Oh Brothers! What a Collection

November 10, 2020

Last Sunday, we were lucky to visit a very special car collection. The tour of the Brothers Collection in Salem, Ore., was a truly overwhelming experience.

During the pandemic, it was rare (and safe) opportunity to get out and spend time with car people. The private tour was arranged by Fred Russell for three clubs: Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon, Northwest Alfa Romeo Club and Avants. The group totaled about 100 but within the cavernous space you hardly knew anyone else was around.

The Brothers Collection is one of the greatest car collections that no one has heard of. The owners are humble enthusiasts who prefer their privacy. However, having amassed a massive collection, they have prepared to open the doors to the public at some point.

They spared no expense in the space -- a multi-hundred thousand square foot facility that is pristine. The collection is split between American Muscle and European Exotics. The muscle car collection is estimated to be the largest in the world. Not only is every model represented, there are generally many, many variants on display as well. Thankfully, the space is well curated and each vehicle has an informative placard.

The European side ranged from post-war sports cars to '70s and '80s exotics, to the modern hypercars. One room had a Bugatti Chiron surrounded by a phalanx including a Porsche 918, Maserati MC12, and a Ferrari FXX. Opposite from that was a Ford GT40 Mk1 and other notable Shelby race cars, including a Daytona. The Ferrari collection ranged from an early 166 to a pair of F50s and an Enzo -- plus a lot in between!

One relic was particularly interesting: a prancing horse statue that sat in the office of Enzo himself. The history that pony has been witness to!

Best of all, we raised several thousands of dollars to support the United Way. I'll loook forward to a return visit to dig in deeper because this first walkthrough was akin to visiting the Louvre -- too much to take in at one time!

latest articles

Diminishing Returns: The History of 16-Cylinder Engines
Typically in automobiles, more is better but 16-cylinders shows that is not always true.
read more
Brooklands — The Lost Birthplace of Motorsports
Brooklands was the first banked track and was the forefather of Indianapolis and Monza, but now has been lost to time.
read more
The Fiat 1100 Engine and the Rise of the 'Etceterinis'
Were it not for the Fiat 1100 engine, an entire generation of handmade Italian race cars known as 'Etceterinis' may never have come to be.
read more