Announcer: Go behind the wheel, under the hood, and beyond with Car Stuff from www.HowStuffWorks.com. Scott: Hi everyone and welcome to the podcast. I'm Scott Benjamin, and I am the Auto Editor here at www.HowStuffWorks.com.
Ben: And my name is Ben Bowlin, and I have recently been promoted to lifestyle consultant.
Scott: Oh, very good. I can use help.
Ben: Well, I was waiting until we were off the air.
Scott: What's this lifestyle consultant?
Ben: Yeah, yeah, it's weird. My qualifications include being alive. That's it.
Scott: That's it?
Ben: Well I graduated high school you know, I'm dignified.
Scott: Very good.
Ben: One thing I would say if I was gonna give you just some advice right now, not just for you and I, but for listeners as well, Matt, our producer today is probably listening, I hope he's listening, one of the great things about being a lifestyle couch is I found out in the 30 seconds before we went on the air, when I made this up, is that you're able to give relatively uninformed advice, as long as it's vague, and seems kind of helpful, you know?
Scott: It sounds like the perfect job for you.
Ben: Thank you, man. I feel like I was already doing it for free, right?
Scott: That's right.
Ben: So check it out - Here's my guru advice for right now, as your official lifestyle consultant, Scott Benjamin, I think it is necessary that you have a collection. Collecting things can provide some stability. It can provide an interesting hobby, and it can let you continue your education about things you are already into.
Scott: Stamps, musical instruments, clocks, watches.
Ben: Why not? Maybe. Watches I like.
Ben: But let's go bigger. Let's dream big.
Scott: Big. Elephants.
Ben: Okay, let's dream big, but not alive.
Scott: Big, but not alive.
Ben: No elephant corpses.
Scott: Stuffed elephants, oh darn it. He caught me.
Ben: Let's say if the sky is the limit man, and you could collect anything.
Scott: Oh, no doubt about it. Race cars. I would. Yeah, I would. I don't even have one race car right now, but if I could collect something, I would collect race cars.
Ben: And you would not be the only one.
Scott: Oh no, I wouldn't. It sounds like a really cool kind of lifestyle thing that goes along with it as well. It's not just owning them, and being able to look at them every day. That's a big part of it, but what you can do with them on the weekends. You can travel with them. Of course, if you've got the kind of money that we're talking about to collect race cars, you'll be able to go to some outrageous places with them, and do outrageous things with them, as well. So it would be a good hobby.
Ben: Yeah, you know what, I'm gonna even kick up the stakes a little bit. I don't want to make these collectors because you know, there is a concern for privacy, right?
Ben: So we don't want to make people feel like they have the spotlight put upon them unfairly, and I don't want to hype them up too much, but especially when you get into the more extensive collections that date back to older vehicles, these people I think are kind of blurring the line between being a collector and being a curator because this becomes part of history.
Scott: Yeah, you're right. They have their own small museum really, and a lot of the collections in some cases are the size of a lot of museums, or bigger than museum collections. I know there are some fantastic museums that have enormous collections that will never be surpassed by an individual I don't think. I guess you can never say for sure because there's always gonna be somebody out there who is gonna top that.
Ben: I don't know man, the Smithsonian is pretty crazy.
Scott: And if you've ever been to the Henry Ford - a huge collection. You can spend days wandering around that collection.
Ben: There are parts of the Henry Ford Museum where access is restricted, too right?
Scott: Exactly. There are a lot of museums like that because they like to rotate what they have out in the showroom. The Walter P. Chrysler Museum is like that. They have many museum pieces that are hidden from view, not all the time, they like to rotate them, but they've got projects that are in progress. They've got the ones that are on display at the time. They have special collections that they only bring out at certain times. It's just this big rotation of cars that happen all the time. A lot of people do that. General Motors has that huge display that we talked about. Not long ago - I wish I could remember the exact name of that - rarely open to the public, remember, you have to be a special invite or a member of GM plus a special invite.
Scott: Very restricted access. Then there are individual or private collectors that have collections that do the same type of thing on a somewhat smaller scale, but that's just because they're not the actual company producing the cars.
Ben: Right, and then sometimes these collectors may wish to focus on specializing in a particular series of years, or particular make or model.
Scott: Sure, yeah, so a lot of them you'll find - you know, if someone collects vintage vehicles, not even race cars, just vintage vehicles, they may have a passion for Bugattis, and they may have 7 or 8 of their 30 or 40 cars may be of that mark. They may also have 10 or 12 Ferraris. They have groupings of cars that they like.
Ben: It's so crazy to me, man.
Scott: There's one of them that we're gonna mention, this person we're gonna talk about has 6 or 7, at least, Ferraris, and he said you know, at some point you don't want to have - and this was in an interview that I read somewhere - he said I don't want to get every single year of Ferrari because there are also some dogs in there that he doesn't want to get. He only wants the best of the best, and that makes sense to me. I mean, you pick and choose the ones that you want. Now, I mean, you think about it, I would take an Ferrari myself of course, but -
Ben: Even the tractor?
Scott: Oh yeah, even the tractor, yeah. But he said that there are some that are just not worth collecting I guess. I don't know if I agree with that or not, but to him it just doesn't meet his standard.
Ben: Well heck, it's his collection. See that's why this would be so great for you. I know it seems wildly ambitious to say that you should collect race cars.
Scott: Maybe micro-race cars. You know, like the micro and bubble cars we talk about because I still want a micro-car.
Ben: Here at Studio 1A, we actually have a pocket Ducati.
Scott: That's right, we do, yeah.
Ben: It was here when we moved in.
Scott: Yeah, yeah, you're right, we do. It still sits in the hallway.
Ben: Maybe we'll fix it up.
Scott: Maybe, maybe.
Ben: I don't know if it matches the rest of your collection, but we can slightly this guy, this first guy we're talking about, we can say his name right?
Scott: Sure, yeah we can. He's a well known collector that - well, let's just get right into it. We'll dig right into it, and kind of an unlikely subject, I think.
Ben: I did not see this coming.
Scott: You know what, I did not know until very recently that this guy collected cars to the level that he does. I mean, I thought - he's a rock and roll guy. A lot of rock and roll guys have a lot of money. They like to buy toys. But this guy takes it a step further. He's got about 40 - I think the estimate is about 40 cars. He says he has about 25 to 30 that he calls serious race cars. He collects race cars. He is Nick Mason.
Ben: The Nick Mason.
Scott: The Nick Mason, so you know who he is?
Ben: We're talking about the drummer from Pink Floyd, a band that some of you might recognize.
Scott: Oh yeah, I think a lot of listeners will know about Pink Floyd. They sold something like -
Ben: I'm being sarcastic.
Scott: Oh, I know. They sold something like 200 million albums or something like that, just ridiculous amounts of albums, and of course, he said they're on tour again this year.
Ben: Yeah, yeah, they're on tour again.
Scott: Royalties have got to be huge for this band, and the positive side of this is that he has channeled all of his royalties - I shouldn't say all of it -
Ben: Probably not.
Scott: No, but a good portion of it.
Ben: He's gotta buy drums, man.
Scott: Exactly, yeah. Well, some of the cars he mentions, he mentions dru ms, being able to fit a drum kit in the car, that's part of his criteria for some of them.
Ben: For his serious race cars.
Scott: No not his serious race cars, but he has a problem with one of the Ferraris because he can't get the drum kit into it.
Ben: Oh, life is so hard for some people, Scott.
Scott: Exactly, yeah. But I guess Nick - Mr. Mason began collecting cars in the early 1970s when they royalty checks from the band started showing up at his doorstep, and as you can imagine, it takes a lot of money, tremendous wealth, to be able to collect true race cars, and that's exactly what he does, but the interesting thing about Nick's collection is that he doesn't just let them sit in a warehouse somewhere and gather dust, and put them in mothballs, or try to keep the flat spots off the tires, he actually takes them out, and races them on the weekends. He has a wife and two daughters that also race, and they will regularly enter themselves into local events, or he's also got a professional driver that he keeps kind of in his -
Ben: In his entourage?
Scott: I guess in his entourage. I guess you can say that. If he needs to put a real serious sports car driver behind the wheel for an event, he will allow him to drive his cars.
Ben: Let's say, you know what, with that - I guess my impression of an entourage was people who were just hangers on, but that guy is a race car driver?
Ben: Let's say he keeps him on consultation, I don't know.
Scott: I don't know, he helps him with the vehicle.
Ben: Does he need any help with maintenance?
Scott: I believe he does. Yeah, I think he helps him with a lot of things around the airport hanger where he keeps all these cars.
Ben: No way.
Scott: Yeah, he keeps some of them there. He actually keeps several at the airport hanger. I think he said about 15 of them are this airport hanger, and the rest of them are just kind of stored away somewhere, and like we talked about, the rotation comes through.
Ben: Just like museums.
Scott: He's got an incredible collection, just beautiful collection. I started to write down some of the cars -
Ben: Yeah, I was gonna ask you -
Scott: That were in this collection, and honestly, watching the video, it had German voice over, so I was trying to listen to the interview behind the voice over track, and that didn't work out so well, but from what I could see, I was just looking at some of the cars. I saw a Bentley, Bugatti. He has a Porsche 962, which is a really cool race car, a Mclaren 1FGTR, which is -
Scott: It's like a million two car or something like that.
Ben: We mentioned that earlier in a show.
Scott: Yeah, exactly. He has an old Maserati Birdcage, a Ferrari 512S, and that's the one that was in the LeMans Movie with Steve McQueen. He also has a Ferrari 250GTO, which I believe - Now that's a coo l car, the 250GTO. You have to take a look at one online to see what I'm talking about, but he has reportedly taken his kids to school in that car before, and this is a car that placed third at LeMans. This is the actual car that raced in LeMans, and back in the day they had to be road certified cars as well, so that allowed him to drive this one on the street.
Ben: He's nuts. He's so lucky there were no speed bumps.
Scott: Exactly. He says that one day none of his modern cars would operate, so he went out, and dug up this Ferrari GTO that he took the kids to school in that day.
Ben: He's crazy. That thing is so close to the ground.
Scott: That thing is worth millions of dollars.
Ben: Have you ever tried to look under one of those?
Scott: No, but I can imagine, yeah, it's gotta be pretty tight.
Scott: So I don't know if that's just myth or what, but he says that it happened. I don't know, looking at the list here - I've got another list here that shows apparently he has at least 6 Ferraris in his collection.
Ben: Right, you said it was 6 or 7.
Scott: Yeah, he does have an F40, a 512, of course the GTO we mentioned, a '72 356GTB for Daytona, which is a great car. He's just got an incredible mix of cars. He's got one all the way back to a 1901 Panhar B1. He has a D type Jaguar that he drives, we mentioned the Birdcage. He's got a Porsche 953 and a Lotus 18. He's got one of the first rear engined Grand Prix cars that they ever made.
Ben: I'm not angry. I know I look angry, but I'm dealing with it.
Scott: Oh, no, no, no, he's done the time, done the work to earn all this.
Ben: Fair enough.
Scott: He's also got - now this is really cool, Ben.
Ben: What's that?
Scott: He has a Vintage Bentley that his father drove when he was a young boy in Silverstone. So his father was a Vintage racing car fan, a racing car driver I should say, and he, Nick, as a young boy would go to watch his father race in these club events at Silverstone, and it was in this Vintage Bentley that he would ride to and from the track as well. He would sit in the back seat, and think of what a great car it was.
Ben: And he still has that car.
Scott: Well, the funny part is, I guess, he later, much later in life, he found it up for sale, and he bought the car, and it wasn't until he looked at the log book for the car that he realized that it was his dad's car. So he just happened across his dad's Vintage Bentley racer. I don't know what year it is, or what specific make it is, but it's his dad's exact car, and there's no way that car is every gonna come out of his collection.
Scott: It's amazing isn't it?
Ben: It is.
Scott: I mean when something like that happens - he got just because it was like his dad's, and then here it is the exact same vehicle.
Ben: Who's next on our hit list?
Scott: Well we've got a few, and honestly, one thing I need to tell you about all of these guys including Nick because he's a little big vague about his collection, and I think there's good reason for that. We talked about that before we came on the air, right?
Ben: Right, right. We got some - because it does make sense, if you think about it. Okay if I take this one?
Ben: Okay, so our listeners out there, you guys know that if you're in a world of car collecting at this level, it's a very small world, and people tend to be a little bit more tight-lipped or close-mouthed rather about the specific vehicles in their collection, like the numbers of vehicles right?
Ben: It would be very irregular for someone to say, well, I have exactly 54 vehicles, and they're estimated worth is X million dollars.
Scott: Exactly. Yeah, they'd be a little bit more vague about it than that, a little more mysterious about it, and I kind of like this about them.
Ben: Yeah because it's for several reasons, not just for the reason like what's the immediate concern, but privacy, you don't want people to know that they have a car that they want, and you don't want people to think that they could find wherever you store these cars, and steal them.
Scott: Or you bring it out at the big show of the year, and bam, there it is, surprise everybody with it, and the people that worked on it, of course, you know, that restored it, would know what's going on, that they have it, but the rest of the motoring world wouldn't know until the moment you revealed that this was your car. Sometimes their entered anonymously even. We don't even know who this car belongs to, which is kind of a cool thing, too. This is all little bit like Batman, man of mystery type stuff. I like this. I like the idea that there's still a lot of cars out there that we still don't quite know where they are. We know that they exist.
Ben: We know they're taken care of.
Ben: But we have no idea who owns them.
Scott: Where are they, who owns them, what condition are they in right now, and where will we see them next?
Ben: It's a small world. It's a little bit more difficult than you may think at first blush.
Scott: Now really, I only have a few here that I'm just gonna run down the list because we don't know everything about the collection, how many race cars are involved, how many road going cars there are, etc. But of course, how can we not mention Jay Leno? He has a huge garage of cars. But also, how many, how many race cars, not exactly sure. They never really publish a full complete list of everything that everybody owns at one time, and I don't know if that's because it's always in continuous flux or if it's because they just don't want it to be like we said, little bit of mystery involved.
Ben: Which is why often times when you see maybe something on television, or you read something in print about a car aficionado, a car connoisseur, then a lot of times you'll see them talking about a specific vehicle in their collection rather than the whole thing.
Scott: Yeah, and the next person on my list is a prime example of that.
Ben: Okay.Scott: James Glickenhaus.
Ben: James Glickenhaus.
Scott: And if you follow blogs, and all that, if you're a Ferrari aficionado, then you know who he is. He's a Ferrari collector who has a $3 million 612P45, which sits on Enzo chassis that took about 3 years for Ferrari to personally build for him, tailored to his body even. They did scans of his body to measure everything in the car. This is a custom-built Ferrari. It was built around his body in order for it to exactly match his dimensions.
Scott: It's his car, 3 million dollars, unlimited support from Ferrari. I don't know all of the details exactly, but fantastic-looking car. You'll see him in that car or him around that car. That car is on display a lot of times, let's say a concourse even or something like that. You'll find it here and there.
Ben: It's a super customized Ferrari. I've got to ask you a quick question. I want to ask it in a non-offensive way, just to check.
Ben: Does he have a weird-shaped body or anything like that?
Scott: No, no, no. Not at all.
Ben: Okay. I figured it was just the extra level of comfort and style, and so I was just checking. No offense to you if you're listening Mr. G.
Scott: I hope he is.
Ben: That's such a sweet car though, man.
Scott: It really is. It's awesome, it's great, I mean take a look for it online. It's beautiful. It's a beautiful car. I'm sure a lot of people have already seen it. The thing is that most cars are one size fits all, really, most are.
Scott: But when you get to a certain level, you can start to have things custom made, custom tailored fit to your body, and this is what he has done, but with the entire car. It's really, really an engineering feat. It's really cool. Like I said, it took three years for them to build this car.
Ben: And this is the one that he - he struck a pretty good deal if you think about a million dollars a year, right.
Scott: I guess so, I guess he did, yeah, and who knows if it's really 3 million. It might be double that, who knows.
Ben: See, see, and there we go again to the mystery of it all. Then it's so weird to me that he is known as a Ferrari collector, and we kind of see this one Ferrari way more than anything else.
Scott: We see others of his collection here and there, but this is the one that right now is popular, and everybody knows about. The motoring world knows about it.
Ben: If you'll permit me a really bad comparison, Scott. If his Ferrari collection was an album, his customized Ferrari is the single.
Ben: I promise I will never make a comparison like that again.
Scott: No, that was pretty good.
Ben: Well, I've exhausted my luck.
Scott: That was pretty good.
Ben: Who's next, man?
Scott: Ralph Lauren. Ralph Lauren has a fantastic collection of cars.
Ben: Does he?
Scott: He really does, yeah. I mean if you want to look at some beautiful cars, these are like the artwork cars that are on display at the High Museum right now in Atlanta. These are beautiful, beautiful cars. He's got garages full of specific makes and models. Like he has a garage full of Vintage Ferraris, and I know some of them have to have race history. Some of them are race cars, so you know that they've been in famous races. They've got some type of background to them.
Ben: Oh, he probably knows -
Scott: Oh, I'm sure he does. He knows exactly what he's got. It's a fantastic collection, again, look online to find all the photos that you can. I don't know if you'll ever see them all in one room. I'm not sure if they do it that way or not. There's just so many. He's got a huge collection.
Ben: I'm just gonna say before you get to the last one, you know I'm waiting for one person in particular, right? We've talked about it.
Ben: Just carry on, as you were.
Scott: Okay then. All right. The last person I'm gonna mention, Steve McQueen. Is that the one?
Scott: Oh okay, well, wait a minute then. So Steve McQueen, the late Steve McQueen, the late actor, avid car collector. He of course was in that movie - well, he's known for the movie LeMans. He was also in Bullitt, and in the famous driving scene in Bullitt, but he owned several race cars. I'll just read a couple here. He had a Porsche 917 and 908, and Ferrari 512, much like Nick Mason has. I think that was the one from the movie, in his collection, or as part of his collection. He had a big collection. I think his son still has part of his collection.
Ben: It's got to be part of the estate.
Scott: I would think so, yeah. Okay, so hit me with your last - who were you waiting for that I didn't mention, Elvis? Elvis didn't really have any race cars I don't think.
Ben: No, no, as a native Tennessean myself, I can tell you, we're more into those land boats, you know. We don't like to hurry is what it comes down to.
Ben: It's just Opryland and mountains up there for us.
Scott: Is Dollywood there?
Ben: Dollywood is there. We count that as mountains.
Scott: I just like to say that.
Ben: All right Scott, the person that I was waiting for, although thank you for the Elvis reference.
Ben: My Tennessee citizenship requires me to name drop him like once a week, or we get kicked out of Opryland.
Scott: Got it.
Ben: It's a big deal. So what about the other Steven, car enthusiast, Steven Tyler.
Scott: Yeah, you know what, he's apparently a big car enthusiast.
Scott: Yeah, exactly. I didn't mean to cut you off. Yeah, Aerosmith.
Ben: No, I'm just hanging out.
Scott: That's why you have that scarf wrapped around your microphone there. Is that right?
Ben: Right, that's why I keep pulling these weird -
Scott: No, he's apparently a car enthusiast, and I read a long time ago - I don't know if he owns any race cars or what the extent of his collection is, if he has one.
Ben: Or the focus -
Scott: I know that he had mentioned in an article I read about a Lotus 7. He loved his Lotus 7 that he had, and I would think that if somebody has a gusto like that, I would think that he probably has more in his staple of cars that he chooses from everyday. There's probably something interesting in there. I know I see a lot of money, you know, like the rock star money, sports -
Ben: Athlete money.
Scott: Exactly, I was gonna say anybody involved the sports world - There's a lot of money - of course, CEOs of corporations, a lot of them can have big car collections if they want.
Ben: Middle eastern and other members of -
Scott: The Sultan of Michigan.
Ben: The Sultan of Michigan?
Scott: There is someone that calls themselves the Sultan of Michigan, and he's got a huge collection of beautiful cars.
Ben: Is it you?
Scott: No. No, but there is some rumor going around about who it is, so I'll leave it at that.
Ben: Are you serious?
Scott: Yeah, you can find out who it is, or who it is speculated to be.
Ben: Okay, we won't do it here then.
Scott: Who it's speculated to be, but look up the Sultan of Michigan, and you'll find an incredible car collection that resides in Michigan in a secret location.
Ben: So obviously what we've done today is just give you an overview of what we think is a really interesting set of vehicle collectors. These are guys who collect. We know they are collecting race cars, but we just don't know exactly what, or how many, which makes me think a garage find, Scott because you know there are so many old race cars that sort of just dropped off the face of history.
Scott: Yeah, there are some cars that have incredible history behind them.
Ben: Like the Sultan race car heron now.
Scott: Maybe, maybe, but there are a lot of cars just neglected, too. There are some race cars that you'd be surprised to find they turn up in a barn somewhere, or they turn up - in one case, turned up in salt mines. I'm considering that for a topic. So if you know what I'm talking about, don't give it away right now. But there are some cars that ended up in a salt mine that we may talk about because they're very, very interesting, and very, very valuable.
Ben: But we can't say anymore.
Scott: But that's it. Barn finds, I love barn finds. It's still possible. As far as these car collectors go, race car collections, big money, not for everybody, but it is sure interesting to look at.
Ben: You know Scott, I'm gonna have to say, I've had a great experience being your lifestyle consultant, and I think we really made a lot of progress. So race car collection is gonna be sort of a milestone, and as an inspiration to you, in your continuing - I'm so done with this joke.
Scott: No, no that's all right, keep going because - now you're gonna somehow have to find a way to build a bigger garage for me because I'm barely making it in there with my Civic.
Ben: You know, I have been considering a position in garage design actually.
Scott: Fantastic. This will work out real well for both of us, then.
Ben: Yeah, in this kind of economy it's good to do a lot of things.
Scott: I think you're right.
Ben: So as inspiration, I have a surprise for you from someone named Alex who wrote some Listener Mail. Okay Scott, so Alex says, Hey guys, I just listened to the Indy 500 and you did a fantastic job of covering it for the amount of time given. I am a lifelong resident of Indy, going on 22 years, and sadly have never gone to a 500. I have been to many of the practice and qualification days though, so Scott, don't feel too bad. You guys mentioned the four time champs, and possibly by the time you read this, there could be another four-pete with Helio Castroneves.
Scott: Oh, very nice Ben.
Ben: Thank you.
Scott: You really took me there.
Ben: Some of my best 500 memories have been listening to the 500 on the radio and lounging by the pool, not a corny thing at all.
Scott: Bingo. I'm gonna say - you know what, one thing - I'm glad you mentioned this. One thing that I wanted to get out - I won the last one and I thought about it recently. Boy I'm so excited about this.
Ben: What's going on?Scott: Well, this person, who was it?
Ben: Oh, that's Alex.
Scott: Alex mentioned listening to it on the radio, and I said listening to it on the radio. I now remember why I listened to it on the radio so many times when I was in Indiana.
Ben: Why's that?
Scott: Because there's a blackout, like there would be in a sports event, if it doesn't sell out. ABC will not show the Indianapolis 500 in Indiana on the day of the race, and I don't know if that has changed recently or not because I'm sure you can watch it on another network like ESPN or whatever channel is carrying it now, I don't know, but the day of the race, if you were in Indiana, you could not watch it on your local ABC channel, and ABC covers the event, so you would have to wait - this is what I did - you would listen to it on the radio during the day if you didn't go, which was very exciting, believe it or not, it's really exciting, and then at 12:01 a.m. the local affiliate would play the entirety of the Indianapolis 500 on television, so I would stay up on that Sunday night after midnight, and watch the entire race on television until about 3 or 4 in the morning, go to sleep and then be able to make it to school the next Tuesday because we had Monday off.
Ben: Kind of make it.
Scott: Well you know -
Ben: You had Monday.
Scott: Yeah, you have Monday to relax, and then Tuesday back to school.
Ben: That's awesome.
Scott: Yeah, it was really cool, but I mean that's why that entity exists in Indiana, that a lot of people listen to it on the radio, and then watch the replay of it later.
Ben: So I thought that was really cool of Alex to write in, and tell you not to beat yourself up over it.
Scott: I'm gonna get there some year.
Ben: Well it's like people who live in New York man, they never go to the Statue of Liberty. But as you guys can tell, Scott and I definitely enjoy Listener Mail. I'm just gonna try to sync this back here, and we've got to head out. We have to do a couple things. We probably have to look after our Facebook, which you can hang out with us on, on our Twitter account, on our blog even, and you can comment on there, you never know, it might make it on the air as well, if you have an E-mail you'd like to send to us with suggestions for an upcoming topic, rambling anecdotes, anything at all, send it to us at -
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