Imperial Palace Auto Collection
Las Vegas, Nevada
"No longer just a museum, but a place where the vehicles are actually available for purchase," advises an entry sign at the Imperial Palace Auto Collection. The Imperial Palace Hotel-Casino sealed off one floor of its parking garage, carpeted and lit it as a showroom for old cars.
They charge admission, as if it was a museum, then focus most of their effort showcasing cars for collectors to buy. There's even a large display and kiosk advertising Classic Collector Car Insurance, in case your Rolls Royce gets creamed as you exit onto the Strip.
The collection itself is an odd menagerie, in which a 1966 Volkswagen Beetle ($14,500) sits across from a 1952 Ferrari Inter 212 Vignale Coupe ($800,000). Since almost everything is for sale here, it seems cruel to call attention to noteworthy vehicles, although we were impressed by the 1939 Chrysler Royal Sedan that belonged to Johnny Carson's dad, in which Johnny was driven to his senior prom. Over time this should become as valuable as, say, Jack Parr's dad's car.
There were no celebrity death cars, or even near death cars, that we could find. The Imperial collection used to feature Adolf Hitler's car, but it was sold years ago. "I could never look at it," we were told by the ticket counter lady. "I was too scared."