Collier classic car collection revving for public display

The former Collier Automotive Museum, at 2500 Horseshoe Drive S., East Naples, is planning to reopen sometime this spring.


The former Collier Automotive Museum, at 2500 Horseshoe Drive S., East Naples, is planning to reopen sometime this spring.

A major collection of sports, racing and historic cars will soon be open to the public again.

The former Collier Automotive Museum, at 2500 Horseshoe Drive S., East Naples, which operated publicly from 1992 to 1994, is planning to reopen sometime this spring.

Scott George, vice-president of the Revs Institute for Automotive Reseach, Inc., confirmed the collection will open under the Revs institute name. The name Revs is actually an anacronym for Researching the Evolution of Vehicles in Society.

George said the institute could not give a date for the opening.

“We can say sometime this spring, for three days a week,” he said. But even then visits will be limited; they will be by reservation only.

George said the institute expects to announce dates shortly. He emphasized the institute is not taking reservations or calls now. He could not say what the admission price would be nor estimate of the cost of reopening the facility to the public.

Since 1994, the institute and its research libraries, which holds more than 1 million photos and documents, have only been open, again by reservation, to members of the Revs institute.

For the serious automotive student, the collection amassed by Miles Collier and his family inside its walls is a trove of groundbreaking and/or aesthetically singular vehicles, such as the 1898 Panhard et Levassor M2F wagonette. The Panhard was first car to position the motor at the front of the car and deliver power to the rear wheels, prefiguring the rear-wheel drive of almost all cars in the 20th century.

Also in the collection are:

A German 1914 Mercedes that won the Grand Prix, wresting dominance from French racing cars.

A sexy 1961 Maserati Tipo 60, with its slung-back windshield, puffed wheel skirts and tubular construction that earned it an enduring nickname, “The Birdcage.”

The 1933 Bentley 4¼-liter “Eddie Hall,” owned by the famous racecar driver.

A 1935 MG PA/PB—“Leonidis,” said to be the most famous pre-war MG in America.

A Rolls Royce Silver Ghost

A Porsche collection that is said to be among the, if not the, world’s best

But part of the collection’s appeal for general viewers is its international collection of historic street cars, from Corvettes to the Trabant, a tiny Soviet Union-era economy car.

The Revs institute embraces more than the car collection. It has partnered with McPherson College, known for its academic program in automobile restoration and conservation, to offer summer internships at the collection. Collier collection specialists work with the students to teach them varied aspects of museum work.

In 2012 the institute also began a collaboration with Stanford University to handle a digitizing of its vast library, making it more accessible to automotive students around the globe.

The Revs institute receives, and grants, requests annually for some of its cars to appear in automotive technology and design festivals. Among them are the U.S. Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the manufacturers of Porsches and Mercedes and museum exhibitions.

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Comments » 4

rghtprc#266017 writes:

I have seen this collection several times and it is nothing short of incredible, look forward to seeing it again.

Pitoq writes:

That this museum has been closed to the public is a travesty. I have seen it and it is fantastic, but to have it open only for the privileged few is....well, typical of the mentality of a large segment of Naples society. At any rate, it's good that it will be open again.

Jomayski writes:

There are some fine used cars in there! Amazing collection, deserving of more display.

onlythetruth writes:

I am so glad it is reopening. When it was open before, I took everyone who visited Naples to see it. It is a real treasure. Thanks to Miles and REVS for doing this.

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