The Dezer Collection Museum Motors in
By Marc Goodman
Photography by Mark Mason
Though housing precious cars may conjure thoughts of the pristine glass garage holding the Ferrari in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, or the Zen minimalism of Ralph Lauren’s recently publicized collection of rare autos, Dezer has taken a different tack. In the classic car sections of the museum, a maze-like path winds through ’50s Chevrolets, a ’74 Citroen DS21-M, a 1972 Fiat 500, and another DeLorean. Costumed mannequins sit in many of the driver’s seats, displaying a certain broad humor: a stoned hippie in the ’62 VW van, while Muammar el-Qaddafi, Willie Nelson, and fedora’d Mafia hit men ride in others. And instead of spare white museum walls, Dezer has designed massive collages of notable world events from decades past, providing context for the adjacent cars. There are also vintage gas station signs, garage memorabilia, and ads for Beech-Nut gum, Chesterfield cigarettes, and Tab.
Dezer, who lives with his wife, Neomi, in his Trump Sunny Isles apartment, drives a 2011 Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe (Rolls’s most expensive model), as well as one of three replica ’55 Thunderbirds. The car he’s most in love with, however, is a 2006 Chevrolet SSR pickup truck, a replica of a 1950 model that he’s turned into a convertible and redone as a yellow hot rod—one of only two customized as such. “It goes fast, as it has a Corvette engine, but I’m a very careful driver with all of them. I drive with feelings for the car.” When he’s in an adventurous mood, Dezer will hop on late-model Harleys, or a metallic light-green late-model Vespa, which he even takes on the highway. “I crisscrossed Europe in 1959 with a Vespa, so why should I be afraid now?” he asks.
The sprawling campus is a child’s dream—precisely what the museum’s team has in mind for parties and corporate events for kids both young and old, like Dezer himself. “When you have the money,” he says, “and you love these things, you say, ‘Why not? Why not another 10, 20, 30?’ They’re beautiful. That’s my art. It’s music to my eyes,” he laughs.