2015 Carmel Artomobilia August 28-29
When do passionate car enthusiasts catch the “fever” for car collecting? Most will say they have loved cars from an early age. Such is the case with Eric, who’s participating in the 2015 Carmel Artomobilia that takes place in the Arts & Design District of Carmel, Indiana August 28-29. Eric recently invited Artomobilia’s Jon Pitz to his fabulous garage to talk about car love and what got him hooked from the beginning.
Car Collecting – An Unquenchable Thirst
Like all obsessions, car collecting is an unquenchable thirst. Just ask fellow Indianapolis car collector Eric. “I've just had all kinds of cars and each one has led to another car, hopefully with a little less rust and a little more value,” he says.
A Perfect Way to Spend the Day
Eric’s love of cars goes back to when he was a young boy sketching racecars. The day he turns 16 he buys his first car, an emerald green 1951 Cadillac. Back then, cleaning his white wall tires was the perfect way to spend the day. It still is.
Every Car is Perfect
Currently sitting in his garage is a diverse group of cars. His most recent purchase is a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT. Bookending this beauty is a 2005 Ford GT and a 2012 Ferrari 458 Spyder. Eric says each one is fast, beautifully designed and gorgeous from any angle. Which one is his favorite? For Eric, it’s impossible to say. Choosing just one would be too hard, because they are all perfect; they are all his favorites. Spoken like a true collector.
A Place for Quiet Reflection
His love of collecting is evident on the walls of his garage. Everywhere you look you see car memorabilia. From his original Speedway car sketches by Indiana artist David J. Gray to a decanter collection with signatures from Speedway drivers, Eric’s collection reflects his love of cars. Everything is meticulously cataloged, documented and proudly displayed. More than a man cave, this is a place for quiet reflection.
Remembering a Rebel
Some of Eric’s most cherished items once belonged to legendary Rebel Without a Cause film star James Dean, whom he idolized as a teenager. He even owned a red satin jacket just like Dean’s in the movie. His admiration does not stop there. Dean’s family lives close by and Eric was able to talk to them about the reclusive star who tragically died so young.
A Shared Love of Racing
Paul Newman, Steve McQueen and Rick Mears are just a few race car drivers Eric admires and with whom he shares a passion for racing. Living only 25 miles from Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), he frequently has the opportunity to indulge his love of racing while watching some of the greats drivers in the sport compete.
The Car That Almost Got Away
As with all car collectors, Eric has some stories to tell. He recalls a 1955 Corvette
, which proves to be a challenge to restore and to own. After driving it one day, Eric says he parked it in the driveway and went inside for lunch. When he returned, the car had decided it didn’t like being in park and rolls down the driveway, crashing into a fence. Still, Eric was happy to see the taillights of the “car from hell.” It is literally the one that almost got away.
It’s My Last Car … Promise
Eric has one remaining space left in his garage. He would love to see a Porsche 550 Spyder parked there and like all good car collectors Eric is determined to track one down. When he does, you will hear him utter the famous car collector’s battle cry: “Honey, this is the last car I’m going to buy!” Some obsessions are life-long and Eric’s wife knows that all too well.
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