Some of the greatest car collections are not public friendly for a very simple reason-you can’t trust the public.
That’s why some guys keep their collection on a “need to know basis”.
This is one of those cases.
The cost of armed guards or CIA-rated security to protect their treasures is just too much for many collectors for another simple reason-they’ve spent all their money on old cars.
This is a classic hidden collection-it’s the automotive equivalent of Shangri-La but, like that fabled city, the location was always a mystery, so the only clue is that these cars are definitely in the Western Hemisphere.
Here’s another clue-a Snopes search will turn up nothing, but one thing is absolutely true-this isn’t one of those Internet myths like ghosts in pictures or “Family in Trouble” scams that separate concerned grandmothers from a ton of cash.
The owner of these classic rides is a friendly guy named Harold-at this point it should be clear why his last name is protected but one fact is obvious.
Harold has been a hardcore car guy for over 50 years and he loves the old iron.
Harold’s late father in law was a pioneer in the vintage vehicle arena and many of these cars reflect the last vestiges of his personal collection. This is one of the most eclectic car collections short of Jay Leno’s because it spans nearly 100 years and 2 continents. In fact Leno might even get car envy for the first time since he was a starving comedian.
The collection begins before the horseless carriage-with a few horse drawn carriages.
Harold’s collection then moves into the earliest era of cars with a Holsman that was built before 1905. This car was actually used in a major parade in 1963 where it kept getting stuck in the streetcar tracks, but it made it through the miles long route without a problem.
Harold owns a 1918 Model TT in mint condition. This truck looks like it could start work tomorrow-and it has clearly done some relatively recent work because its cargo is a 1966 Ski-Doo snowmobile.
Harold’s collection also includes a 1922 Kissel Speedster, and that’s not something you’ll see at any local cruise night.This is a museum quality example of an extremely rare vehicle from the Great Gatsby era.
This Pierce Arrow is purported to have once been owned by legendary silent screen star Mary Pickford. Harold is a very careful guy and …like most car guys, he’s a detail guy so he was reluctant to add a 100 per cent confirmation on the Hollywood connection to the Pierce Arrow. But simply looking at this rare car in person confirmed that it was a big part of 1920s luxury.
Roaring 20s upper echelon society is seen in this1928 Essex –no movie star connection but this beauty carries its own glamour.
Not quite as upscale but every bit as important is a 1930 Ford Town Sedan and,in person,this one looked like the museum piece that it was…
One of Harold’s prized vehicles is a 1931 Stutz 8 (DOHC straight 8). This car sports engine technology that is still being used in the 21st Century-far ahead of basic 1930s engineering.
The collection also has a few classics from the 1940s including a Lincoln convertible that was the ultimate touring open vehicle of the time.
Under the hood is a glowing example of what set Lincoln apart from the masses- its legendary V-12.
A more mundane, but no less pristine example of 1940s automotive styling is found in a Ford sedan from the same era.
Fittingly, a 1948 Willy’s Jeep reflects the proximity of the late 40s to the industry standard-a military vehicle that was the workhorse of World War Two.
The 1950s are represented by a mix of classic British racing style with classic 50s North American style . An MGA is a few feet away from another icon of the era…
A1959 Cadillac. This finned classic defines the late 50s in North America.
Another Cadillac convertible picks up the torch for the 1960s era.The underlying theme is luxury in the collection and this immaculate white Caddy is a fine representative of any era.
The 1970s continue the upscale theme with a one owner 1978 Diamond Jubilee Lincoln. This car is so complete it still has the factory issued umbrella and the case containing the factory issue garage opener.
Clearly late 1970s Lincoln owners didn’t like getting wet and Ford accommodated them.
Harold remembered one other facet of this Lincoln–he tried to clean the gold color-coded “white”-walls.
Like most car guys Harold is a philosopher. He reflected on the Essex with the comment; “ the 50s, 60s and 70s cars are going for big bucks but old classic stuff isn’t worth as much.20 years ago the Essex was worth more than it is now”.
His Lincoln convertible is “the ultimate car” but looking after these cars “has become a chore” This classic fleet is a full time job for Harold-change the fluids, upgrade the gas, start them periodically, maintain the tires and keep the batteries up to full charge.He also has a horse that’s so friendly it thinks it’s a dog…everything is labor intensive.
The building that houses them is also vintage and adds to the work.It’s an old dance hall that was moved to the site after many decades of service back to an era when many of the cars inside were brand new. Harold steadfastly refuses to replace the original labor intensive wooden dance floor….
Despite the workload, Harold is still extremely proud of his eclectic fleet so he’ll continue to baby these classics from the past.
Harold has to-if he hires somebody to do it he’ll have to tell him where the cars are…
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