It’s a treasure-trove of autos and automobilia
In a dimly lit warehouse in a nondescript part of industrial Brooklyn lies Lenny’s Garage. Lenny Shiller has been collecting all manner of cars and car stuff (and much more) for many years. The range of items in this warehouse is truly staggering. Many, many cars from the beginning of the auto age are in dusty original condition. They are pressed together with barely enough room to squeeze yourself through. What in the world is over there? Is that a Good Humor ice cream truck? Studebakers, Packards, Buicks, Cadillacs, Fords, Chevys. Nash, Rambler, Hudson, Humber, Durant. A genuine Chrysler woody wagon and a Ford marked “Bonnie and Clyde”. A 1912 Metz (left). I never heard of it either.
A genuine seltzer/soda delivery truck from the 60s is complete with hundreds of empty soda and seltzer squirt bottles in their wooden crates (right and below). What’s a seltzer truck? It’s a unique item to New York City. It delivered soda, seltzer and beer to homes and apartments around the city well before supermarkets commonly carried those items. You would probably know seltzer as carbonated water. The squirting seltzer bottles are the thing of comedy acts for a long time. Seltzer water fights were beloved to kids and adults way before military grade water guns came along. Messy and super fun.
Hey Lenny! You want this?
That’s how my car loving pal described the collection housed in Lenny’s Garage. It appears Lenny never said no. Dozens of cars and trucks. An old ambulance towing an original airstream trailer (left). A 60s tow truck and a fire engine. Old Puch and Vespa scooters. Several motorcycles, including an Indian. I think I saw a Vincent too. Bicycles with banana seats. Countless bike and motorcycle helmets. Old radios. A huge wall with an original fan belt display filled with fan belts. Gasoline signs. Watch displays filled with “chatchkas”. Boxes and boxes of lord-knows-what. Large 70s-ish art hanging on the wall.
I’m told that Lenny takes most of his collection out for a spin every now and then. The large number of battery chargers in use seems to confirm this. His daily driver on the day we visited was an old NYC yellow Checker cab. You know, the one from the tv show “Taxi”. They were tanks with back seat room enough for a Shriner’s convention.
One giant convertible
When I saw the convertible at right, I pictured Franklin D. Roosevelt riding in the back seat. You could easily see FDR waving to the crowd while smoking a cigarette in that long holder. I have no idea what make of car this is.
There was way too much stuff in Lenny’s Garage to take it all in. While walking through the warehouse, many folks beside myself began to ruminate about how much the collection might be worth. I don’t think Lenny cares one bit. He’s a dyed-in-the-wool car guy.
Lenny opens up his warehouse once a year to the public. I was lucky to find out about it in time. I’ve never seen a collection like Lenny’s Garage.
To see some of Lenny’s collection, check out the gallery of photos below.
Thanks for the open house Lenny!