Did you know that fashion designer extraordinaire Ralph Lauren collects classic automobiles? That he owns “60 or so of the rarest, most valuable cars in the world” and drives them all himself? He does! This is where he keeps ’em.
The D.A.D. Garage, an acronym derived from the names of Lauren’s children, is located outside Westchester, New York, and it houses all of the designer’s cars – including a 1938 Alfa Romeo Mille Miglia roadster, a 1938 Bugatti coupe, and a one-of-a-kind 1930 Mercedes-Benz SSK “Count Trossi” roadster – in a clean, museum-like showroom.
Vanity Fair was granted access, and even as someone who doesn’t really care too much about cars, it’s hard not to get excited imagining the scene:
Paredes and Reinwald designed the garage so that you could see your way from the lobby only to the library and the workshop; there is no sign of where the cars in the collection are housed. You return to the lobby, and at the right moment, which is to say when Lauren, or Reinwald, decides you are to enter the inner sanctum, a button is pressed, an entire panel of the lobby wall slides away, and you are staring a new Lamborghini Reventón in the face. It is the first indication that this is less a garage or a storehouse than a museum installation, since the positioning of the Reventón, one of three 2010 Lamborghinis that Lauren has acquired, is as studied as the placement of the Venus de Milo at the Louvre. The car, made of carbon fibre, has sharp, folded lines, and its front end is both ominous and graceful, as if a fighter jet had been made as a piece of origami. It commands you to pay attention to it. “I went to Italy and fell in love with it,” Lauren told me as we walked past the car and he ran his hand over the dark, matte grey surface. “It’s like a building-the shadows, the light. It’s like Star Wars. Every time I look at it I see something else.” Only 15 of the 640-horsepower Reventón roadsters were built, and they sold for roughly $US2 million each. (Lauren’s is the only one in the United States.) The car, like all of the cars in the collection, is registered and available whenever Lauren feels like taking it for a spin.
So why does the fashion designer collect the world’s rarest automobiles as opposed to, say, fine art? When Vanity Fair asked, Lauren’s answer was simple. “You can’t drive a painting.” [Vanity Fair, Vanity Fair (photos) via Jezebel]