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How to Collect Vintage Cars

Insider tips—and photos—from the president of the Antique Automobile Association of Brooklyn

December 6, 2012

Lifelong Brooklynite and real-estate executive Lenny Shiller keeps 58 cars in a 12,300-square-foot garage near his home. In 1967, he acquired his first automobile, a hand-me-down 1936 Chevy from his grandmother. His modest hobby turned into an obsession in 1986 when he decided he wanted to acquire and fix a car from every year from 1936 through 1958. You may have already seen some of his prized possessions: a 1947 International KB-6 soda truck he owns appeared in seven movies including Malcolm X and Pollack, and his 1965 Chrysler 300 convertible was in the B 52's "Love Shack" video. Here, the 68-year old, and president of the Antique Automobile Association of Brooklyn, takes us through his collection and offers tips for would-be buyers.

"My original idea of collecting was to have one car from every year from 1936 through 1958. The '50s were a huge transitional period. In 1949 they started needing design changes. That's when you have these wonderful cars like the bullet-nose Studebaker from 1950," he says. Chrysler is now the dominant brand in his collection.

Pictured: 1950 Studebaker "Bullet Nose" Champion Starlight Coupe (top) and 1949 Chrysler Windsor Woody Wagon
All photos courtesy of Lenny Shiller.
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