The Collection

Thursday 09 February, 2012 | By Ken

The average person will own 12 cars in their lifetime according to various statistical studies. A car enthusiast may own double that number over their lifetime. But very rarely does any of these people keep their cars as they purchase a new one. Most of the time, the older vehicles are traded-in, sold or junked. So when a person comes across a collection of vehicles as you will see here, it is definitely something to take notice. What makes things even more impressive is the story behind the accumulation, preservation and appreciation that is rarely found unless you are one of the most die-hard of enthusiast.

Tucked away in the small town of Rye Brook. New York, Joe Lamberti’s collection started years ago when Joe picked up his first automobile. Joe’s love of the Chevrolet Corvette has translated into a garage full of Corvette’s spanning over 4 decades. What is unique and impressive about Joe’s collection, as he explains, is that unlike the average person that would get rid of their vehicle to get another, Joe actually made it a point to keep his original vehicles. The result is low mileage Vette’s in amazing condition. Not just a collection of Corvette’s though, Joe’s appreciation for the rare and antique is evident. Take for example, the old school Texaco gas pump in original, pristine condition, the red classic Harley Davidson and even the antique model train set.

There is just something very special about Harley’s, particular classics like this beauty.

Looking around the Rye Brook Station, you may find yourself thinking you are in a Museum with dozens of classic Vettes all around. The Roger Penske Grand Sport Vette (one of America’s most famous race cars) is a beauty, and the rolling drivetrain for a second Roger Penske Grand Sport is impressive. The same goes for the Callaway supercharged C5, and the blue Corvette Stingray with white interior that as it turns out, is ultra-rare due to the white interior being an option that was found in very few models at the time. As Joe explains, what makes a collection special is having the least amount of restoration as possible. Original paint, original parts, unmolested and preserved are key to value.

More than just a pretty face.

The most impressive Corvette in Joe’s garage, and very likely in existence is the 1967 “Chris Craft” Chevrolet Corvette. Appraised at over three-million dollars this particular Vette has been dubbed the “Ultimate Survivor”. All original, right down to the lug nuts, complete with original paperwork, receipts and only 15,191 miles on it, this one-of-a-kind-in-existence Corvette has a rich history. Jay Smith, grandson of Chris Smith, owner of Chris Craft Boats, went to a Chevrolet dealership in 1967 and ordered his personalized Corvette that had more options on it than any other Vette built that model year. Additionally, Jay Smith went with the L68 motor, M21 gear box and air conditioning which was found on only 199 out of 22,941 Corvettes that year. The Chris Craft Vette has gone through a few hands, but it has ended up with Joe, who truly appreciates history and value.

The most notable thing that separates Joe Lamberti from most other car collectors is his passion for speed. While most other collectors and enthusiast would be highly impressed with the collection you see here, as much as Joe loves his garage, he has the heart of a textbook “hot-rodder”, never satisfied with the power beneath him. What had started with your L68 Vette’s to his Callaway Supercharged C5 to extended swing arm drag bikes has blown up to 1500 horsepower Powerboats that as he says, is just one of the most incredible things to have all that power, especially on water. It’s a thirst that can only be temporarily quenched until the ride is over. This has translated into Joe’s rather impressive resume of accomplishments with the most recent ones being the Offshore Powerboat Champion as well as the 2011 Winner of the Great American Stockcar Series (GASS).

Extremely humble yet competitive to the fullest, Joe Lamberti lives his life the way many people would only dream about. If you love something, go do something about it. That’s what Joe did, and he has his something to show for it.

For the full gallery coverage of the garage and the collection, please scroll below.

Photo credit: Kenny Bascon

Coverage credit to SNTRL’s Mike “Styles” Carolei

About the author

Co-founder, Managing Director, Photographer, and editor for SNTRL. To many in the Tri-State, Kenny aka "MAD JDM" needs no introduction. Always out there, always ready, always down.

Speak your mind.