There’s nothing like standing next to a $4 million 1949 Allard (that bears Sydney Allard’s autograph etched into the aluminum body,) which is parked next to a rare one-of-a-kind 1914 Trumbull Cycle Car, which is settled next to an ultra-rare 1929 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost that was built in Springfield, MA.  Nothing.

Cars beyond a collector’s wildest imagination converged upon the Big E yesterday for the 2nd annual Collector Car Experience, billed as the Ultimate Auto Show.   Hosted by Mike Brewer of Wheeler Dealers and Scott Hoke of NBCSN’s Mecum Collector Car Auctions, the event drew hundreds of eager spectators into the stadium.  Despite the muggy 80-degree weather, everyone braved the heat because they had one thing on their mind: cars.  And lots of ’em.

25 vehicles in all revved their engines and paraded onto the stage, flanked by two jumbo screens for TV broadcast, as Brewer and Hoke excitedly went over each car’s backstory and historical significance.  It was obvious, in the three hours the show lasted, that they struggled against the impulse to jump in the driver’s seat and take every vehicle for a test drive.  It was an impulse everyone in the audience shared, too.

 


Best part of the show was all the vehicles belonged to residents of New England.  Most of the owners were from Connecticut.  So how’s bout them bragging rights?

CT Boom sat down with Mike Brewer, the mastermind behind the Collective Car Experience and chatted about the big show.

 

mikeThis is your 2nd year of the Collector Car Experience…
Yes!  It’s my 4th year here at the Big E.  This is my 2nd ANNUAL Collector Car Experience.  We started off on the smaller XFinity Stage and we just filled it up with people.  So they needed a bigger arena for people wanting to come to see me and we started to bring cars to the stage, as well.  So, this is our 2nd year and, last year was a knockout, and it looks like, with the crowd that I can see in the arena already, this year looks to be the same.

 

What made you look at the Big E and go “Yes!  This is the venue that I want?”
Well, the Big E is one of the largest fairs in North America and, whenever I’m traveling through America and buying and selling cars, everyone is so passionate about them… but particularly here in the Northeast.  When I’m up here in the Northeast, there’s such a big population up here.  They know and the love their classic cars here better than, I think, anywhere else in the world.  And, so I thought, “Well, if there’s a state fair that’s looking for somebody to put a car show on… why not go to the best and the biggest?”  And that’s the Big E!

So, how much planning and preparation was put into bringing this off the ground?
Well, just this morning, really!  That’s it!  Ha!  No, No.  It takes about a year’s worth of planning to put on a big car show like this. We’ll start tomorrow planning for next year’s event.  We’ll be talking to people, these very generous people, who brought their amazing cars.  And there’s cars here that are worth… there’s one turning up worth $4.7 million dollars!  So, there’s very expensive cars here and that takes some… getting.  You need to warn these people that we want their car in a year’s time.  So, we’re very fortunate that we can do that and that we can get these people to bring their cars along for other people to enjoy.

Speaking of cars for you to enjoy, which car… out of the 25 here, would you most want to add to your collection?
There’s so many to choose from!  It’s hard to put my finger on one of them.  There’s a BEAUTIFUL Plymouth Cuda that’s just the ICONIC American muscle car.  It really is!  And then there’s this little Trumbull cycle car, here to my right, and it’s a beautiful little car.  Made by a cycle company that went on to make cars!  Very low horsepower engine, it’s got a little bit of pinstripe in on the door.  It’s very cute.  It’s very sweet.  But then again you can put a lawnmower in front of me and I’ll be excited.  Some of these cars are just incredible.    If you can put fuel in it and start it up, I’m your man.

So, how did you get in contact with all these people here who own these very unique cars?
Fortunately, we’ve got very good associations with Klingberg, and Klingberg is an organization that runs out of here… near Hartford.  Just outside of Springfield.  These people are amazing.  They give up their time, their energy, they run a school for adopted children, kids going through foster, kids on the wrong side abuse… and they bring them through this school program and, together with a lot of wealthy individuals, they support that school.  And Klingberg does some great thing for the community by teaching these kids engineering, mechanic skills, which gets them rethinking about their lives.

And, fortunately, that school has lots of benefactors, wealthy individuals who started up their own car club.  Because they started up their own car club, they got contact with other people who got some expensive cars.  So we reach out to Klingberg every year and and we get them to try and help and support us in as many ways as possible by getting as many cars here as possible.  And that’s what happened this year!  We had something like 150 cars subscribe to come and do this, but we could only choose 25.

So, what are your plans for the future?  It sounds like you’re not stopping anytime soon.
I was the one who called it the ANNUAL Collector Car Experience to make sure that it happens annually!  And, I made sure that they put it on all their brochures, programs, on their sweatshirts, on their baseball caps… because this is a show I very much love.  I love being here.  I love being in America and if I can come and do this every year… you got me.  That’s what I wanna do!  So, no, I’m not stopping!

 

Of course we had cameras on hand to snap photos of all the amazing cars!  Without peeking at the cheat sheet posted above, try to identify all the vehicles.

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