A Man’s Passion Becomes a World Famous Collection

Lingenfelter 1mike_dewittBefore the number could reach 250, it had to start at 1.

When Ken Lingenfelter thinks back to when his collection truly started, it began with a car he no longer keeps around. “They’re beautiful cars, although, they don’t tend to work very well all the time,” describes Lingenfelter as he reminisces on his old Jaguar XKE, “They’re pretty special, as you know. Made those cars in the 60’s and a little bit into the 70’s.”

Lingenfelter 2This is the beauty of Ken and the Lingenfelter Collection, if it doesn’t work, why keep it around? Cosmetics and aesthetics can only take you so far.

With 250 cars in the collection, 190 of which are housed in a jaw-dropping 40,000 square-foot garage in Brighton, Michigan, there’s enough variety to fill every appetite.

American muscle cars from the 60’s and 70’s fill 30 percent of the garage. Ken lived his teenage years with these cars, so they all have a special place in his heart. El Caminos, Cougar Eliminators, Mustangs, Shelby GTs, and Camaros are some of the muscle packed into a garage with more than enough horsepower to go around. A Pontiac Fiero – a car that seems out-of-place in one of the greatest car collections in the world – even makes an appearance! It helps that Ken owned one ‘back in the day’ and loved it.

Duntov Mule
The Duntov Mule – The first Corvette with a V-8 engine.

While the collection has a solid muscle foundation, the Lingenfelter name is synonymous with Corvettes. With 75 Corvettes, the Lingenfelter Collection could transition easily to a history museum.

The Duntov Mule, named after Chevrolet engineer Zora Arkus Duntov, may be the most historically significant car in the collection. It was the first Corvette to be outfitted with a V-8 engine, and the rest is history. Back in 1954, the Duntov Mule could reach speeds of 163 mph. A number that makes you cringe out of fear for the driver when taking a look at the vehicle. The Corvette hasn’t looked back!

LaFerrari – An invite only purchase

The third and final area of the garage is filled with exotic cars. These cars are rare, limited, powerful, and carry massive sex appeal.

LaFerrari – Italian for The Ferrari – is currently the biggest draw in the collection. It wasn’t as simple as showing up with a check ready. No, Ferrari had to personally invite you to buy the car! According to Ken, “Ferrari liked the charity work we do and that we share our cars with the public at events.”

In the exotic garage also sits a Lamborghini Reventon (one of 20 made in the world), a Bugatti Veyron and all the horse power that comes with it, and the Ferrari Enzo. The last of which happens to be Ken’s personal favorite in the entire collection, and one of only 399 in the world.

“That Enzo is special to me because I set a business goal for myself, and I reached it,” recalls Lingenfelter with passion oozing from his pores. “I worked hard to achieve a goal, and the Ferrari Enzo was the final goal at the end of that road. I’m a Corvette guy, but that Enzo is very special to me.”

The Ferrari Enzo, Ken's favorite car in the collection
The Ferrari Enzo, Ken’s favorite car in the collection

For Ken, the collection has always been something special. However, it wasn’t until the Lingenfelter Collection started participating in charity events that Ken realized he possessed something the rest of the world thought was special as well. It’s the people who keep on coming back that remind Ken of the gift he possesses, and Ken wants to share it with the world.

“I just have a pure passion for cars, especially Corvettes!”

Ken will be sending two cars from his collection to showcase during WKTV’s DreamWheels! red carpet television event at the 28th Street Metro Cruise. It all takes place outside in the old Klingman’s parking lot across from Rogers Plaza. The show goes live on Friday, August 21 from 8 to 10 p.m. and again with new cars on Saturday, August 22 from 4 to 6 p.m. Best of all – admission is free!