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An Afternoon with Dennis Collins – His Collection in His Own Words
Part 2

This is the second article in a series covering an afternoon long interview with Dennis Collins of CB Jeep, Black Mountain Jeep Parts, and the hit Discovery Channel T.V. series Fast N Loud.  Throughout the course of the interview, I was able to ask Mr. Collins about his business, his life story, and most prominently, his breathtaking private automotive collection.  In this article, Mr. Collins and I discuss two of the most unique and exclusive vehicles in his personal museum, representing the perfect dichotomy of modern racing performance and old-world excess and esteem.  

When last I left you, Dennis, Malcolm, Javier and myself had just arrived at Dennis’ private storage facility.  At this point, we’ve exited Dennis’ truck and are approaching the large, red building.  As Dennis begins undoing the multiple locks sealing his precious collection inside their paradise, my imagination begins to run a bit wild.  After all, past the gate and behind the heavily locked door, there could have been an infinite number of hidden automotive treasures.  I knew of a few vehicles that occupy permanent residencies in Dennis’ collection for sure, but other than being extensive and exceedingly rare I knew little else about the bulk of his personal museum.  One last “thunk” signals that the final lock has been opened and the fortifications have been officially lowered.  Dennis opens the door, and we all follow suite inside.

Our eyes are graced with a sight that few truly get to experience.  We’re immediately baptized in a brilliant, white glow that emanates from the blanche ceiling and walls.  The cleanliness of the cache room is strangely surprising; more show room floor than garage.  Adorning the space within the building, evenly spaced, are millions of dollars’ worth of some of the world’s most exclusive, overwhelmingly rare, astonishingly magnificent automobiles ever to be manufactured or hand crafted.  Vehicles representing nearly every faction of automotive intrigue are present, spanning eras and functions of engineering alike.  Choosing which machine to admire first was a choice not even Sophie could make, so I felt it best to just start with the vehicle immediately preceding me.

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An Afternoon with Dennis Collins: Part One – Building Jeeps and Setting World Records

 

As my photographer Javier and I waited anxiously outside of Collins Brothers Jeep for Dennis Collins to arrive, I couldn’t help but feel a flurry of nervousness.  In my experience as a journalist I’ve been able to meet some incredible people and drive some incredible cars, but I’ve never had the experience of spending an afternoon with a true automotive icon. It’s always been about the cars rather than the owners.  Knowing that you’re about to spend an afternoon with the Texan equivalent of Jay Leno tends to add a twinge of child-like giddiness to one’s mood.

For those readers whom don’t already know, Dennis Collins is an American automotive collector, restorer, and historian, co-founder and president of Collins Brothers Jeep and Black Mountain Jeep Products in Wylie Texas, frequent guest on the hit Discovery Channel T.V. series Fast N Loud, and most recently, a world-record setter at the 46th Annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction.  Additional honorable mentions on Dennis’ portfolio include being the co-setter of the 2007 Cannonball Run transcontinental record during which he and the ever-rowdy Richard Rawlings rocketed from New York City to the City of Angels in 32 hours 51 minutes in a customized Ferrari 550 Maranello. As if all this wasn’t quite enough, Mr. Collins also happens to own one of the single most impressive collections of automotive jewelry and treasure in existence.  In an afternoon that seemed to fly by, Mr. Collins was good enough to meet with me and Javier Herrera, to show us his breathtaking private collection, share with us some fantastic stories and perhaps most excitingly, allow me on behalf of The Hooniverse to be the first outside source to interview him about the recent sale of his collection of Fox Body and SN-95 Mustangs at Barrett-Jackson, six of which set world sale records.

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Intercity Lines Inc. keeps the automotive world moving

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We’re all familiar with the concept of the “unsung hero”.  A good hearted, heroic soul who makes selfless sacrifices for the betterment of the story, all the while remaining in relative obscurity without recognition or thanks.  To be an unsung hero is, perhaps, the most difficult position a character can find themselves in, but also the most noble.  There’s no question that the most lovable of heroes are the ones who seek neither fame nor recognition for their actions.  From Cyrano de Bergerac to Alan Turing, everybody loves an unsung hero.  As it turns out, the automotive universe has its own invisible force keeping the wheels of collectors and auction houses rolling; they’re called Intercity Lines Inc.

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The Porsche 911 GT3RS: Complex, Purple, and Nearly Perfect

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When I was 17 years old, a house in the neighborhood that my family and I lived in caught fire. We lived out in the boonies, so the nearest fire department was roughly 25 miles away. In other words, that bad boy was going up in flames without much hope of being extinguished. Fortunately, the family was not home at the time and no one was injured. So as the neighborhood waited for the fire department to arrive there was little more we could do aside from gather together to watch the spectacle. I had never seen a house fire before, and the sheer force of the event still leaves me searching for words to describe it. Even from a hundred yards away, the heat was unfathomable. The sounds of glass windows exploding outwards, wood crackling, and brick and mortar crumbling created a cacophony of destruction. The fire burned so hot and so furiously that it created its own wind as it mercilessly sucked air in towards itself to fuel its rage. Each aspect of this gross display of nature’s power was awesome and terrifying, but it was when they all summated together that the entire event became something that left me completely overpowered. Even when every component of a system is a work of art itself, it’s when all those parts come together as a whole that create an experience that overwhelms those who partake in it. This can happen in the automotive world too.

The Porsche 991 GT3RS is an amalgamation of near perfect components, and it’s when all the cogs of the machine mesh together that it becomes more than a car; it becomes a titan of performance. For those who don’t already know, the GT3RS plays big brother to Porsche’s 911 GT3 and represents the pinnacle of 911 performance (with the exception, to some, of the 911R). For reference, these are the 911s trimmed in Tropical Skittles inspired colors (although these days any Porsche can be if your pockets are deep enough). The GT3RS is traditionally a track-ready version of the GT3 and brings some extra performance to the driver. However, whereas in the past the GT3RS was simply a more aesthetically intense version of the GT3 with a few extra Clydesdales under the… trunk, the latest installment of the icon – the 991- brings more nuances than usual.

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Hennessey HPE650 package for the C7 Corvette Stingray – The Z06 Alternative

William Desrochers October 25, 2016 Featured, Reviews

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For many decades the typical American performance car in the minds of drivers was a muscle car.  A large, heavy car with lofty suspension and a gargantuan V8; this was the stigma with which our fine nation was pinned.  The American auto industry has since been diversifying its performance fleet by manufacturing its own unique style of sports cars.  Several iconic American sports cars such as the Ford GT and Dodge Viper have made their mark on history by bringing American competitiveness to the cutthroat land of track-inspired lap machines.  But if one car has revolutionized the way American sports cars are perceived, it is the Chevrolet Corvette.

Tracing its roots back to 1953, the Corvette was one of the earliest American vehicles to mate performance handling and braking with traditional American horsepower and has always carefully tread the fine line between finesse and brutality.  Since it’s conception the Corvette has undergone several generations of design from the C1 to today’s C7, each unique in its own right.  The Corvette has always been the result of a unique blend of heritage, power and preciseness.  This is probably why the mad Texan scientists at Hennessey Performance love to have their way with them.

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2016 Vanderhall Laguna Roadster: More Than a Toy

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The automotive world is changing.   Electric cars have ranges of almost 400 miles, hyper cars are hybrids, and autonomous driving technology is available to the general public.  In our modern, millennial minded world it is not enough for a vehicle to simply be good; it has to be different. To stand out from the crowd is synonymous, for some, with excellence. This trend has given birth to not only a new breed of cars but also a rapidly expanding new market segment.  The emergence of the Can-am Spyder and Campagna T-Rex showed that a shift towards non-car street legal machines had begun.

Today, we find ourselves with a new kind of gasoline powered entertainment; the auto-cycle. The autocycle has found surprising amounts of success in recent years and are often technically classified as motorcycles (however this tends to change from state to state).  Today they have become popular for their exclusivity, exotic looks, and the extreme driving experience they offer.  The auto-cycle has given the driving world much of what it’s been looking for, but there’s one thing they haven’t been able to deliver thus far; luxury.  That’s why Steve Hall decided to produce the Vanderhall Laguna Roadster.

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