Hidden away from the eye of the public in a top secret location in Calgary, Alberta, Canada is the car collection of Fred Phillips, a wealthy metal fabrication business owner who has a passion for cars. His love for the automobile started when he was 14 years old. Ever since that moment, Phillips has been obsessed with cars.
Phillips recalls being introduced to the car world while visiting a family friend’s house in the small town of Rockyford, Alberta. “I remember A 1969 Dodge Charger came ripping down the road, and the older brother, Hanz, said it was a 1968 Dodge Charger.” Eight-year-old Phillips was memorized.
“I remember asking, ‘How does he know that?’ I was so intrigues that he not only knew the name of the car, but the year it was made. Ever since then I have been a car guy.” Fast-forward to 2012 and Phillips has amassed a collection of more than 60 automobiles. He says each car in his collection has a special place in his heart.
“It’s an unfair to ask me which one is my favorite. I don’t have one favorite – they’re all my favorite. I bought each one for a reason, and they’re all very special to me.” As a young man, Phillips opened an auto shop in Calgary, specializing in restoring old Camaro’s, Mustangs and other popular automobiles. At the time, he had a few cars in his collection, but had to sell them in order to start up his business.
In the late 1980’s, Phillips opened his current endeavor, Focus Auto Design, which specializes in molding and forming custom auto parts for restorations and general fixes. Because of the high demand for his services, Phillips quickly earned the money he needed to get back into collecting cars.
Phillips’ ever-growing car collection includes everything from full on race cars, to world-class show cars. Though his collection is very diverse, Phillips says that each car in his collection has a purpose and a story. “I don’t talk about the value of my cars,” he said. “Quite frankly, they are priceless to me.”
His collection doesn’t make much sense to those viewing his collection. Typically you’ll find collectors who stick to Ford’s, Ferrari’s or other specific brands – but Fred Phillips’ collection lies all over the map. From a vintage 1953 Fiat 8V Ghia Savonuzzi Supersonic, to a full on Ford GT40 Mark II Racecar, Phillips’ collection is extremely diverse.
The best part is that every car has a story, and Phillips is obviously a storyteller. He is passionate about his growing collection, and is more than willing to talk about each and every one of his rare automobiles. “I want to ‘wow’ people with my collection and the stories behind each car, and make each tour unique,” he said. His hope is that every person who comes through his garage will feel that they saw something special and would recommend others to come and see it.
One such car in his collection is a rusted, rancid-looking 1931 Model A Ford that had been chopped, lowered and given the full on Rat-Rod treatment. We recognized this car immediately as Richard Rawlings’ 2005 Bullrun car. The car was purpose-built as a rally car, with electronics, police-countermeasures equipment and a CB radio.
Phillips has been hosting tours of his collection over the past three years. He asks for donations to a local charity that is important to him and his family. Tours can be set up via his website.
At the request of Fred Phillips, no panoramic photos of his collection were included in the photo gallery.