Leaving Las Vegas? Not until you visit the Hollywood Cars Museum

The Batmobile from movie 'Batman Returns' among those in the museum | Larry Edsall photos
The Batmobile from movie ‘Batman Returns’ among those in the museum | Larry Edsall photos

So you’ve gotten tired of the wildlife along the Las Vegas Strip. You’ve been to the Mob Museum; you’ve even gone out and shot 50-caliber machine guns. You’ve been to the Valley of Fire. You’ve seen the fountains at Bellagio and the light show on Fremont Street. You’ve watched a show featuring clones of long dead entertainers. You rode the High Roller but lost your shirt trying to act like one in the casino, and now you’re down to your last $15.

So get off The Strip, cross the I-15 freeway and find your way to Dean Martin Drive, to Hot Rod City and its Hollywood Cars Museum.

Regular readers of this website will recognize the name Michael Dezer, the New York and Miami real estate developer whose Florida car collection includes around 1,800 vehicles, some of which are showcased at The Miami Auto Museum.

Several years ago, Dezer purchased a square block along Dean Martin Drive, where he expected to remove the various buildings occupied by various automotive service and specialty shops and to replace them with three high-rise residence towers.

At least that was the plan until the economy went sour.

But Dezer came up with a Plan B. He contacted local auto broker and public relations specialist Steve Levesque, made him mayor of Hot Rod City, invited the auto shop owners to stay, and sent out around 100 of his cars to occupy and open the Hollywood Cars Museum.

Overwhelmingly, cars in the museum have entertainment industry history, including the new Liberace Garage, which is located within the Hollywood Cars Museum, but is overseen by The Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts and includes several of the flamboyant pianist’s cars as well as several of his sparkling outfits and, of course, a few candelabra.

Cars in the Hollywood museum include actual TV- or movie-star vehicles, cars created by customizer Jay Ohrberg, and yes, some cloned movie vehicles, such as the death car from Bonnie and Clyde.

Several of the vehicles on display were used for movie or television show stunt shots and still have their roll cages and other safety equipment installed.

There are a couple of cars from the Fast and Furious movie franchise. Those of a certain age will enjoy seeing the 40-foot hot-pink topless limousine from the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, while others will recognize the pink Hudson Hornet from Porky’s.

The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at 5115 Dean Martin Drive.

Photos by Larry Edsall

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