The Collier Collection, one of the world’s best automotive museums, reopens today after being closed to visitors for 20 years.
“There has been an ever-increasing number of requests for tours of the automobile collection, and we will now be able to accommodate those eager to learn more about the cars we hold in our Naples (Fla.) facility,” Scott George, vice president of The Revs Institute for Automotive Research, is quoted in a news release about the museum’s reopening.
“We hope that increased access to The Revs Institute’s collections will further enhance people’s understanding of the automobile as one of the most significant creations of the 20th Century,” George said.
“The automobile is, quite simply, the most significant technologic object of the 20th Century,” added Revs president and collection founder Miles C. Collier.
“Our mission is to create awareness of the automobile’s role, past, present and future, in shaping the modern world. Through the preservation and conservation of important historic automobiles, through the collection of an extensive archive of documents and images, and the assembly of extensive book and periodical libraries, we comprise one of the most comprehensive historical automotive research facilities anywhere.
“And now, in partnership with Stanford University through the Revs Program at Stanford, we are also building an exciting online database that will allow access to select images and other archival material for the benefit of researchers, students and enthusiasts outside our respective institutions.”
Collier’s father, Barron, and his uncles, scions of one of the America’s leading publishing companies, were among the country’s earliest sports car enthusiasts and racers, founding the Automobile Racing Club of America that evolved into the Sports Car Club of America. For many years, the Collier Collection showcased many of the world’s best cars — especially racing cars — in diorama displays.
But the emphasis changed to collecting and preserving photographs and historical documents and an academic approach to automotive research and the launch in 2011 of the Revs Institute at Stanford.
“By creating educational programs targeted at curators, major collectors and opinion leaders, Revs was instrumental in shaping the accepted new paradigm that stresses preserving rather than restoring important collectible cars,” the news release reports. “Out of emphasizing the historic nature of important automobiles, the Collection’s mission emerged: using the automobile to trace the trajectory of modernity.
“While remaining accessible to scholars, students and researchers over the last twenty years, the Collection’s gradual development out of public view allowed the institute to use its time and resources to flesh out its current mission into today’s reality. During those years, the Collier Collection was carefully enlarged, many of the automobiles were conserved with cutting edge techniques developed at the Institute, the galleries were reinstalled with extensive interpretive materials to better reflect the mission, and the archive and research library were subject to major expansion and development.”
And now the collection has reopened, though on a limited, by-reservation-only basis, which simply means visitors need to call ahead and schedule their visit. The facility and its more than 100 vehicles will be open on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. General admission will be $17 with discounts for students and active military personnel. A docent-led tour costs an additional $3.