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Cars of Dreams in Florida a private car collection anyone hear of this fellow ? His first car was a 1929 Pierce Arrow


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2 hours ago, Mark Gregory said:

I wonder how he made his money to afford a collection like this let alone the space.

 

Well, there are certainly many ways to make

money and afford cars.  The video says he owned

a shopping center, so perhaps he has developed

or invested in Florida real estate.

 

The setting he created for his cars is exceptional,

better than that of other large collections I've seen

pictured.  I especially like the curving interior

"drive" and the reproduced shop storefronts.

He mentioned that he worked with an architect.

The ceiling is tall and not very visible, adding to the effect.

Much better than rows of cars on a plain concrete floor!

 

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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  • Mark Gregory changed the title to Cars of Dreams in Florida a private car collection anyone hear of this fellow ? His first car was a 1929 Pierce Arrow
8 minutes ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

Well, there are certainly many ways to make

money and afford cars.  The video says he owned

a shopping center, so perhaps he has developed

or invested in Florida real estate.

 

The setting he created for his cars is exceptional,

better than that of other large collections I've seen

pictured.  I especially like the curving interior

"drive" and the reproduced shop storefronts.

He mentioned that he worked with an architect.

The ceiling is tall and not very visible, adding to the effect.

Much better than rows of cars on a plain concrete floor!

 

 

 

Actually he is from the NY area and rumor had it he had owned several auto dealerships on Long Island.  I guess auto malls are sort of shopping malls. He auctioned off his collection several years ago and he rebuilt it. There is a member on Long Island who had purchased one of the cars and he was very happy with it,he won an AACA National Award with the car and the VCCA Best of the Best a few years back.

At the January Barrett Jackson Auction he is always one of the "featured" bidders on camera. He is very animated when he bids on a vehicle, and entertaining to watch.  

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He doesn’t own a Pierce ........he owns a POS. I have never seen a car at a Barrett Jackson sale in a top twenty car collection. Buying volumes of trash on TV to polish your ego is a poor substitute for being a car collector.

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Guest Mark McAlpine
4 hours ago, Mark Gregory said:

Beautiful car collection that is only open to the Public 3 times a year.

 

I wonder how he made his money to afford a collection like this let alone the space.

 

 

According to a number of websites, Mr. Staluppi is a self-made millionaire--he started out as a mechanic as a teenager, borrowed money from his father to purchase a gas station, went on to buy more,  then was one of, if not the first, Honda dealers in the United States and went on to own almost 20 dealerships.  He was also one of the first Hyundai dealers, and went on to found Millenium Super Yachts. 

 

If you've watched any of the collector car auctions on TV, he has turned over his "Cars of Dreams" collection several times in the last ten year, selling and buying cars through with RM Auctions, then Barrett-Jackson, Mecum, and most recently Leake.  I don't know what cars he owns or has owned (other than what I've seen on & at the auctions), but I don't think he owns any "POSs."  Yes, some may be modified, but many if not most are either original or restored to original specifications--definitely AACA-eligible vehicles.

 

He's also a very generous man and has used his fortune to support a number of worthy causes.

 

I haven't met Mr. Staluppi, but in all the articles I've read about him and the times he's been interviewed on TV, he seems like a nice guy and not "polishing his ego."  He's earned his money and is enjoying--good for him.  I know if I had his money, I'd be buying a lot of nice cars, too.  I've got my list ready whenever I hit the PowerBall lottery.  (The only problem is I don't buy tickets, so I guess I won't get to experience it.

 

I'm not trying to start an argument, just suggesting we don't judge someone by the cars they buy and sell.

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"Cars of Dreams..."

Everyone has his personal list of cars of dreams...not much in his collection is on my list... better to have fewer cars: rarer, more unique, absolutely obscure, historically significant would be worthwhile objectives. 

 

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1 hour ago, 58L-Y8 said:

"Cars of Dreams..."

Everyone has his personal list of cars of dreams...not much in his collection is on my list... better to have fewer cars: rarer, more unique, absolutely obscure, historically significant would be worthwhile objectives. 

 


 

A well curated collection would take his total investment and buy cars with logic, goals, and direction.......as well as provenance. Going to auctions, tossing your hand up, and buying a car because it looks good crossing the block..........where I come from, we call that junk collecting. Personally, I can evaluate most cars in less than half an hour..........but looking at it in a tent at a sale........that’s just a waste of time. 
 

Has anyone ever bought a car at auction and said.....it’s better than I thought?

 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Guest Mark McAlpine
23 minutes ago, edinmass said:


 

A well curated collection would take his total investment and buy cars with logic, goals, and direction.......as well as provenance. Going to auctions, tossing your hand up, and buying a car because it looks good crossing the block..........where I come from, we call that junk collecting. Personally, I can evaluate most cars in less than half an hour..........but looking at it in a tent at a sale........that’s just a waste of time. 
 

Has anyone ever bought a car at auction and said.....it’s better than I thought?

 

 

Yes and no--I bought one car in nice shape for less than expected (and shortly after buying it was offered considerably more for it than I paid) and have also bought one that looked good until I got it home & started checking things I couldn't inspect (like the brakes).  I've also had one of the major auction houses cancel a sale (and ban the seller) when I pointed out after the sale that the car had a major issues that couldn't be detected on site at the auction.

 

I agree that purchasing from an individual--especially one you know--is the preferred option, but I also believe you can also buy a good vehicle for a fair price at auction or from a classic car dealer if you inspect it closely, know what you're looking for (or bring someone with you that you trust & knows what to look for), know what a fair price is and then stick to it (be willing to walk away when the cost is too much/more than you're willing to pay, and don't get caught up in the frenzy of bidding). 

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I am saddened to some of the negative comments about others enjoyment in collecting their interests.

 

I have followed so many good inputs to this forum. 

 

Unhappily observed others I held as leaders in informed sharing of knowledge, appear to be using their skills and cars supposed pedigrees to diminish others  in their enjoyment.

 

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Bravo to someone living the American dream.   Started with nothing and worked his rear end off and has my admiration for that.   But I'm on Ed's side with regard to the Pierce.  For me, a well preserved Yugo would be more interesting.

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I have no issues with the guy spending his money the way he sees fit. I’m sure he is a talented businessman who worked very hard and put in his time. To be so successful in the business world he had to be a visionary. I do think if one is going to collect something..........anything........you should do it with passion, skill, and thoughtfulness......If your going to do something, do it well.........it’s obvious from what is in his garage he is just looking to impress people.............a display of wealth is not impressive. A well curated display based on discipline and logic is always something to cherish. Look at the top twenty collections in the world........they don’t resemble anything like what is there. To the unsophisticated visitor.....they are dazzled by color and chrome, they have no concept of design, mechanical specialty, ect. To each his own.........but to call that a “great collection” as I have heard many locals down here describe it........nope. Is it interesting to the general public.......I’m sure it is. The Neathercutt Collection in California gets no “press coverage” yet it is diverse, interesting, and is still adding lots of newer cars from the  60’s to the 80’s. I don’t have a problem with diverse large collections and find them interesting, my point was ones thrown together without logic is really  just a bunch of used cars. A 1929 Pierce with a V-8 Chevy in it is NOT a collector car.............call it something else, it’s not collectible.  And no well done collection would  have a Pierce, Packard, or something similar in it done that way.  

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Guest Mark McAlpine

Check out the Stahls Automotive Foundation in Chesterfield, MI (about 25 miles north of Detroit).  It's a great collection, mostly pre-War, with a number of rare and beautiful vehicles, plus a collection of mechanical musical instruments including operational, theater organs.  (Not all are shown/listed on the website.)  If you haven't visited Stahls before, I highly recommend doing so.  If you can't make it there in the next two years, we hope to hold an AACA Nationals in the metropolitan Detroit area sometime in 2023 or 2024.  A visit to Stahls will definitely be one of the associated activities.

 

https://www.stahlsauto.com/

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Stahl's is a fabulous collection, properly curated, with one of the most diverse assortment of cars assembled. You learn the history of cars from 1900 to 1990. Well displayed, and geared to public charity. It's a collection that giving back is what it is all about. Most of the cars run, and are all well maintained. And on top of all that, the owners and management team are all first rate car people. Everyone should visit..........tell them I sent you. 

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I wasn’t going to weigh in on this....

I do happen to share most of Ed’s opinions on cars and ‘collections’ but I’m starting to wonder if you’re not running a front with the ‘wife’ pictures Ed. You’ve never met anyone who buys things simply because they like to buy things? Questioning someone else’s shoe collection is what pretty much got me single at this age. (She had 3 closets and a spare room FULL of new shoes and wore probably only 3 pairs the whole time and all I said was, “What is going on?”) But seriously, while the collection wasn’t worth anything, obvious since she never even used any of them, how she spent her time was worth something to her and I guess it wasn’t my place to question that. 


Back to this particular collection, is it a collection? It fits the definition - (an accumulation of objects) Especially gathered for study, comparison, or exhibition or as a hobby.

 

Is it a ‘great’ collection? If his hobby is buying stuff, yes, it would be to him. Is this the collection I would put together with the same money? Nope

 

What I also see here though is a guy of the type that makes this hobby possible at all for guys like me. All the power to him. The cars he has have obviously all given a lot of work to a lot of shops - keeping their doors open. Wish he bought cars near me. The shop overseeing my engine rebuild used to only do restorations since the 1950’s. As that business dwindled away they had to branch out into modern auto service in the 2000’s just to keep their doors open. The expertise is still there but their time isn’t. The modern cr*p takes priority - ask me how I know....


There are different types of collections and different types of collectors. That goes for everything. My family is in road construction and in the frozen North that means they only work 6 - 6 1/2 months a year. The rest of the year they go to antique (furniture) auctions. Every auctioneer in the Northeast and Midwest recognizes them and hates them. I know this because I’ve been there and have seen them all make the same eye roll and facial expression and when they’ve finished the winning bid all said the same thing word verbatim in a near groan - “Well, there went the sale of the auction....”

Between them my family happen to know the value of just about everything that comes up. They are very serious about it. Few are. The rest dabble and buy indiscriminately. 99% of the stuff at any given auction (and I don’t care what auction it is) is JUNK. It is however the junk that supports the market. That is a fact.

 

The most valuable most expensive piece they own is worth almost as much as all the rest combined and I would have walked passed it if it was marked $15 at a yardsale. It’s a tiny little corner cabinet. Unpainted, wide planked. Not showy, but not ‘primitive’. Short because houses were small then — 17th century early American.

Then there are the FAKES, and there are a LOT of them. Nope, I can appreciate it but I will not and cannot collect furniture. I would lose my a** in a heartbeat. I just don’t know all that stuff.


*and I’ll hide/delete this later because I don’t see it adding much*

 

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It takes dedication and background to be a SME in any field. Most aren't. Many have no idea what they are getting into in an old car. Cars to me are a hobby and many rare and desirable today were just old cars when I had and was working on them. Have had more than one that was just "used" when purchased but tend to keep ones I like for decades so are "antique" today. My real field is computers, embedded engine control and flight control specifically. Car computers are much simpler and really started in 1981 though back in the garage there is an earlier Prince On Board Computer and I had an MPG display in the 78 Sunbird.

 

Always question those who have many cars that would be a major enterprise just to reach open air & see no evidence of monthly or even yearly being fired up. Consider those as large coffee tables & might as well be wall art.

 

Have great respect for those few who actually drive their pre-(pick a)war cars, that taked dedication.

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9 hours ago, alsancle said:

Bravo to someone living the American dream.   Started with nothing and worked his rear end off and has my admiration for that.   But I'm on Ed's side with regard to the Pierce.  For me, a well preserved Yugo would be more interesting.

I'm living the American dream; I started with nothing and I got most of it left.

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3 hours ago, Ben P. said:

*and I’ll hide/delete this later because I don’t see it adding much*

 

I don't really know why you would say, think, or do, that? I think you stated some ideas very well, and added considerably to the discussion. 

 

As for me? I never really got into the auction thing. I never had the money for it. So going would mostly be frustrating if there were a car I would want going for cheap. Several good friends over the years have gone to many auctions, and one of my closest and best friends is an advisor to a few different collectors and goes with them to assess cars they are interested in. About 45 years ago, I spent much of a day at an auction for a friend that had to be at a family (CANNOT miss it!) event for most of the day because there was a car he was very interested in. As it turned out, that car he was interested in did not go up until late so he and his wife arrived in time for it. The car went too high, so he passed on it, but wound up buying (later) another car we saw there.

I have only attended for a few hours a couple other auctions in all my years. One was a big name auction in Las Vegas about twenty years ago. It was interesting. And I saw several very interesting cars (some I have since seen for sale again and again and again!).

 

As for this particular collector? I can like some of what he has done. However, I began watching the video with some interest in seeing it. However, I was disappointed from the moment I saw that V8. To me, no serious historic car collector could consider such a thing one of their favorite cars. Can such a "resto-mod" be a fun car? Yeah, if you like such things. But a favorite? Not if the historic value means much to one. (I will probably take a few hits for that comment myself!)

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I don't know Mr Staluppi but know someone who does and from what he has told me he is a pretty ordinary guy who has made a lot of money in a variety of businesses including trash collection.  As to the quality of his collection I think the numbers speak for themselves.  It is pretty easy to research the selling prices of cars he has turned over and the prices are as off the charts as the cars themselves.  If not for people who are willing to spend way more than a car is worth to restore it to new condition what cars will future generations have to enjoy and appreciate?  Why should anyone's collection be criticised for not being up to the standards of the AACA or any other organization, it is his collection.  While I know he has some "not original" cars I know many of them are as good as anything I have seen at any Grand National show.  Sooner or later AACA will have to embrace some form of "non original" cars or there won't be any members left, I'm 63 and I'm the youngest member of our region.  Go to any cars and coffee or local show and count the number of original cars verses the number of modifieds or street rods.

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Avanti Bill, I am not interested in starting anything. And the truth is that I totally agree with almost everything you said. Absolutely, such collectors willing to spend the dollars they have managed to earn to put together fabulous collections benefit us all. They should be treated with some amount of respect. 

However. Over the years, I have met, and talked with (and been polite with) a lot of such people, hobbyists great and small. There IS a difference between restoring and preserving historic cars and playing around with a myriad of modified cars. Nothing wrong with either, just a significant difference. The biggest problem is that way too many people simply do not realize that there is a difference. I have met too many people wanting to join in on our club's fun with their hot rods, and resto-mods. And when one (usually not me, but sometimes I) explain the difference, it becomes quite clear quite quickly that they truly are oblivious about that difference. I find it very sad that our population today is so poorly educated. And it is a matter of education. I am not trying to make everyone like what I like.

Sometimes, however, we just need to say "The emperor has no clothes!"

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What’s wrong with someone spending their money on cars they like?  What’s wrong with them putting together a really neat setting for him or her to enjoy?  This guy has an incredibly neat place to enjoy, and opens it 3 times a year for charity events.  It’s not even open to the general public as an attraction of any sort.

 

Can we not take anything at face value?  

 

It’s a great collection of his cars displayed in an even arguably greater way, that he likes.  The decor is amazing.  Smile more.

Edited by 39BuickEight (see edit history)
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33 minutes ago, wayne sheldon said:

Avanti Bill, I am not interested in starting anything. And the truth is that I totally agree with almost everything you said. Absolutely, such collectors willing to spend the dollars they have managed to earn to put together fabulous collections benefit us all. They should be treated with some amount of respect. 

However. Over the years, I have met, and talked with (and been polite with) a lot of such people, hobbyists great and small. There IS a difference between restoring and preserving historic cars and playing around with a myriad of modified cars. Nothing wrong with either, just a significant difference. The biggest problem is that way too many people simply do not realize that there is a difference. I have met too many people wanting to join in on our club's fun with their hot rods, and resto-mods. And when one (usually not me, but sometimes I) explain the difference, it becomes quite clear quite quickly that they truly are oblivious about that difference. I find it very sad that our population today is so poorly educated. And it is a matter of education. I am not trying to make everyone like what I like.

Sometimes, however, we just need to say "The emperor has no clothes!"

You are missing the point I'm afraid.  I personally like nothing but original cars and have both drivers and trailer queens.  I have been lucky enough to have Grand National cars and have received two national awards.  It doesn't matter how much of a purist you or I are the reality is the purists are dying off and the younger generation has not embraced that segment of the hobby.  I think the hot rodders and the resto moders understand the difference better than you think.  I have never seen the disrespect from that group toward one of my cars that they suffer from some of our members.   The interest in old cars has gotten stronger every year but it is nearly impossible to recruit someone of any age into the AACA.  I started a cars and coffee to try to get interest in joining our local region, it has been a success, but no one is interested in joining the AACA.  The car hoby isn't going to die but AACA will if they don't have broader minds.   

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1 hour ago, wayne sheldon said:

The biggest problem is that way too many people simply do not realize that there is a difference.

A couple of years ago I took a friend's 1907 Cadillac to a community car show, mostly just to support the cause.  I knew it would be for custom cars and I was right - only a few stock condition and nothing stock and pre-WWII.  I guess I kind of stood out a little and people were very interested to learn about such an old car.  Most of the car guys had never seen (or heard) a one cylinder car.  In the end I was kindly awarded with the "best classic" ribbon.  (I don't think the CCCA has got the message that single cylinder Cadillacs now qualify.)

 

At one point a fellow looked at the Cadillac, and then across to a Model A street rod and remarked about how far they had progressed in just over 20 years.  My only thought was, "wow - he really thinks that's a 1929 Model A!"

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Interesting, guess a 32 hot rod should have a supercharged Continental, LaSalle tranny, and a two speed Columbia.

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Some of the finest restorations I have ever seen were done by former hot rodders. Several over the years have become friends. Again, in conversations, it has been clear that in many cases they simply did not know there was a difference until later in life when they were exposed to real historic preservation. Most people only understand what they have been fully exposed to. Too many people really do believe that 350 crate motors are original to a model A Ford. I don't just say that because it is what I think. People have told me that believing it was fact!

Again. Sometimes people need to be told.

It has amazed me over the years how often people once nicely exposed, become interested in the real history.

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He is/was a successful guy. He’s enjoying his hobby. It may not be the way many of us would spend that kind of money or on that kind of collection. But it’s his money and we do live in a free country!  It’s his right, he’s not hurting anyone and he gives back to charity!  If you don’t like his collection don’t go see it on the days it’s open but donate the money he would have to a charity of your choice. 
dave s 

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After reading all the newspaper articles.......I will say my initial estimate was correct.............dazzle paint and chrome, but no curation.............same thing as the mega yacht...............more flash. Big dollars does not equate with good taste..........but I’m sure he is having fun. Dave......I have been invited several time to see the collection......and I have declined.  The neighborhood the museum is in is not safe.......and by definition an area where I won’t let my family or friends venture into. Hell of a place for a museum...........shootings, stabbing, drug dealing, murder.........and for your convenience all in one parking lot. Yes, the area is that bad. Google the towns name and crime rate.....it literally says the most dangerous city in America........violent crime is 1 in 20 per person per year.............yes, 5 percent chance in any five year of being a victim of a violent crime. 

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Boy, do I agree with that. Quantity and quality are not the same thing although they are frequently confused...

As a society, we tend to conflate wealth with expertise. I'm sure that gentleman has plenty of expertise making money but that doesn't mean he has a "great" collection. What he has is a large collection and it isn't the same thing.

 

My real collecting interest is not cars – it's 18th and very early 19th century arms (mostly English and American). I started when I was 12 so I've been at it for 57 years now. I've also edited a large number of books (I forget how many) on various aspects of the subject and written a couple. One of the observations I feel I can make is that real knowledge and taste are rarely concentrated in big collections...The people who write the books rarely own the most stuff but, more often than not, they have very good items because they know what those are. There are any number of "advanced collectors" whose accumulations include a lot of fakes...everyone who is seriously interested knows who the fakers are but they can always peddle their stuff because there are always buyers with a lot of money who place a premium on the size of their collection but don't want to take the time to actually learn about it.

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I would never personally  have a collection like that. If I had the cash I would love a 34 Auburn 12, a 34 Pierce Arrow Silver Arrow and a Jaguar Mk IX. I’ve always loved the big jag for some reason. That would be it so I could drive them!  I would give anyone a ride if they wanted too ( post pandemic of course, mask required).  I would rather see a dirty classic than walk thru a building with cars just sitting shined up to look good but never driven. But again to each his own. 
 

I will say there is no accounting for taste!! 
I don’t like his but that’s just me. 
dave s 

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We have several members here who I consult with over their car purchases. Most have five cars or less, and all are working people......... not insanely wealth, but they have the disposable income to have a few nice cars.......the dates range from 1897 to 1974. Often times they ask me to looks at cars for them.....auctions, Hemmings, private sales, ect. Before I go look at any car, and before we establish a budget.......I ask about their current cars, how they intend to use them......if at all. (Lots of cars are collected, not driven) My point is weather you have one......or a hundred........do it with purpose. Think about what makes sense, and have a strategy for collecting......and that goes for cars, guns, coins, art work..........people who just buy often end up with semi desirable stuffed in a building that’s a scattered assortment of stuff that’s difficult to sell later. If your going to own a Ford, buy the absolute best......because no matter what year it is...........there are lots of others out there and quality always sells. Yes, I have a Ford collector car........I spent three years looking for the right one........and when I located it, I knew it was exactly what I wanted. It’s a 1915 T touring..........unmolested and 100 percent original. It’s not for sale, but in the world of T collecting it’s a very easy sell in any market conditions. It’s historically interesting, runs well, drives great..........a car that appeals to many different segments of the hobby. Yes, it’s only a T, but it’s a good one.........which is my point. I looked at fifty cars before I settled on the one I own.......and money paid was the LAST consideration in its purchase. Half the stuff in the above collection was bought on impulse, “on camera” for effect and ego........which is all fine. It’s his money........but I can guarantee that most of the stuff (read 90 percent) of what’s in the garage has major flaws........You simply can’t find great stuff of any collectible by tripping over it at auctions. I have no clue how many cars are in the collection..........but I do ask myself.......is there a QUALIFIED staff servicing and maintaining the cars? Do they all run, have batteries and stable fuel for long term storage? Or is the car just purchased and dumped in the museum with lights on it to say “see what I got”. I have no clue........since he is local to me.......very local.......less than ten miles.........all I can say is I have never seen his cars at shows, and I never met him at any car event. I get around a lot...........after all this banter on the thread, I’ll probably make an effort to see the collection and meet him. I’ll load up the White with a few fellow car collectors and an arsenal Saturday and swing by the location. I have two more forum members coming down for the weekend to go for a spin in the 1917.

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People collect for what ever reason and that is what makes the hobby interesting. Sometimes people just like variety and what peaks their interest. The hobby is big enough and spans the years 1896-2021 so there is a lot of variety to choose from now and that should be respected.

 

I know it’s off subject but a good movie regarding collecting is “The Art of the Steal” the Barnes collection. Google it, interesting watch. Barnes collected what was considered crap at the time..... There is a Packard connection by the way. 
 

I am most interested in British sports cars and pre war stuff, have seen a lot of best in class pebble cars restored by some of the best, but a car that really unexpectedly blew my mind when I visited the Peterson museum was a low rider called “ El Rey”.  Google image it. Not my genre of car, but the level of workmanship and craftsmanship in making that vehicle far exceeded any stock restoration I have ever seen.  
 

To each their own and that’s what makes the world an interesting place.
 

 

 

 

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Mk IX was first big Jag with disk brakes. Since prefer 2 seaters, favorites were the XJs and E-types (had several when just used cars with bad reps). Like but never had an SS-100.

Suppose one drawback of a long life is being there when these cars were new and/or cheap.

 

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