I lived in Seattle for over 20 years as a car fanatic without knowing that the Avants car club existed and I joined the day I found out that it did. Avants embraces a drive everything philosophy and welcomes anyone interested in cars, trucks, SUVs and even has an Avants Offroad branch. It is a great community, publishes a first-class magazine and organizes fun events.
One of these events was a very special tour of The Brothers Collection down in Salem Oregon. If you have never heard of the Brothers Collection, you are not alone. Nobody has. It is a very low key private collection and the owners work hard to maintain their privacy so I won’t be doing anything to change that. I didn’t link to anything because there is nothing to link to. When you search The Brothers Collection, you will find links with titles like “the greatest car collection you’ve never heard of” and “the biggest muscle car collection in the world”.
On Sunday, June 27th, I had the good fortune to spend three hours walking around the collection, jaw open and completely overwhelmed by the cars…it lives up to the hype and so much more. One of the brothers was there to host us and was so gracious. They are not open to the public but they do offer limited private tours for charity. Private collectors can get a lot of grief, mostly due to jealousy inspired by the kind of wealth it takes to build a collection, but these brothers are doing so much to preserve automotive history and I’m so grateful for it. It seems like they are gearing up to open more frequently so hopefully more folks have a chance to experience this history for themselves.
Clearly I’m a huge Porsche fan…and I will get there eventually, but I need to start with Ford. The Brothers Collection is heavily weighted with America muscle cars and what better place to start than the Ford GT. Next to a 911, the Ford GT is my favorite car of all time…it might be tied with first. Not only does the collection have an actual 1966 Ford GT40 MK I (go watch Ford vs. Ferrari if you haven’t already) but they have four early 2000 Ford GTs and two of the latest generation Ford GT supercars.
Okay, with that out of the way, I can spend some time on the Porsches they had on display. When you can walk by a 911 GT3 RS without even glancing at it…you know something very special is in front of you. There it was, the first Porsche 959 that I have ever seen in person. This car was truly revolutionary as a sports car with the most cutting edge perfomance tech for its time, all crammed into a stunningly beautiful but purpose built design. Bill Gates bought one and petitioned hard to have the Show or Display laws passed so he could own it in the US. Now it was right in front of me so close I could smell the leather and imagine myself breaking all kinds of traffic laws in it…again…just like Bill 🙂
There were plenty of other stunning Porsches there as well, like a 918 Spyder and Carrera GT sitting together and row after row of rare aircooled models.
Let’s get the other exotics out of the way and head on over to Ferrari land…not a place I spend much time but they did have some drop dead gorgeous cars! Throw in some sexy Lamborghinis and a Bizzarrini GT 3500 Strada as well!
Let’s hop back to American Muscle with a stop by Shelby but we need to walk by a 2006 Saleen S7 Competition on the way (1 of 13 in the world).
You want row after row of Corvettes…they have it. You need a 63 or 64 or 65…I could keep going…they are all in a row by year and all perfectly preserved.
Okay, I’m going to shut up and just give you the orgy of American metal that awaits you when you have a chance to visit this collection. I did a few laps with my camera, a few laps with my phone and then I just had to put it all away and slowly walk the floor trying to absorb it all. I want to go back!
You can tell from looking at the building that something fun lives inside…and occasionally comes out to play outside. In fear of being chased off, I didn’t try to add any character lines in my Jeep. Instead I drove home in 111 degree weather without my hard top because I thought that would be a good idea 🙂
Here is a direct link to higher resolution images if you want to view them without all of my blabbering or to download higher resolution versions. If you use or share them, please credit me Jeff Jones @911Maniac on Instagram.
Adobe Link for full-size images – https://adobe.ly/3dqxVi1
On one of my many laps, I pulled out my iPhone to capture some video. Sorry it is vertical but it was originally done for Instagram. Not a great video but you get a sense of the scale of this collection. For a much more in-depth video, check out what this guy has on YouTube.
Here is just a small list of cars that I captured, there are about 400 in the collection:
- 2020 Ford GT Factory Lightweight
- 2005 Ford GT
- 2006 Ford GT
- 1966 Ford GT40 MK I
- 1987 Porsche 959
- 1990 Lamborghini LM002 SUV
- 1967 VW Type II 21 window samba bus
- 1982 Lamborghini Countach 5000S
- Lamborghini Diablo
- 1962 Jeep DJ-3A Surrey Gala
- 1969 Ford Torino Bobby Unser Pikes Peak Racer
- 1965 Shelby GT350R
- 1966 Ford F100 Police Interceptor
- 1970 Plymouth Duster 340 Rapid Transit Show Car
- Spyker C8 Spyder
- 2005 Porsche Carrera GT
- Porsche 918
- 1949 Ferrari 166 Inter Berlinetta
- 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C Long Nose Alloy
- 2003 Ferrari Enzo
- 2006 Saleen S7 Competition
- Bizzarrini GT 5300
- 2007 Porsche GT3 RS
- 1988 Porsche 911 Turbo Targa
- 1989 Porsche 930 Turbo
- 1989 Porsche Speedster
- Two Porsche 911 Slantnose Turbos
- Porsche 356 in all forms
- American Motors Javelin
- 1933 Packard Twelve 1005 Coupe Roadster