By Sam Fiorani
Rich guys buy cars.... It's one of the perks of being wealthy. They hoard European exotics and fancy American classics, stashing them away in warehouses or immaculate garages visited by a privileged few. As of late, however, some collectors are allowing more people to enjoy these rolling sculptures. One of the latest collections opened to the public in early May in the Cayman Islands.
Norwegian shipping magnate Andreas Ugland owns the rare vehicles that comprise the Cayman Motor Museum in the quiet village of West Bay. Open six days a week (closed Sunday), the museum is housed in a unique reinforced building.
Unwilling to take a back seat to the rare automobiles, the building features many hurricane-resistant components for the cars' protection. Steering-wheel and hubcap designs incorporated into the facade make clear this isn't just another mansion.
Open the doors, and the collection comes to life. Press releases tout the Batmobile and Batbike from the 1966 Batman movie--excellent reasons to visit, but far from the only ones.
The Cayman Motor Museum showcases a number of exotic models from Ferrari, Maserati, and Lamborghini; mini cars from Austin, Fiat, and BMW; a range of motorcycles; even a treasured 1905 Cadillac, the first automobile ever driven in the Caymans. Famous cars include Sir Elton John's 1963 Bentley, the yellow "Ingrid Bergman" Rolls-Royce, and Queen Elizabeth II's 1956 Daimler limousine.
From a tiny Sinclair C5 to an enormous Rolls-Royce Phantom, the 80 vehicles on display (a fraction of Ugland's total collection) appear to offer something for every traveling automotive enthusiast.