Of all the great events in Detroit this past week, we saved the best 2 for last. First on Saturday Ken Lingenfelter opened his personal collection to the public. There was a small charge for admission but since it went to charity I certainly had no problem paying it. Plus you got admission into the EyesOn Design show the next day so it really was a twofer. As soon as you walked into his place in Brighton you were struck with the sheer immensity of his collection. And the car right by the entrance? A Vector W12!
As a lifelong auto enthusiast, what I knew of the W12 came from reading various magazine articles through the years. Realizing I don’t know much about this rare car I tried to do some online research. Details of the car are a bit difficult to find as the soap opera that surrounded the company means there is a lot of conflicting information about the cars. Suffice to say it was built on a Lamborghini Diablo chassis and there were less than 20 cars sold to the public. That makes this one pretty rare.
As I walked around the 3 sections of the building I saw more and more unusual vehicles, as well as a few I have always wanted to own. Who am I kidding? I want to own them all. Ken is a very lucky guy indeed. But I thought instead of just posting a bunch of pictures of all the cars here, it might be fun to turn it into a little game. So the pictures will be posted on my Facebook page and we will have a little contest here. I have some swag and gifts available to the first people to correctly identify the pictures listed here. NOTE! Do not email me the answers, post them below in the comments section below. First correct answers win. And don’t get too excited, the prizes are not that big but I assure you they will be fun!
Speaking of games, a favorite game I play with a couple of close friends is “What car would you buy if…”. For example, if it had to be less than $30k and you had to drive it every day (easy, for me its the Mini Cooper). So today’s question centered around if “Ken gave you one car from his collection and you could not sell it but didn’t have to drive it every day, which one would it be? (note all insurance and maintenance was also paid)”. I didn’t say it was an easy game! So for me the question was too difficult to manage considering the entire collection so I tried separating it by picking the one car in each section.
From the first room of exotic cars like Ferrari’s Lamborghini’s, Porsche, Rolls Royce, Bentley etc I chose the beautiful Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione shown above. I don’t know what it is about this car but I find it stunningly beautiful. And there was something about the paint on this car that just made it all the more beautiful. I don’t even care that some articles say it is not a nice car to drive. Too me it goes perfectly with a tux and a beautiful woman in a cocktail dress.
In the second section of the building Ken has his Corvettes, Camaros and Firebirds along with a few miscellaneous GM products. In case you are not aware, in addition to the performance parts that Lingenfelter sells, they also provide turnkey cars like this Pontiac Firebird-looking modified Camaro. One of the cars that struck my attention was the 1953 Corvette EX-87 Zora Duntov Test Mule with a fiberglass toneau and tail cone. But for me I chose the 1971 Firebird Trans Am 455 Super Duty. Both the blue and white versions were on display but I am partial to the blue one (especially considering that the interior was tan while the white one had a hideous blue interior). If you want to see a video driving one, click here.
In the back section were all the muscle cars. Just about everything you could imagine was here. Nova, 4-4-2, Mustang, Shelby, Cougar, you name it, it seemed like they were all here. But my favorite, which is on my list of top 10 cars I’d love to own was the 1970 Plymouth AAR ‘Cuda. I am especially partial to the strobe stripe. I guess the Scat Pack and Rapid Transit System hit the market in my most impressionable years because the graphics from the ads and the vehicles are still with me after all these years.
So, now that I had picked my 3 winners in the “which would you want” question, I had to decide which would be the only one I would take. And really, I had no problem picking between the three. The AAR won hands down. If the 8C was the winner based on the tux and beautiful woman criteria, this was the winner based on the “have fun with the kids riding around all weekend” criteria.
So there you have it. Look me up on Facebook if you want to see more car pictures from this beautiful collection. Or perhaps Ingo will post his pictures and I can link to the album. And if you name is Ken Lingenfelter and you need to unload one of your cars to make room for a new acquisition, please send the AAR to my address (you don’t even have to pay for the insurance like we talked about). Better yet, call me, because I’d love to come pick it up.
And don’t forget to post your guesses to the Car Quiz in the comments section. There are only 4 so be quick. And come back tomorrow to see our report from the EyesOn Design Car Show.