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Lenny’s Garage: A Fresh Perspective on the Fun of Car Collecting

After spending forty years in the old car restoration and repair business, along with running this website and the deadlines and pressure that go along with both, viewing Lenny’s Garage, a short film by Peter Crosby was a like a breath of fresh air.

Lenny Shiller is a long time car collector from the New York City Borough of Brooklyn. He has assembled an eclectic collection of 58 cars and trucks in Gowanus, a neighborhood you have probably never heard of in South Brooklyn. His approach is simple “to have most of my collection under one roof” and to collect what he likes instead of what is popular.

lenny's garage 2

  • A small part of  Lenny Shiller’s eclectic collection in his Brooklyn, New York garage.

1960s good humor ice cream truck

  • Lenny also shares his collection; here is his Good Humor truck he took to a school in Brooklyn.

Lenny originally homed in on cars that he liked the exterior design of from the period between 1949 to ’58 to build his collection; since then he has widened his collecting horizon. He enjoys spending his time at his garage along with figuring out exactly what is mechanically wrong with a car and repairing it himself.

Oh what great fun, but don’t take my word for it, let Lenny tell you in this special video below.

27 responses to “Lenny’s Garage: A Fresh Perspective on the Fun of Car Collecting

  1. Great collection. I saw many of the cars that my parents had like the 51 Packard, a 47 Desoto, etc. Nice to see that the vehicles are maintained in road ready condition but kept in as original condition as possible.

  2. The atmosphere in the garage is incredible, it is if you’re moving in a different world. I wonder though what the little Metz was doing there, he must have felt impressed by all this heavy metal. I hope he became friends with the little Messerschmidt!

  3. How does he manage to not to have his brakes bunged up, the clutch stuck, the gas in the tank go bad? I have 5 cars and I cant keep up. Lenny, all my admiration !

  4. Really great. It is so nice to see them being driven and his love of sharing them with others, especially the children, who get little enough history instilled in them as it is.

  5. I think he has got it just right. The true car collecting hobbyist is the guy ( or gal) who is willing to invest the time. talent and money into preserving these great vehicles from times past for the future generations to see and drive. Great job Lenny. You are an inspiration.

  6. I’m fascinated by the paint scheme on that 1948 Buick Roadmaster Convertible. Buick did two tones that year with the fenders and fade away doors in black and the rest of the body in color as well as roof and hood center two toned.
    I’ve never seen the two tone job on his convertible. Factory option? Maybe a hood replacement .
    Darned if I know!

    Mike

  7. There’s a garage after my own heart. I’ve see so many garages and collections that are almost intangible; they’re museums. I really like the casual place, where you can work on your cars, or just relax and enjoy the collection. And to collect what he wants, instead of what’s popular. Lenny is the ideal old car enthusiast.

    • ditto what’s been well said above!

      also, think about the insurance for storage, plus for those he drives on the street, in the NY area!

      definitely a man after my own heart.

  8. Lenny is cool because he doesn’t try to be cool…. hence his collection of the uncool cars. No 55 Chevy’s or 56 corvettes. way to go Lenny !!

  9. People who lived out on the Island had it made with the Good Humor trucks.
    In the city all we had were Mr.Softee who offered a grand total of 2 flavors,vanilla and chocolate.
    That’s why this guy is treating these Brooklyn kids to Good Humor,to make up for that.

    • We had Good Humor in Brooklyn as well as Bungalow Bar (trucks tricked out as Bungalows) and Freezer Fresh (soft ice cream) and a few independents.

  10. Our Good Humor driver used to scrape a handful of ice crystals out of his truck and throw it at us. It felt good on a muggy summer afternoon. Loved the toasted almond bars. Thanks Lenny for preserving a fun memory.

    Lenny’s parts storage system is a distaster for anybody but him. I’d bet he knows exactly where to find any one of them. Moving one to another spot would be a dirty trick.

    I would rank Lenny’s garage very high on a list of exceptional man caves.

  11. GREAT!!! Worked on farms (50s) and spent every dime on Model A cars and parts….only to lose them all to a barn fire. Grew up with 40s and 50s cars and loved that era….when you could tell years by little differences in grills, or lights, or etc. Someday I’ll find a car from that era again. Thanks for the story.

  12. Congratulations to Lenny for sharing his garage of historic cars with other like minded car enthusiats. Lenny’s presentation is good but an onsite inspection of all the cars with Lenny as the collector would be great. This is a car museum and should be looked after by a car club interested in all the assembled cars to ensure the collection of historic cars is not broken up. Well done Lenny. Alan Martin

    • Sent by email from Alan Martin Evatt ACT Australia, after viewing Lenny Schiller’s excellent video of the collection of 58 cars and this fantastic museum of historic cars.

    • Sorry Alan, but I can’t agree with your notion that a “Car Club” should take over this amazing collection.
      This collection is as unique as it is because it is one man’s vision and one man’s accomplishment. Get a car club involved and all the members inflated egos and prejudices and organizational politics start coming into play and next thing you know, the whole thing that makes this collection so special goes out the door.
      Lenny’s singular vision and light handed approach is what makes this collection what it is.
      It ain’t broke;
      it don’t need fixin’.

  13. Thank you for sharing the passion of this amazing gentleman and the section of cars. I am going to Canada and Alaska in May 2017 and will definitely be stopping at New York for 2 weeks (holiday) to visit Lenny’s (museum) garage, before returning home to Sydney Australia.

  14. How can I get to see Lenny’s garage in real time?
    I live in London but am visiting the USA in October 2106 and would LOVE to soend an hour or two with this fascinating fellow!
    Please can you give me a contact e mail or telephone number?
    Thank you!

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