For anyone interested in classic and sports cars one of the best attractions in Las Vegas lies hidden in the back of the LINQ Hotel and Casino (formerly the Imperial Palace). The LINQ is located across the street from the iconic Bellagio and its fountains. Walking through the casino towards the back and the parking structure you will see a small sign and an elevator leading your to The Auto Collections. The collection was established by former owner of the Imperial Ralph Englestead, who was also a developer of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Current owner Don Williams can often be found at a desk in the Collections. Here you will find some 200 plus cars on display. However, the collection is not static – in addition to rotating cars on and off display, most of the cars are for sale and the prices are posted along with the information on the make, year and history of the vehicle. The prices on my last visit ran between about $14,000 to over a million. The benefits of this are that collection vaires over time and you will see some new cars if you visit periodically – and of course if you have been lucky at the Casino you can always treat yourself to that vintage Ferrari you have had a hankering for!
Cars at The Auto Collections range from pre-war CCCA full classic Packards, post-war Rolls Royce Phantoms and Clouds with custom coachwork, vintage Ferraris, vintage MG, Morgan and other Britich sports cars, American muscle cars, Corvettes, a few race cars from different eras all the way down to vintage VW Bugs and French sedans from the 1960’s. There are also some permanent cars in the collection including a 1939 Chrysler owned by Johnny Carson’s father and beautifully restored by Carson as a memento of his youth in the Midwest. Along way there are pieces of automobilia and Americana to look at enjoy as you check out the cars. Give yourself time for the experience.
On a recent visit I was particularly taken by a lovely Alfa Romeo Sprint Special, a 1933 Packard 1001 Roadster, a 1967 Ferrari 330 GTC prototype, as well as a Bentley S1 with coachwork by Freestone and Webb and a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud Sedanca Coupe with coachwork by James Young. Some of the more unusual cars on this trip included a trio of VW Bugs used in the most recent Herbie movie, a couple of limos associated with President John F. Kennedy, a 1974 Hong-Qi party limousine from Communist China and a perfectly preserved Bradley GT kit car from the 1970’s. I remember the Bradley – which was a fiberglass bodied kit that you built on a VW Bug floor pan – as being ‘the kit’ to go for in the early 1970’s.
Now, all this eye candy can be yours to view for free if you print out the pass at the following website – http://www.autocollections.com/index.cfm?action=free . But remember, you have to print out the pass and redeem the physical copy. Having it on your Iphone or pad will not work. So, next time you are in Vegas and have won really big, lost all your money and can no longer spend time at the tables, or simply want a quiet break from it – check out The Auto Collections at the LINQ.
WEST MEETS EAST –