Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wow! What a Collection! (Part II)

Continuing with our tour of the Dezer Collection of “Automobiles and More” at the Miami Auto Museum and Events Center…

As I mentioned previously, the Dezer Collection occupies 2 warehouse type structures.  They’re connected by the walkway shown above…

Real estate developer and collector Michael Dezer fulfilled a longtime dream when he opened his automobile and memorabilia collection to the public.  His passion for collecting began with his first vehicle.  It was a Vespa given to him by his father when he was 16… Today, Dezer owns the largest collection of Vespa’s in the world!

For this posting, I’m focusing on iconic movie and television automobiles…
This auto has some ‘bling’ doesn’t it?!  The Dezer collection features an entire collection of Batman related vehicles and related memorabilia. 
This Batmobile is from Tim Burton’s 1992 ‘Batman Returns’ movie starring Michael Keaton and Michelle Pheiffer.  That movie cost $80,000,000 to make but it grossed $266,830,000 worldwide…

This is another ‘Batmobile’… This one was built in 1966 by George Barris for the Batman TV show starring Adam West.  It’s based on a Ford Motor concept car, the Lincoln Futura, which was built by hand in Italy for $250,000.  The car had never gone into production and Barris picked it up for next to nothing.
When asked to develop his 3rd Batmobile practically overnight, he modified his ‘batlike’ concept car for the task.
Somewhat confusingly, a second Barris Batmobile that appears to be just like this one is on display at the Hollywood Star Cars Museum in Gatlinburg, Tennessee…

The first appearance of the ‘Batboat’ was in the 1966 film ‘Batman’.  The boat was also used in the second and third seasons of the 1960s Batman television series.  The Batboat was created by Glastron Industries in Austin, Texas.  It took 31 days to build.  Eventually, a replica was built of the Batboat.
When the Batman television show was cancelled, Glastron used the two Batboats for promotions on tours.  After much touring, the boats were sold.  One boat went to a Glastron dealer who was a Shriner and he used it in Shriner parades.  That Batboat was then moved to the Car Stars museum in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  Apparently, this Batboat is the “other boat”…but I don’t know how it was acquired or if it’s the original craft…

This ‘Batcycle’ is also from the 1966 television series, “Batman”, and it was used in the original movie.  Built in 6 days, using a Yamaha Catalina (YDS-3) 250 as the base unit, the Batcycle features a side car with a portable go-cart resting on it for Robin’s use.  As Batman slows down or stops the Batcycle, Robin is propelled off in the side car and he becomes mobile in his own right!  Robin's ‘sidecar’, (or go cart), is powered by a 55cc, electric start, Yamaha three speed engine. 

I didn’t recognize this beautiful 1948 Dodge taxicab!  That’s probably because I didn’t see the movie.  This cab was featured in the 2008 movie, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”.  The movie starred Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.  It cost $150,000,000 to make the film and it took in about $334,000,000.
This great looking taxicab is for sale…and you can purchase it for the on-line sale price of $24,995.

Yikes…!  It’s yet another spooky manikin that is supposed to represent Olivia Newton John for the movie “Grease”.  This 1948 Ford Deluxe, called “Greased Lightning” in the movie, has overhead lifters, 4-barrel quads, fuel injection, chrome plated rods and a 4-speed on the floor.  This car is also for sale…with a price tag of only $179,995!

This 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III 20/25 was previously owned by Dodie Smith, (1896 – 1990), the English author of the children’s novel, “101 Dalmations”. 

Dodie did fairly well in her career and her estate is probably still doing well!  The 1961 animated movie “One Hundred and One Dalmations” cost $4,000,000 to make and it grossed almost $216,000,000.  The 1996 live action production starring Glenn Close cost $75,000,000 but it brought in about $321,000,000…

Guys of a certain age…and perhaps the girlfriends they dragged to the movie… should recognize this automobile.  It’s the Green Hornet and Kato’s car, the “Black Beauty” from the 2011 movie that was ‘imaginatively’ named “The Green Hornet”.  This superhero action comedy, starring Seth Rogen and Cameron Diaz, cost $120,000,000 to make but it did manage to pull in box office receipts totaling about $228,000,000!

Part of the high cost of this movie can be linked to the car.  The production team modified 29 Chrysler Imperial Crown sedans from model years 1964 to 1966 in order to portray the Green Hornet's supercar.  Twenty-six of those cars were wrecked during production and 3 survived. 

I want this car!  Talk about an attention getter…  I know that raspberry with a tan interior may not be your favorites, but this auto sure does grab the eye doesn’t it!?  This car, with Madonna at the wheel, was featured in the 1990 movie, “Dick Tracy”.  It starred Warren Beatty as Dick Tracy.  Madonna played ‘Breathless Mahoney’, one of the many comic book characters featured in the movie… 

The automobile shown above is a 1936 Auburn Speedster.  It’s equipped with a 351 cubic inch engine but the original model had a 280 cubic inch engine that developed 150 horsepower.  Auburn ceased operations in 1937 so this was one of the last cars the company built.  Good News!  This beauty is for sale.  Check it out at They are only asking $999,995!

This is one of several cars used in the 1996 movie, “Evita”, which starred Madonna and Antonio Banderas.  It’s a 1928 Hudson Super Six.  The 6-cylinder engine produced 29.4 horsepower and the various models produced originally cost between $1,250 and $1,795. 

To learn more about the Hudson Motor Car Company, (1909 – 1954), go to

Factoid: With 85 costume changes in Evita, Madonna eclipsed the Guiness World Record for movie costume changes.  The record had been previously held by Elizabeth Taylor with 65 different costumes in the movie “Cleopatra”.

I suspect that most readers will recognize this vehicle!  It’s the famous 1959 Cadillac “Ecto 1” from the 1984 blockbuster movie, “Ghostbusters”.  This movie car was built using a Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance as its base.  Miller-Meteor was part of the Wayne Corporation in Richmond Indiana, which was best known for manufacturing school buses.  Wayne went out of business in 1992. 

Less than 100 of the Cadillac MM ambulances were ever built and yes, the Ecto 1 is for sale!  Check it out at!-c-492.htm.  

This car is a Ferrari 308 GTB.  You may not recognize it but Laurie did!  It was driven by one of her heartthrobs, Tom Selleck, in the Hawaii based TV series, “Magnum, P.I.”  The show ran for 8 seasons and I doubt that we missed any of the shows unless we were on vacation… 

This model Ferrari was actually at the lower end of the company’s offerings.  To learn more about the Ferrari 308 GTB and related models, just go to

Yet another scary pair of manikins!  This is the 1976 Ford Gran Torino from the 2004 movie, “Starsky and Hutch”.  Gran Torino’s were built from 1972 through 1976.  This crime action comedy starred Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson…and it was subtitled “Good Cops. Bad Hair”.  The movie cost $60,000,000 to make and it brought in $170,000,000.
The 1974 – 1976 Gran Torino is the most valuable type of this automobile.  While this one isn’t for sale from the Dezer Collection, an almost identical one is available.  You can pick it up for only $39,995!  Check it out at

Recognize this ‘car’?  It’s the “Johnny cab” or taxi that took Arnold Schwarzenegger for a ride in the 1990 movie “Total Recall”.  The ‘dummy’ in the driver’s seat is another of the museum’s manikins…not the original homicidal dummy/taxi driver from the movie.  To view the original in action, go to  Laurie and I both enjoyed this movie… It was a fun action flick!

Total Recall's visuals demonstrated how technologies that are still being worked today should integrate into normal life.  The Johnny Cab is a completely self-sufficient, Artificial Intelligence controlled taxi cab.  As demonstrated in the film, it is equipped with sensor bars on the front and back.  This allows it to monitor the road around it and react in real-time to changing conditions.  The American Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and auto makers have  been working an AI vehicle for many years and, based on news reports, we are nearing a possible operational version of a ‘driverless’ car.

This isn’t really a movie or television automobile…although it was driven by a well-known personality and race car driver.  Jeff Gordon crashed this car when its brakes failed on a critical turn at the Pocono 500 race in New York.  The car is/was a 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo and Jeff reported that it was the hardest hit he ever took!  To view the crash, go to

This 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ Spider was used in another of my wife’s (and my) favorite TV series…”Miami Vice”.  Don Johnson drove this car during the first 2 seasons of the show.  Only 122 Spiders were built out of a total production run of 1,284 Ferrari 365 GTB/4’s.  Surprisingly, at least to me, is the price for this automobile… I could pick it up from the Dezer Collection for only $79,995.  You can check it out at

Did I mention that the museum features a huge James Bond collection and display?  It includes many ‘Bond’ cars and other related items of interest.  For example, there is this scale model Lockheed Martin VC-140B Jetstar that was used in the 1964 Bond movie “Goldfinger”, which starred Sean Connery.  Four of these models were built for the movie.  This one was returned to Lockheed and, after 2 or 3 owners, it was purchased by the Ian Fleming Foundation.

Only 204 ‘real’ Jetstars were built.  The Jetstar is notable for its 4 tail mounted engines and the fact that it was the first dedicated business jet to enter service.  Former President Lyndon Johnson’s Jetstar is on display at his former ranch in Texas.  Elvis Presley owned one too…and it’s on display at Graceland in Memphis.  Elvis named his “Hound Dog II”.

This is one of the 3 Aston Martin DB5s used in the 1995 movie “GoldenEye”. This is Dawn's favorite car! (Note: This was the 17th movie for the Bond franchise!) One Aston Martin was kept in pristine condition for close-ups and the other 2 were used for the stunt driving scenes in the hills above Monte Carlo (Monaco).  Pierce Brosnan stared as Bond in this movie.  This is the first and most recognized of all James Bond automobiles.  The Aston Martin DB series was used in several Bond movies.

This is an Alfa Romeo 159.  Two of them were used in a car chase in “Quantum of Solace”, the 22nd Bond film, which featured Daniel Craig as James Bond. (Note: Bond was driving his usual Aston Martin DB5) The Alfa Romeo 159 was built between 2005 and 2011.  I found it hard to believe that 240,000 of these cars were built!  I was also surprised to find a 2008 model for sale on the Internet for only $17,950.  We need a new car but this car just doesn’t have enough trunk space…  

This 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom was also featured in the 1965 movie “Goldfinger”.  This was the villain’s car… Goldfinger’s driver was ‘Oddjob’, his Korean ‘enforcer’ and bodyguard who killed people by throwing his steel hat. (See the manikin above) In the movie, the body of the car was made out of 2 tons of gold.  Goldfinger’s plot was to attack the USA’s gold depository at Ft. Knox Kentucky.

This is Jill St. John’s, (aka ‘Tiffany Case’s), beautiful 1971 Mustang Mach 1 muscle car from the 1971 Bond movie, “Diamonds Are Forever”.  Sean Connery made his 6th and last appearance in a Bond movie and this car was used by Bond in a lengthy car chase.  The movie cost $7,200,000 to make and it grossed $116,000,000!  Country singer, TV host, actor and businessman, Jimmy Dean, was featured as a reclusive Howard Hughes billionaire character. (Jimmy Dean Sausage is now owned by the Sara Lee Corporation)

This is the 1998 Jaguar XKR that was driven by the villain ‘Zao’ in the 2002 Bond movie “Die Another Day”.  This movie stared Pierce Brosnan in his 4th and final appearance as James Bond.  It was the 20th film in the Bond franchise!  Of course, Bond drove an Aston Martin in this movie…this time an Aston Martin Vanquish.

I do have great news for the well-heeled filthy rich James Bond collector and aficionado… The Dezer Collection including the autos and all of the other James Bond memorabilia is up for sale!  It could be yours for only $33,400,000!  You can check out the story at:

I’ve only shown a tiny fraction of the Bond collection in this posting… Michael Dezer began buying these cars in 2011, when he snatched up dozens of the super spy's on-screen rides from the James Bond Museum in Keswick, England.  Since then, Dezer has amassed 59 Bond related cars.  The collection also includes boats, tanks, jet skis, motorcycles and thousands of other pieces of memorabilia. The buyer would even get the yacht used in the 2nd Bond movie, 1963’s “From Russia With Love”.

That’s about it for now.  Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 


  1. What a fun way to spend the day. The roadsters are my favorite, especially the one from Evita. Can you imagine the entrance you would make stepping from that baby while the chauffeur held the door for you. I agree with Dawn Marie, I also like the Aston Martins. Interesting about have different cars for different tasks in the Bond movies. Smart!

  2. Wow---what a collection... Not sure I've ever seen a collection quite this elaborate... WOW!!!! I remember seeing some of those fancy vehicles in old movies --but I can't imagine how much Dezer paid for all of those collectables... My My----too bad I wasn't Michael Dezer's daughter..... I'd have loved some of his MONEY..... ha


  3. Awesome, love them all but esp. that great raspberry car, so cool! Wonder how much $$$ is sitting there...

  4. I think the Aston Martin is my favorite :) Great pictures - wonderful trip.