Nestled deep in the heart of Miami’s gentrifying Wynwood Arts District, in between the impressive graffiti murals and the roving packs of homeless, sits an incredible enclave of automotive excellence.
Miami Supercar Rooms is a 15,000 square foot venue built to showcase more than two dozen peerless cars, bikes and trucks, all from owner Elo’s (one word, like Prince) personal collection. If that name sounds vaguely familiar, the erstwhile British model is the visionary behind the esteemed London Motor Museum and his roster of exotic, classic, and custom vehicles tallies more than 250.
Many collectors of such lust-worthy machines leave them in climate-controlled garages, locked away from the public. Elo wants you to have dinner and party beside his beauties. Six of his cars are in pods, beside a dining table. Each month, a different upscale chef from Miami will come in to cater upscale meals. To snag a table, you need a (free) membership, five friends and $3,000.
For that fee, you get a unique supper club experience, noshing on fine fare while gawking at fine cars.
Also included: five hours of open bar and a knowledgeable associate, on hand to answer any and all questions about the vehicles. Lower-tiered memberships are available to those who just want to come and imbibe at the bar, a custom 1971 Chevy C30 pickup modded for slinging drinks and housing a DJ. Dropping by during the days, when the space doubles as a cafe for meetings and lounging, is also encouraged (and also free).
Among the sights you’ll see are a pristine 1955 SL 300 Mercedes Gullwing, a 1967 Ford Mustang GT 500 (a.k.a “Eleanor” from Gone In 60 Seconds), a white 1988 Ferrari Testarossa (in homage to Miami Vice), a 1972 DeTomaso Pantera GTS, a 2007 Extra Terrestrial Vehicle or “ETV”, a 1981 DeLorean DMC-12, a 1931 Ford Hot Rod Sling Shot and more. Included in the impressive fleet are a few proper gems. Here, our favorites.
1953 Lamborghini Tractor
The first foray into vehicles for Ferruccio Lamborghini was in 1948 when he launched a line of tractors. They weren’t much to write home about, mostly cobbled together from metal scraps leftover from the war, but they did have one distinctive innovation: a fuel atomizer, which allowed the Morris engine to start with petrol then switch to petroleum.
One of only three such models left in existence, when Elo arrived to buy it from a fellow in the Midwest, a loaded shotgun was aimed at his head. “They said a British guy was coming. You’re black,” the man shouted. After realizing those two things are not mutually exclusive, the rifle was shouldered and a deal was struck.
1929 Rolls-Royce Bootch
The donor car for this one-of-one was a Rolls-Royce Essex four-door saloon that was chopped and modded into a tasteful yet savagely powerful hot rod. While the Essex was a front-wheel drive, the powertrain here was reconfigured to rear-wheel.
A big block Chevy V-8 was inserted, providing about 400 ponies to those 22-inch fatties in the back, giving it plenty of oomph. The car’s moniker, Bootch, was stamped into the grill, lest you forget, though I’m doubting anyone will.
1958 450S Maserati
Only nine of these marvels were produced between 1956 and 1958, almost all of which were campaigned to varying degrees of success. The V-8 debuted at the 1956 Mille Miglia and the 1956 Swedish Grand Prix, and Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio teamed up for the Buenos Aires 1000, though a clutch failure dashed a promising start by the iconic drivers.
In 1957, Fangio and Jean Behra won the 12 Hours of Sebring in a 450S, though Behra later crashed while prepping for that year’s Mille. Redemption came soon after when Behra and Moss piloted it to victory in the Swedish Grand Prix.
2007 Shelby SuperCar Ultimate Aero TT
This SSC Ultimate Aero is a mid-engined monster that set a record for fastest production car in the world, cresting 256 mph. (It was unseeded three years later, by the 2010 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.) The engine specs are bonkers. The twin-turbo Chevy Corvette C5R V-8 generates a whopping 1,183 horsepower, 1,094 lb-ft of twist and theoretically would max out at 272 mph at 7200 rpm.
Only 24 of these asphalt eaters were produced, and zero were given driver aids, such as ABS or traction control. SSC founder Jerod Shelby (nope, no relation to Carroll) wanted it to be as pure a driver’s car as possible.
Pacific by Delahaye USA
You won’t own a real 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic. Only two are known to exist, one in the Mullin Museum and the other in Ralph Lauren’s garage. Unless you’re willing to part with $40-plus million to convince Ralphy to give you the title, a close second is Elo’s Terry Cook reimagination, the Pacific.
It’s a modernized version of Lauren’s cherished baby, right down to the brocade interior fabrics. With a longer wheelbase, steel tube chassis and a BMW V12 powerplant, it’s not quite the iconic coupe of yesteryear, but it sure is a looker.
Bugnaughty by Delahaye USA
If you’ve been to Pebble for Car Week, you’ve likely seen this speedster perched atop a manicured golf green. It’s another replicar, but melds three inspirational bases: an Auburn Boat-tail Speedster, a Bugatti Type 57S and a Delahaye Type 135. You can see bits of each of those automotive paragons represented. The Bugnaughty’s fenders are reminiscent of the Type 135, that steel grill and shell from the Type 57S, the overall body styling from the Auburn.
Thanks to a 302 cubic inch Ford V-8 mated to a C4 tranny, she’s no slouch on the road. Air suspension helps keep the rear from scraping the pavement while coilovers are employed up front. The prototype build took four years of painstaking labor. Well worth the endeavor.
Seems like a good room, no?
Sean Evans is a New York-based writer and editor who’s always in search of adventure, the perfect slab of bacon and automotive glory. He’s written for The Drive, Condé Nast Traveler, New York, Fast Company, Entertainment Weekly, and more. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.