It is not very often that you get a peek inside a automotive legends personal garage.
When you do you are normally awestruck and speechless.
Ken Lingenfelter has one of those collections. I had always heard the name from the performance world of Camaro’s and Corvettes and he was the go to guy. But I never realized just how close his operation was. He has a facility in Wixom, MI and Fort Wayne, IN for the tuning and production of the performance mods. And has started hosting Cars and Coffee events at both locations. It was not until spring of 2015 that I found out about his open houses at his own collection of cars. There are two open houses a year open to the general public, spring and fall. As usual this open house did not disappoint.
This open house was also the first open house that I met Ken Lingenfelter himself. Being that it was his house I didn’t feel right about asking him to sign my shirt even though I desperately wanted to.
Ken seems to seek out the one off cars, he doesn’t just have a collection of muscle cars, each one is special and has a history all it’s own. Now he also has a pretty awesome collection of Ferrari’s as well but I will save that for another post.
This year was also a year I met a TV personality, Cristy Lee. Now I had known and met Cristy at the WRIF, the local rock station in Detroit but now she has gone on to be host of Barrett Jackson Auction and most famously All Girls Garage on Velocity.
So the backdrop is set, and you walk into his collection. Room 1 houses the Ferrari’s, the Lamborghini Aventador, a Bugatti Veyron and a Vector. Iconic supercars. Also in this room are the brand new production Camaro’s and corvettes that Lingenfelter produces mods for.
Room 2 is an extended history lesson on Corvette. Moving from the new from room 1 to the classics of room 2. If I didn’t know better the corvettes in Ken’s collection rival and if not exceed that of the Corvette Museum itself. Yes that Corvette museum the one in Bowling Green, KY.
In this room you find an amazing array of the Kentucky sports car. Every generation is represented in his collection. He has a Rick Mear’s Marlboro Edition, two indy pace cars, a 78 and a 4th generation, a 40th anniversary edition, Greenwood’s, Duntov’s test mule for the first corvette, the list is endless and each one is pristine and driveable. Each one also holds a history all it’s own.
Lingenfelter even produced kits at one point to turn your new c6 corvette into a replica of the iconic split window. These are also housed in this room. And even one that still trips me up. A corvette with Cadillac styling. That’s right a Cadillac corvette before the XLR came around.
Visiting Ken’s Corvette will make any corvette hater become a lover. It has reinforced why I have a passion for corvette even though I have never owned one. It started with the salad shooter wheels and Mr. Lingenfelter reinforced it.