Article By the staff of No Limits eMagazine, reproduce with permission only

The staff at No Limits eMagazine recently received notice of an upcoming charity event taking place at the Lingenfelter Collection in Brighton, MI. And knowing the broad interest of our No Limits audience, we requested and received permission to tour Ken Lingenfelter’s awesome auto collection before the crowds arrived.

Thus, our Michigan-based crew was assigned the tough task of putting together a story documenting Ken’s wonderful collection of cars. On Friday, 4/25/2014, we walked into the Lingenfelter Motor Sports showroom/office building, located in an industrial park area of Brighton, MI. Brighton is a western suburb of Detroit, and the Lingenfelter Collection is installed in a warehouse-sized building situated just a few miles directly south of GM’s Milford, MI proving grounds.

As we entered the front-office area of the building, we were immediately greeted by a Plexiglas-imprisoned, 1/4-scale styling model of the Lamborghini Reventon (see the real thing below).  Mike Copeland, V.P. of Operations was shortly on hand to orchestrate our tour of the constantly changing, 145-vehicle display.

The collection is arranged in three separate areas: the first is a room dedicated to exotics and supercars; the next room contains the Corvettes and Lingenfelter products; finally, the third sanctum hosts muscle cars. The lights were on, the floor was clear of pedestrian traffic, so we were off and clicking.

As we photographed our way up and down the rows of spectacularly choice mechanical specimens, we were told that the collection is maintained and displayed with one primary goal in mind, to raise funds for the Lingenfelter Foundation’s many benefactor groups. Over forty charity open houses are conducted at this location each year. In addition, select vehicles are loaned to other collections around the country. Vehicles are also supplied to charity events and show on a regular basis. In fact, a handful of significant Lingenfelter-tuned Corvettes were on display at the National Corvette Museum’s rotunda dome up until about a week before the heartless sinkhole gobbled up a new and ill-fated fleet of plastic fantastic.

The Lingenfelter Collection was initiated in the not-so-distant past by a serendipitous yet entirely disconnected progression in the lives of two cousins, John and Ken. John was an Indiana-based NHRA race driver and owner of Lingenfelter Performance Engineering. LPE builds engines and parts, as well as creating modified and vastly enhanced tuner vehicles for the aftermarket and OEM. Tragically, in 2003, John succumbed to injuries sustained in a racing accident the year before. The future of LPE was in limbo until Ken decided to purchase the company.

Ken’s interest in automobiles goes back to his childhood and his father’s employment with GM’s Fisher Body Division in Cleveland, OH. Fisher’s Euclid plant was responsible for the body manufacture of Oldsmobile’s front-drive Toronado, and Ken’s father was hip deep in the development and building of that revolutionary model. Ken continued to feed his automotive obsession through a series of muscle cars and participation in drag racing. To support that habit, Ken established a successful title insurance company.

He also began collecting performance vehicles, including a few LPE-enhanced Corvettes. By 2003, he had sold the title company and was in a very good position to take over the reins of LPE. In 2008, he completed the purchase of LPE and the collection of special interest cars began to enthusiastically take shape. Today LPE, best known for its enhanced Corvettes and Camaros, Cadillacs, and Chevy trucks, as well as a large inventory of performance parts, operates out of plants in Decatur, IN, and Wixom, MI. The Lingenfelter Collection has grown to around 200 cars. To pay a visit to the Lingenfelter Collection website, click here.

Back to the business at hand, as we occupy ourselves by photographing the amazing variety of Ferraris, Bugatis, Lamborghinis, McLarens, and other equally exotic and expensive modes of transportation. Some choice Lingenfelter-enhanced hardware also spills over into the exotics room.

  • 2012 Corvette Grand Sport convertible
  • ZL-1 Camaro convertible
  • 2014 Corvette coupe
  • LTA Camaro/Firebird TA
  • Karl Kustom ’67 Tribute Corvette coupe

Just a few more incredible supercars on display:

  • 2006 Maseratti Gran Sport
  • 2009 Ferrari Scuderia Spider M16
  • 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO
  • 2012 Ferrari FF
  • 2011 Ferrari 599 GTO
  • Ferrari California
  • 1990 Ferrari F40
  • 1996 Vector M12
  • 1999 Shelby Series 1
  • 2005 Mercedes McLaren SLR
  • 2001 BMW Z8

Then it’s on to more eye candy in the Corvette Room.

As we set our sights on an amazing array of vintage Corvettes, including Bloomington Gold-quality C1s and the ’54 “Duntov Mule,” a modified test vehicle used to develop the V8 installation in the 1955 model year ‘vette, and to set several speed marks in the mid-’50s. A wide variety of modern Lingenfelter produced tuners and a gaggle of Callaway models comprise a large portion of this room’s inhabitants.

Late-model examples are represented by Greenwood racers, and several commemorative edition C1 and C2 models based on modern C5 underpinnings and interiors. A row of exquisite mid-year restos holds silent court. Limited run Grand Sports, a ’78 Indy pace Car, and a trio of late ’50s solid axles, are scattered about the room. If you’re allergic to fiberglass, you are definitely excused from this area!

But, if you’re a real fan of the ‘vette, here are a few more prime examples scattered throughout the Corvette display room:

  • 2006 Pratt and Miller C6 RS
  • 1993 ZR-1, Lingenfelter-enhanced
  • 1971 LT-1
  • 2000 427 Twin Turbo, Lingenfelter-enhanced, Blue Angels 1/4 mile racer
  • 2006 Twin Turbo Z06
  • 2006 Lingenfelter C6 Commemorative Edition Corvette #4
  • 1995 ZR-1, Lingenfelter-enhanced, Turbo (1,050 hp)
  • 1995, Lingenfelter-enhanced, naturally aspirated Corvette (218 mph)
  • 1990 Rick Mears Edition ZR-1 (1 of 1)
  • 1995 Guldstrand GS90 coupe
  • 1976 Corvette Greenwood GT
  • 1977 Corvette 544c.i., Granatelli supercharged
  • 1969 Corvette coupe. 427
  • 2007 Callaway C16
  • 2000 Callaway C12, “Inky Blue”
  • 1991 Callaway Twin Turbo convertible
  • 2008 Callaway C16 Speedster (1 of 1)
  • 1996 Guildstrand GS90 Nassau Roadster
  • 1954 GM Styling Corvette

As the owner of a Pontiac GTO, the last display room really held our attention. Pontiac seems to be a particular favorite of Mr. Lingenfelter. A row of Firebirds, including 20th and 25th anniversary packages, a pair of Lingenfelter Hurst Edition machines, along with a 1979 Gold Special Edition Trans Am and an extremely black Formula, both 400/4-speed-equipped, are lined up along one long wall. Four GTOs occupy spaces in one of the middle rows. Another middle row is made up of Camaros. In one corner of the room rests some of the vehicles that the Collection has obtained via charity auction purchases.

In addition to utilizing the Collection as a tool to support many charity organizations, the Collection itself is expanded through the purchase of charity-sale cars. Among these examples is the matched pair of Shelby GT500 Mustangs, a 1967 and 2010 Patriot Edition, purchased to benefit the Healing Heroes Network.

Among the ranks of certified muscle cars and special interest cars shown here:

  • 1987 Buick GNX #179
  • 1972 Buick GS455
  • 1969 Hurst/Olds
  • 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T, Hemi
  • 1964 Plymouth Sport Fury
  • 2000 Woodward Dream Cruise edition Prowler
  • 1966 Ford Fairlane 500 GT 427
  • 1972 Chevrolet Nova
  • 1971 Monte Carlo SS454
  • 1996 Impala SS
  • LTA Camaro/Firebird Trans Ams
  • 2004 Lingenfelter Supercharged Chevrolet SSR
  • 1938 Chevy coupe street rod
  • A pair of current Lingenfelter-sponsored Camaro drag cars
  • 1982 DeLorean DMC12
  • 1968 Pontiac Firebird 350HO
  • 1973 Pontiac Grand Am, 4-speed
  • 1977 Pontiac LeMans Can Am
  • 1970 Chevrolet El Camino SS454
  • 1990 Cadillac Allante
  • 2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP coupe
  • 1969 COPO 427 Chevelle
  • 1969 COPO 427 Yenko Chevelle
  • 1965 Pontiac Catalina 2+2 convertible
  • 1964 Chevy II Nova 400 station wagon
  • 1969 Pontiac Firebird “Royal Bird,” restified by Powerblock
  • 1992 Camaro 1LE/Z28 coupe
  • 2010 Lingenfelter/Wanda Paint, supercharged Camaro coupe
  • 1971 Camaro Z28
  • 1968 Camaro RS/SS 572 “Resto-mod”
  • 1987 Monte Carlo SS
  • 1968 Camaro “C5 Resto-mod”

Realize, the vehicles housed in the main building represent only three/fourths of the collection. In a nearby facility the remaining fifty or so cars are in climate-controlled storage, awaiting restoration/detailing or are in the process of coming from or going to a deserving charitable event. All in all, this is truly an eclectic, world-class gathering of stunning automotive hardware.

In addition to the Lingenfelter Collection’s fund raising efforts, the Wixom LPE-North “Engine Build Facility” hosts a collector car cruise-in and coffee klatch every Saturday from May 3 – September 20. Bring plenty of non-perishable food stuffs, as donations are collected to benefit the Gleaners Food Bank. Location of this very altruistic event is north of I-96 and Beck Road, at 47451 Avante Drive, Wixom, MI.

Thank you to the great folks at Lingenfelter Motor Sports for putting up with our intrusion on the eve of one of their many charity events, and to Shari Arfons at McCullough Public Relations for getting us in the door with minimal muss and fuss. We can’t wait for our next visit!

Click on the Images Below to Enlarge

View additional photos of the collection below

Eric White Digital Library

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