August 2012: Back to The Auto Collections!

I recently spent a week in Las Vegas. This was my second trip to Las Vegas and in this first article about the trip, I’ve got the photos from my second visit to The Auto Collections. This was all part of a week long trip for my brother Cody’s 21st birthday. There was much merriment and very little sleep to be had that week. I think I ended up being 12 hours behind EST by the end of the week with how late we were staying up. But, it was very relaxing and we all had  a great time. The first time in a long time that I can say I completely relaxed.

Getting back to Auto Collections, I was surprised how much the cars being shown had changed. Thankfully, most of my favorites, including this 1966 Porsche 911S were still there for me to re-explore in all new angles with a whole new camera that I didn’t have last time. That’s right, no running out of memory this time, and a much better lens! It was a great visit. By the way, like the logo? It’s a bit simple, and I will probably develop it further in the future, but it’s part of some big news that I’ve got coming up, involving HoonArt. I’ll have more on that in an article coming up soon.

Here are my favorites of what I shot that day. The full set can be viewed in the Flickr set or in this slideshow: Flash | HTML5.

1986 Ford RS200 Evo

I had seen photos in the past of three Ford RS200 being there, but on my previous visit I didn’t spot a single one. Well, this time I found this RS200 and not just a regular one, but a rare Evolution model as well! This is one of only twenty four Evolution models that were made from the FIA mandated 200 quantity of normal RS200.

The Evolution models have upgraded suspensions, better brakes, and a slight bump in displacement from 1.8 liters up to 2.1 liters, making for power production of over 600 horsepower that would rocket this car to 60mph in just 2.1 seconds. Unfortunately, these were made obsolete not long after production, when the FIA abolished Group B competition, for which they were produced.

1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 427

This 1969 L88 Corvette is very similar to the first car I was completely obsessed with, the 1969 Corvette ZL-1. The difference between the L88 that you see here and the ZL-1 was that the L88 had an iron block 427 and the ZL-1’s block was aluminum. This is practically a race car, even without the aluminum block. The factory L88’s included things like Positraction, heavier duty suspension and brakes, and got rid of things like the fan shroud, the radio, and air conditioning.

I still remember the appearance of the engine well enough from making a model of one these, and from reading and re-reading an old dog eared issue of Motortrend, that I was able to recognized it without even looking at the hood badges. It’s not much to look at, but it was factory rated at 435hp and actually made somewhere between 550 and 570hp!

1948 Cadillac Series 62 Saoutchik 3-Position Convertible Coupe and

1951 Talbot-Lago T 26 Grand Sport Saoutchik Coupe

Jacques Saoutchik, known for his work with Delahaye, was a famous coachbuilder in the 1930s through mid ’50s. He designed this 1948 Cadillac Series 63 and one-of-a-kind 1951 Talbot Lago. He’s known for his creations featuring swooping teardrop lines and elegant details.

This Cadillac was one of two built after the war to introduce the American market to Saoutchik’s work.

Known as one of Saoutchik’s masterpieces, this Talbot was one of the fastest French touring cars of it’s time.

1934 Morgan Super Sport

The previous time I visited here in 2010, I unfortunately ran out of memory card and had to delete a few cars to fit in the better ones. Although, this was one of the chosen few, I had only enough room for one shot. So, I made sure to take plenty of photos of this automotive anomaly this time.

You see, it’s only got 3 wheels and it’s powered by a V-twin engine, like a motorcycle. Why? Because it was cheaper to pay English taxes for owning a motorcycle than it was for a 4 wheeled car. Three wheels meant that it could be registered as a motorcycle. This Super Sport, only having one tire in the back, is much more safe than something like a more accident prone Reliant Robin, which has one wheel in the front. Not to mention it looks incredible.

1961 Cooper Monaco Type 57 Mark II

Of course I had to go take a look at my old friend, the Cooper Monaco. Still the tiny little pocket rocket race car that I’d love to take home.

1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale

This 1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale had some very nice curves to it that I did my very best to capture.

There was something about the curve of the hood and the shape of the windshield, combined with its “Super Sprint” badge that made for an interesting composition.

1929 Packard 640 Custom Eight Roadster

These Packards were a bit before my time but just loaded with interesting details to capture.

1939 Packard 1707 V-12 Convertible Victoria

President John F. Kennedy’s 1962 Lincoln Continental Towne Limousine

This Lincoln Continental was owned by one of our greatest presidents, President John F. Kennedy.

1961 Volkswagen Micro Bus Double Door Camper

I loved this little Volkswagen Microbus. Incredibly customized, clean throughout, and completely restored. I couldn’t believe the price… $85,000, but it definitely looks worthy of it. It was actually in storage for longer than I’ve been alive. New wood, paint, glass, brakes, 12 volt system, you name it.

1971 Volvo 1800E Coupe

Can you believe there was a time when Volvo didn’t make bricks? This 1800E is quite a reader favorite over on Jalopnik.

1950 Cadillac Series 61 Rick Dore Custom

Now, this was a custom Cadillac of a much different era than the Saoutchik. This former Rod & Custom magazine cover car is a Series 61 customized by Rick Dore Custom and was it ever massive. I was honestly impressed that I was able to get the whole car in the frame. It just seemed to go on and on, like something similar to what I would imagine ZZ Top’s Cadzilla is like. I had to get the camera way way up into the air, as far as I could reach, standing on my toes to get the next shot.

That color really pops with those white wall tires.

1957 Volkswagen Beetle Ragtop

There was a roof rack-equipped Beetle on here recently, in the Festivals of Speed article from April. This one’s restored, and a ragtop to boot.

1972 AMC Javelin AMX

This was an especially exciting sight for me, as I probably haven’t seen a Javelin AMX on the street since some time in the mid ’90s. Such a beautiful car that it’s a shame they made so few of them. Though, they are gaining in popularity in collector circles, so maybe we’ll see more restored and well kept examples show up in the future. One can only hope.

1967 Ford Mustang “Eleanor” GT500 Fastback

You may recognize this car from it’s role as “Eleanor” in the 2000 version of Gone In 60 Seconds.

This is one of 11 cars used in the film, and one of the 7 that wasn’t destroyed during making of the film. I’ve shot a home built Eleanor before, at S&R Performance, and for some reason I preferred it to the original. It could be that I just couldn’t see that great looking back side. Still, a great looking Mustang.

1993 Porsche 911 Turbo S

I can’t help but point out the funny irony of the reflection of the Volkswagen symbol on the hood of this silver Porsche.

These two 911 Turbo S seemed interesting, but there wasn’t much information other than the Turbo S was an 80-unit Europe-only special back in ’93, when these were new. The sad thing is that neither of these has been driven more than 100 miles since new. They’ve likely never gotten a chance to display their scary mid-corner lift tendencies.

1929 Ford Hi-Boy 5-Window Hot Rod Coupe

This 1929 Ford Hi-Boy hot rod is owned by James Hetfield, lead singer of Metallica. It wasn’t for sale or anything. It looks like he just stores it there. For some reason they had it listed as a “rat rod” but that paint looks too shiny and finished to be considered a rat, if you ask me.

1970 Plymouth Road Runner 440 Six-Pack Sport Coupe

Meep! Meep!

Some old Mopars, like this 1970 Plymouth Road Runner, had what was called an “Air Grabber” hood scoop that could be closed, to keep out moisture, and opened with a switch under the dash to produce a ram air effect to the intake, on demand.

1994 Jaguar XJ220

Of course, no visit to The Auto Collections would be complete without taking a look at the old Jaaaag XJ220. A car that Matt Farah recently called one of the top ten cars that want to kill you, because of its turbo lag.

Despite it’s killer nature, it is one of, if not the most beautiful car that Jaguar has ever produced.

1966 Porsche 911S

Ever since I first visited The Auto Collections back in 2010, this has been one of my favorite cars of their’s to shoot. It’s just got so many good angles to explore.

This car has quite a racing history. According to Auto Colletions’ website:

This beautiful 911S seen here was prepared and upgraded to GT specs for racing by Sten Axelson who raced the car in a variety of Swedish motoring competitions. It then passed to Lars Elgen who added motor modifications purpose built for racing in the Swedish Championship. While a privateer entry, car and driver surpassed the factory cars and their works professional drivers and took the 2nd Place trophy. The car repeated its achievement when next owned and raced by Yngve Johansson who finished the year 1969 in 2nd position in the Swedish Championship standings. In 1968 Johansson, joined by team mate Peter Gregg, entered the 911S in the vaunted Nürburgring 1000 where it maintained its reputation, besting many factory machines by taking 4th in its 2000cc class. It continued to add a list a fine showings at Spa, Hockenheim and again at Nürburgring until it went into semi-retirement in 1971 re-emerging in 1998 where it placed 4th in the Tour Auto. In 2002 it was brought from Europe and has since then been on display at the celebrated Blackhawk Collection and now offered for the first time.

1949 Delahaye 135MS Selbourne Roadster Prototype

Another old favorite of mine that I got much more clean shots of this time, and much more detail. Considering Delahaye’s main design guy, from what I know, was Saoutchik, this may be another creation of his. And you gotta love that French blue.

1986 Sauber Mercedes Group C Race Car

1981 Porsche 924 GTR Race Car

I’m not usually a big fan of non-911 Porsches, like the 924, but the box flares on this 924 GTR really make the aesthetics work.

Why box flares? Because 1980’s race car.

1923 Stutz Speedway Four Seven Passenger Touring

This Stutz is downright impressive. Nearly 90 years old, unrestored, just kept up with basic maintenance, and it still runs!

Rust, it’s what dreams and project car hell are made of.

1913 Ford Model T Pie Wagon

It’s amazing how far we’ve come in just short of 100 years. My grandfather learned how to drive in a Ford Model T, in the Navy. These horseless carriages seem ancient compared to what we drive today.

1988 Audi 200 Quattro Trans Am Race Car

1983 Lancia 037 and 1983 Lancia LC-2  Martini Racing Group C Race Car

Last but not least we have these two racing giants from 1983. A homologation special from Group B rally racing, the 1983 Lancia 037, and from Group C endurance racing, we have the 1983 Lancia LC-2  of Martini Racing.

Detail shot with the Abarth and Pininfarina badges.

From here, you can see the supercharged engine in the back.

Coming up in the near future, I’ve got photos from the Shelby museum and Exotics Racing’s garage. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy my photos.



  1. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel from Australia to the U.S. in May/June 2013 and as a “Die-Hard Petrol Head”, I really enjoyed this museum in Las Vegas. You have just given me the opportunity to re-live the experience and some of the magnificent vehicles on display.

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