Budd’s and Laurie’s Garage

  • story by David M. Brown
  • photos by Mason Wales
  • posted on 06/2023
  • posted in: Great Garages

At the fifth Arizona Concours d’Elegance in Scottsdale this past winter, Budd and Laurie Florkiewicz showed a 1939 Delahaye and a 1949 Alfa Romeo from their 28-car collection (“Budd’s Garage”), which includes American classics, vintage European and off-road vehicles.

“Almost all were in decent condition when we acquired them, and some we started from scratch with a full restoration,” he adds. The couple’s garage curator and mechanic, Lyman Scherer, completed most of these, excepting paint and interiors, which the couple contracted with top-quality specialists.

“We have driven several of them in rallies, including the Copperstate 1000, Copperstate Overland, Going to the Sun Rally and private rallies with friends,” she says, noting that Budd usually drives the morning leg and she shifts over to the driver’s seat for the afternoon.

Budd-and-Laurie-Florkiewicz

He’s from Chicago where he owned several companies; he moved to Phoenix in 1976. She’s from the San Francisco Bay area and has also lived in New York and Atlanta. They met at Pebble Beach, California, while attending the wedding of a mutual friend; their love, and the car love, blossomed. They’ve been married for 25 years.

Many ribbons are on the walls and trophies. The garage also has a juke box, a bar, an office, a ventilated cigar room and many pictures of the couple driving their joys at rallies. What’s the picture of Bud’s Auto Body about? From a former career? “Just my children having fun. They saw it on their travels and snapped it,” he says.

The collection includes cars with deep stories, such as a 1959 Triumph TR3 that participated in the grueling first 1967 Mexican 1000 in the Baja. Totally unprepared for its brutality, the TR3 broke a crankshaft 335 miles into the race. The abandoned race car stayed in Rancho Santa Ynez for 37 years without an engine or tranny before being reclaimed from its second-life role as a chicken coop. Restored in San Francisco, BajaTR3 was restored again in Budd’s Garage. All race lettering had been done in 2014 by Warren Percell in Petaluma, Marin County, California. He painted the car originally in Walnut Creek, California, in 1967 for $600 in eight hours. In 2014, that job was $2,100 for 16 hours during three days.

1938-Delahaye-135MS-Competition-Cabriolet-2

European classics include a 1956 Lancia Aurelia B24S convertible with coachwork by Pinin Farina, a 2451-cc single-cam aluminum V-6, 4-speed rear transaxle with De Dion suspension (list, $3,850) and a 1959 Jaguar XK-150S Drop Head Coupe with a 3800-cc twin-camshaft inline 6 fed by SU HD6 carburetors, all producing 220 bhp (list, $7,420).

And, a 1968 Lamborghini 400 GT 2+2, #1252, #219 of 247, which began production two years earlier, has Carrozzeria Touring coachwork and features an aluminum V-12 engine and six Weber 40DCOE carburetors, producing 320 bph, and a 5-speed Dallara ‘All Syncro’ transmission. List was $21,000.

The two Porsches are a 1959 356A Convertible D, #86319, with coachwork by Karosseriewerk Drauz. Budd, at 6 feet 4 inches, struggles to get in, but it’s still prized standing outside. The first-generation 356 convertible listed at $5,916. And a 1964 Porsche 356 SC Cabriolet, #160013, features Karosserie Reutter coachwork and tops out at 120 mph; $8,570 was the list.

1938-Delahaye-135MS-Competition-Cabriolet-3

And, a 1966 Aston-Martin DB 6 Mark 1 “Superleggera,” one of 140, features a 4200-cc twin-cam aluminum inline 6 cylinder with triple SU carburetors producing 325 BHP and a Tremec 5-speed over-drive transmission. List was a formidable $22,000.
Her favorite? A birthday present one year from Budd is a superclassic 1957 Mercedes–Benz 300 SL. “I immediately put ostrich seats in it.”

American Muscle History

Laurie has also bought cars at the auctions and by phone. “My 1964 turquoise Thunderbird convertible looked so good under the lights at the auction,” she recalled. “I bought it because of the nostalgic era and the movie Thelma and Louise.”

1949-Alfa-Romeo-6c-2500-Super-Sport-2nd-Series-Cabriolet

Introduced by Ford in 1955 as a sports car, the carmaker made it “A Classic Personal Luxury Car” from 1964–1966. The Space-Age-inspired tourer has white-leather interior and the optional tonneau cover. The 360-cube single-camshaft V-8 is topped by a 4-barrel carburetor, all producing 300 bph. “She bought this when I went to the bathroom,” Budd recalls with a laugh. A costly rest stop at $29,000. In 1964, it was an up-market $4,486.

American muscle also includes a 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air Convertible, last of the Tri-Fives. “The Hot One,” according to a Chevy ad that year, with a 283-ci ‘Super Turbo Fire’ small block V-8, rare dual-quad ‘Power Pak” twin carburetors, a 2-speed TurboGlide automatic transmission and a posi-traction rear axle. It was $2,611.

A 1971 Pontiac GTO Judge convertible is one of just 17 convertibles and the only one with Castillian Bronze Paint, on a Sand Almond interior. The rare 455-cube HO Ram Air features “197” heads and is coupled with a GM Turbo-400 automatic. List price was $5,167. Another is a 1970 Chevrolet SS Chevelle LS6 convertible, equipped with a 454-cubic-inch Mark IV Turbo-Jet V-8, producing 450 bhp. The Fathom Blue with white sports stripes racer has the ZL2 Cowl Induction Hood and is one of just 20 LS6 Convertibles produced. List was in the fast lane: $4,425.

1953-Cadillac-Eldorado-Series-62

A 1970 Ford Bronco, part of the first Generation 1966–1977, was designed by Donald Frey, with a 302-CI Windsor V-8 producing 205 bhp together with a Ford C4 “Off-Road Upgraded” automatic. Ford raced Broncos until 1971 with Parnelli Jones delivering many wins. List: $3,665. And, a 1980 Jeep CJ-7 features upgrades such as a 350-ci engine with Chevy aluminum heads and a Holley Carb producing 425 bph (List, $6,445).

Seven Specials

Here’s a septet of the couple’s faves.

1953-Cadillac-Eldorado-Series-62-2

1938 Delahaye 135MS Competition Cabriolet — Featuring coachwork by DeVillier of Paris, #60123 was the Paris Salon Show Car and was hidden during WWII and discovered in France in the 1970s. The aluminum-clad beauty has a wood body on a steel frame. Completely restored by Andre Lecoq in Paris, it was Best of Show at the Bagatelle Concourse. Restored again in 2000 by Fran Roxas in Chicago, it won Best of Class at Pebble Beach and Amelia Island Concours in 2003. The 3557-cc single camshaft inline 6 topped out at 110 mph. List price: about $8,000.

1949 Alfa Romeo 6c 2500 Super Sport 2nd Series Cabriolet — With coachwork by Pinin Farina, #915770 has a 2443-cc aluminum twin-cam inline 6-cylinder, triple 36D02 Weber carburetors producing 105 bhp, a 4-speed synchromesh manual and 4-wheel independent suspension with hydraulic dampeners. It garnered “Best in Show” at the Danville Concours d’Elegance; “Best in Show” Ferndale “Judges Award” at the Niello Concours; and “Best in Class” La Jolla Concours d’Elegance. List $9,980, a lot of lira.

The couple also own a 1938 Alfa-Romeo 6C 2300 B with Mille Miglia coachwork. Only 107 models were produced in 1938. It’s powered by a 2309-cc aluminum twin-cam inline 6-cylinder and two Solex carbs, all generating 95 bhp. A 4-speed Alfa-Romero transmission make the wheels go round. List was a hefty $1,920.

1954-Ferrari-Europa-250

1953 Cadillac Eldorado Series 62 — Designed by the great Harley Earl, with Fleetwood coachwork, this elegant car is based on GM’s 1952 Motorama El Dorado and LeSabre concept cars. Rated at 210 horsepower, the 331-ci overhead-valve V-8 connects to a Hydra-Matic transmission with two separate ranges. It’s loaded with all options including Super power steering, power seats and windows and has a specially designed instrument panel with padded dash, automatic heating system and special radio. For just this year, all of these items were hydraulically driven; the next year they became electric, Budd explains. A few years ago, it appeared at the Arizona Concours. The carmaker’s most expensive model, at $7,750, it doubled the price of the standard Cadillac Convertible.

1954 Ferrari Europa 250 — This very rare car, #345, with Pinin Farina coachwork, is one of the 17 Europas produced from 1953/1954. It was the first street production car by Ferrari, Lyman says. The 2952-cc Lampredi aluminum V-12 has three Weber 36DCF carburetors, with the powertrain output at 220 bhp and a 4-speed Ferrari All Syncro Transmission; it’s rated at 135 mph top speed. Restoration of the classic is a multi-year project; Lyman and his crew are almost complete. List: $12,000.

1957 Mercedes 300 SL Roadster — “Laurie’s Pride,” #7500264, features coachwork by Daimler Benz and is #42 of 146 roadsters produced in 1957. Total production was 1,858 units through 1963. The classic has a 2996-cc overhead-cam inline slant 6-cylinder producing 250 bhp, Bosch fuel injection, 4-speed synchromesh transmission. Rated 165 mph for top speed, it listed for $11,400.
Also in the collection, a 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SC Roadster #6500136 is one of 53 SC Roadsters produced from 1955 to 1958. The 2996-cc overhead-camshaft inline six-cylinder produces 175 bhp. The list was $13,190.

1954-Ferrari-Europa-250-2

1960 Maserati 3500GT Vignale Spyder — The first car in the couple’s collection, #AM-101/S-867 is #15 of the 242 produced from 1960 through 1963. The coachwork is by Micholetti at Vignale; the 3,485-cc aluminum twin-cam inline 6 produces 220 horses through the 5-speed ZF transmission. Rated 130 mph top speed, it was built for Roberto Zanisi of Brescia, director of Automotoclub Storico Italiano. List, $12,300.

1959 Arnolt-Bristol DeLuxe Roadster — This is #22 of the 142 produced from 1954–1961. It was manufactured by Stanley H. Arnolt, Inc. as designed by Franco Scaglione. The 1971-cc BMW-based Bristol inline 6 and three Solex 32 carburetors produce 132 BHP. The chassis number #404/X/3022 reflects late-1954 series production, but the car possibly remained at factory as a mule or race car, as past roll bar installation is evident. The list was $6,500.

The Florkiewiczes also have a 1955 Arnolt-MG convertible designed by Giovanni Michelotti and manufactured by Stanley H. Arnolt, Inc. featuring coachwork by Gruppo Bertone. Only 36 convertibles were produced for 1953 and 1954.The 1250-cc MG XPAG inline 4 produces 54 bhp. List, $2,195.

1960-Maserati-3500GT-Vignale-Spyder

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