind of guy and these are both “look at me” rides.


Lowe also operated what he referred to as “The Jungle Bus” which is mentioned briefly in episode 6. The concept of the Jungle Bus was for gamblers on the Las Vegas Strip to ride around in a party bus playing with tigers as they went from casino to casino. Lowe mentions that the Jungle Bus ended up not being a great idea but he doesn’t elaborate as to why. Hmmmm.


I don’t get what could go wrong here. (Insert sarcasm)

Even though watching this now viral docuseries on Netflix doesn’t give us a lot of definite info on the cars these outlandish humans drive, this little glimpse into the cars of Tiger King gives us a little more background on what makes these characters tick.

Tiger King

Jill is the oldest mom with the youngest kids pretty much everywhere she goes. She has a 29-year-old daughter... More about Jill Robbins