|Here I am wondering how a normal human gets into a Berkeley sports car.|
Or perhaps they were nightmares.
Jaw-droppingly weird is the most appropriate description of the place I can manage. You've been to carefully curated collections of "significant" vehicles at prestigious museums.
This ain't one of those.
Michael Dezer, a real estate tycoon and associate of Donald Trump, has crammed two giant warehouses full with every car, micro-car, motorcycle, motor scooter, Whizzer, bicycle and — yes, for good measure — every outboard motor that has ever struck his fancy.
Dezer and his nut-bar collection of magnificent stuff is the subject of a recent Forbes article by Hannah Elliott.
There we learn that Dezer's personal favorite vehicle is — no, not his Veyron — the Vespa. His museum claims to own the largest collection of Vespas in the world, with more than 400.
|A Tatra. Ever seen one? Me either.|
Walking through his museum is an exercise in repeating "I never thought I would see one of those. Well, one of those either. That one either..."
It's not the quality of the collection that impresses (although a Toyota 2000GT sports car can not have come cheaply). I didn't spot a single Bentley. The Bugatti on display is a replica. There's no XK-E. The "Ferrari Daytona" (so labelled) is the phony used on the "Miami Vice" television show: a Corvette in crude Daytona disguise.
The museum is a perfect trivia quiz for anyone who fancies himself a car buff. Placards describing the cars are few, and often wrong.
|Doug shoots a picture, I admire a Postal Jeep and Marilyn Monroe looks on.|
Thank you Mr. Dezer.
Our wives may have been mystified but my friend, author Doug Kalajian and I, were thrilled. We share the same train-spotting mentality, I suppose. We shook our heads at the sight of the Cadillac Allante pace car from the 1993 Indianapolis 500.
"It must have been a slow race," Doug commented.
Dezer has an example of the famously hopeless Siata Spring "sports" car. There's no MGA on display, but the museum holds an MG Magnette, a car (its placard notes with evident amusement) that MG aficionados viewed as an affront to marque.
|Sidecar combination after Indiana Jones finished with it.|
I was expecting to find a Yugo, but didn't spot one. Perhaps that is the genius behind the Dezer Collection: I was expecting to see a Yugo.
The Renault Dauphine caught me by surprise.