Check Out Lenny’s Garage–A Different Type of “Classic”
Many serious motorsports aficionados are fully aware of talk show celebrity Jay Leno’s unbelievable collection of classic vehicles, an assemblage of more than 150 (some articles written about it claim 200 as the upper limit) unique and astounding cars and motorcycles housed in multiple large hangars at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California. They’ve also most likely viewed one or more of the “Jay Leno’s Garage” segments aired on CNBC from time to time.
These same enthusiasts are probably likewise aware that Leno’s collection is not the largest of such arrays of automotive excess in the world…that designation goes to the Middle East, where Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah maintains a 7,000 car display of classic limited edition and concept vehicles. Second place goes to Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan’s massive collection of customized exotic vehicles including, oddly enough, a Dodge Power Wagon. But American’s can take comfort that Leno is comfortably settled in to the number three slot in “The 10 Biggest Car Collectors In The World.”
And then there are collections that fall into the category of “unique” or “special interest” holdings, like Marty Himes’ Museum of Motor Racing Nostalgia, an assemblage of 30+ racing machines and associated memorabilia dedicated to “Keeping the Memory of Long Island Racing Alive!” Or perhaps like “Big Daddy” Don Garlits Museum of Frag Racing in Ocala, Florida, where between 100 and 200 drag racing and antique autos offer a visual history of the evolution of the sport. Or even American businesswoman and classic car collector Tammy Allen’s 100+ collection of classics that showcase “her love of American muscle cars.”
From two- or three-car collections to stables featuring hundreds of unique and exotic cars, there are likely thousands of classic car museums and showcases across the country. One of the most unique, though, can be found in Brooklyn, New York, care of “Lenny’s Garage.” Lifelong Brooklyn native Lenny Shiller is a restoration veteran, with a 12,000 square foot garage in Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal neighborhood where, at last report, 58 rare vehicles and hundreds of vintage bikes, and motorcycles are housed, along with the memorabilia that goes along with two- and four-wheeled classics. The cars in Lenny’s collection are different…they’re not what you’d expect to find in a vintage car collection. They don’t look like museum pieces, and that’s partly because they are everyday vehicles that are used and maintained by Lenny himself, who considers himself a “caretaker” of sorts, fully understanding that someday the cars will be turned over to someone else. For a quick tour of Lenny Shiller’s garage, check out this Bullrush Films video on Vimeo:
And, if you should decide to visit Lenny’s Garage, remember it’s a working garage, so don’t dress up!