Lenny’s Garage/BFS Fundraiser on NY1 News

Lenny Shiller's first car, a 1936 Chevrolet, came from his grandmother.—Mark Rabiner for The New York Times

A fleet of classic cars will form the backdrop this Sunday for a fundraiser benefiting a school in Brooklyn. The cars belong to Lenny Shiller, who has been collecting them since 1967. This weekend, he will open his garage for everyone to see his collection.

While it’s grown over the years, it all started with a 1936 Chevy his grandmother gave him. “When I was a little kid and I would visit her, I would be sitting in the car, you know, like making believe I was driving,” Shiller said. “The funny thing is I hate driving. That’s the thing. I love cars, and I love fixing them, but I hate driving. I’m not really fond of it.”

Shiller keeps more than 40 cars at his garage on the border of Park Slope and Gowanus, and nearly 20 more at another garage nearby. The retired economist, contractor and property owner has accumulated a fleet of vehicles ranging from a 1924 Star to a 1947 International Soda Truck to a pink 1957 Cadillac convertible. “They are all running cars. I’m really proud. I’ve become a really good backyard mechanic, I keep them all in running condition,” Shiller said.

Over the years, some of Shiller’s cars and trucks have been featured on both the big and small screen. His 1965 Chrysler 300 convertible was even used in the “Love Shack” video by the B-52’s in the 1980’s.

Shiller says his cars and trucks are not for sale and that he rarely opens up his garage to the public. However, he is making an exception on Sunday during a fundraiser for the Brooklyn Free School, a private school in Clinton Hill. “They open their doors to kids who can’t necessarily afford the tuition. So they have a budget shortfall,” Shiller said.

Sunday’s fundraiser kicks off at 11 a.m. with all proceeds going to the Brooklyn Free School. For more information, visit brooklynfreeschool.org.

Picked up from the NY1 News website with much gratitude for airing this story. See the video.

Advertisements