Car Collections Worth A Thousand Stories

Whenever I find myself in the middle of a privately-owned car collection, a few questions always come to mind.

Admittedly, in the first instance it’s about trying to figure out how the owner came to be able to afford so many vehicles, which are often rare and highly collectible. Were they just in the right place at the right time, or was it generations’ worth of wealth now materializing in form of exotics and classic cars?


Predictably, in many cases it’s a combination of the two, thus a new question presents itself: Why a collection in the first place? It’s something I found myself asking more times than I expected to on my recent visit to Indonesia.


Of the few collections I saw, the craziest was this group of race cars. It allows the owner to compete in pretty much every class during a race weekend.

And that included some vehicles not intended to be driven on tarmac.


Another collector I met got hooked after flipping cars for profit in his youth. These days he keeps them rather than selling them off.


Of all the collections though, the most interesting one belonged to a real character named Pakde Bei Budiono.


With newspaper clippings, miscellaneous memorabilia, and vehicle parts hanging all over the place, the single lot I was given access to seemed more like an industrial museum than a car collection.

And just like you’d find at a museum, each piece on display had a unique story behind it. Take the bicycles hanging in the rafters for example; these were the bikes that Pakde Bei and his parents rode when he was a child.


The Mazda B600 was a popular family car for the average Indonesian family back in the day, and the same vehicle Pakde Bei’s father owned. Just sitting in the back brings back memories of his drive from Surakarta (Solo) to Jakarta, a 500km+ journey.


Corollas and Coronas, on the other hand, were cars usually reserved for those of wealth and power.


The seal on the front windshield indicates that a doctor was an owner – a good thing to know if there is an accident or emergency on the road. Or if you were more on the power side of the spectrum, the flag holder addition was the option you needed to check off on the extras list.

As an entrepreneur, Pakde Bei’s father owned both, thus having them in this collection keeps more memories alive.


I didn’t really expect to find any Citroëns in the collection, but these things have a unique story, too.

In Indonesia, the Citroën Dyane 6 is commonly mispronounced in a way that actually sounds like Pakde Bei’s wife name. Because of this, he bought the car around a decade ago and has held on to it ever since.


That then snowballed into looking into other Citroëns, and over time building up a vast collection of the French vehicles.

If you were going to have a collection, what would you collect and what would be the story behind doing so? Let us know in the comments.

Ron Celestine
Instagram: celestinephotography



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Brennan McKissick

I'd collect cars that made an impression on me in one form or another. They don't necessarily have to be rare or expensive but something that just stuck with me for some reason. A couple on the list would be an EF Civic Hatch Si in white with a B16A, Magic bars, Type R brake swap, GSR Hammers, Koni yellows and the other usual bits because a friend of mine had one and for some reason that car was an absolute blast and I've always loved them. I'd also want a 1957 Bel Air coupe because it's one of the first cars I remember seeing with my dad at a car show and falling in love with. My first car was a 1979 El Camino with a 355ci sbc and I've always loved G bodies, so I'd definitely have a few memorable models like the Regal T-Type, a Hurst Cutlass and another El Camino. I could go on and on. I think the best collections are ones that have sentimental value to the owner rather than just collections of rare and valuable cars.


when is the w123 Mercedes going to get a proper showcase feature? they keep turning up in the background and corners of these pictures from foreign countries, it arguably evolved from the development of the c-111 rotary testbed car and is still a massively popular swap for a 2jz in places like Thailand/Indonesia, superrrr cheap VIP/drift platform as well ive seen them pushed in all directions


I second the call for a @123 showcase! Although it's a fair stretch to say it evolved from the C-111.... I mean sure it got a diesel variant, but the 123 was part of the compact range which started with the W110, then the W114/5 and then the W123. It's basically a mid size saloon which became the E-class. The C-111 was more of a test bed for new engine tech (rotaries, diesels etc)


Cars are full of stories, would love to hear each and every one of them.


I'll mention as many as I can. Porsche Carrera GT (the one in Oro Adonis please). It was the first supercar that ever had a proper impression on me. I remember the day I saw it like its yesterday. My mom was taking my brother and I back from school and we were stopped at an intersection. Then comes this goldish-orange Carrera GT with its V10 howling on the other side. My eyes were glued to that car and I can never forget that. The next car I'd like to add would be a Lamborghini Murcielago LP640-4 in either Grigio Telesto or Nero Aldeberan. Our neighbor across the street would take his LP640 out at night right when it was time for me to go to bed for school. However, little did my parents know that I would sit by the window and watch the sinister black LP640 as it was slowly and carefully reversed out of the driveway by its owner (who still owns it to this day I think) and gently drive to the Korean BBQ restaurant that he owns. I also would love to have an EK Civic Kanjo build. I'd love to have an Lancer Evolution VI TME or rally replica (had one as an RC car as a kid and I absolutely loved it). Would love a Countach and Diablo GT (because they sound sooooo damn good). Would also love a 330 P4 (one of the few cars in existence that made every hair on my body stand). I'd love a 1GZ-FE swapped A80 Supra. C6 Z06 Corvette and V8 Vantages always made me tingle. The sound of their V8s was out of this world and I always loved seeing them as a kid. The Aventdor is my high school dream car, especially the 50th anniversary edition. There are plenty more, but the list would be too long.


Was the 300sel a genuine Waxenberger or was it a replica?


If I have all the money in the world. I will start buying Speedhunters project cars ^__________^ as speedhunters is the bug that bite me. and it did really hard.