Are you a car nut? Pardon me, I mean: an automobile aficionado? Do you know all sorts of arcane auto trivia that astounds your friends? Or do you just like looking at old cars for the nostalgia factor? Then when you visit Las Vegas, you should make a beeline for the classic car collection at the Quad (formerly the Imperial Palace). Even if you’re not normally into cars, don’t discount this as an interesting way to spend an hour. I barely know the make and model of the car I’ve owned for the past six years, but I’ve been to this collection twice and both times I’ve enjoyed myself.
What’s the appeal? Well, as the website says, it’s the world’s largest classic car museum. There are over 150 classic cars on display—in excellent condition, I might add. (Although some are recreations, not the originals.) Some are for sale, if you’ve got anywhere from $50,000 to $900,000 burning a hole in your pocket.
Not only are there classic cars here, some of them have colorful histories. According to their website, they currently have on display: a Lincoln Continental Mark V formerly owned by Elvis; President John F. Kennedy’s Lincoln Continental Towne Limousine; Johnny Carson’s Chrysler Royal Sedan (with which he learned to drive); and the 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback that was used in Gone in 60 Seconds.
On my most recent trip, I took advantage of the opportunity to practice my photography. You’d be surprised how beautiful the curves and lines of a classic car are when showcased up close in a photograph.
By far the most interesting car I saw that day was this 1925 Rolls-Royce that belonged to the ex-Maharajah of Kotah, who equipped it with guns to hunt Bengal tigers and other wild game on his estate. I’m not endorsing that behavior, but the car itself had many fascinating features, as you can see in the photos below. I’ve never seen anything like it.
I do think they’re missing a fun opportunity at this car museum/showcase, though, to play classic rock ‘n roll car songs in the background. I thought I was going to go insane listening to a looped tape of Johnny Carson over and over and over again for an hour. I’d much rather have heard a medley of “409,” “Pink Cadillac,” “Little Red Corvette,” and “Mustang Sally.” (Feel free to use that idea, Quad; you can thank me later.)
What you need to know:
- Showroom Location: 5th Floor of the Parking Garage at the Quad.
- Hours: Daily 10am-6pm.
- Admission: Free; just print up your free admission pass at their website.
- There is an audio tour with information about the various cars.
- As you can see, photography is allowed.