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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.

"I wouldn't buy at auction, unless you have a lot of money and you want something very high end. How are you going to know mechanically what the car is like under the hood, whether the brakes work, and if it's mechanically sound? As far as I'm concerned, buy from another collector. If you buy from a collector, buy from someone who is involved in the hobby and who is a member of a legitimate car club."

Pictured: 1961 Bentley
All photos courtesy of Lenny Shiller.
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