History

The Revs Institute founder Miles Collier was born into an American automotive dynasty.

Both his father and uncle, Miles and Sam, respectively, are credited with introducing sports car racing to the United States during the 1930’s. Together, the pair were early members of the Sports Car Club of America fostering Mr. Collier’s early passion for auto racing.

Collier Brothers at the Rod and Gun Club, Everglades City, l to r Samuel C. Collier, C. Miles Collier, D. Graham Copeland, Barron G. Collier, Late 1940s.
Collier Brothers at the Rod and Gun Club, Everglades City, l to r Samuel C. Collier, C. Miles Collier, D. Graham Copeland, Barron G. Collier, Late 1940s.

Our job as conservators of the past is to present historic objects in a way that maximizes their documentary value, that is, as exemplars of their most representative configuration in period.” Miles Collier

An accomplished fine artist, investor and philanthropist, Mr. Collier also spent the better part of a decade racing in an E-Production Porsche Speedster as well as behind the wheel of other vintage automobiles. In 1984, Mr. Collier became the inaugural recipient of the SVRA Driver of the Year Award.

In 1986, Mr. Collier acquired the Cunningham Museum collection of longtime family friend Briggs Swift Cunningham, which included the first Ferrari racing car ever sold in the United States and one of six Bugatti Royales ever produced.

What is now known today as the Collier Collection began to take shape during the late 1980s and 1990s as Mr. Collier continued to grow his private collection of the finest, most original examples of sports cars and ephemera. He soon became widely recognized for his groundbreaking preservation aesthetic, which elevated the original function and integrity of historic automobiles above recrementitious renovation styles.

In 2000, Mr. Collier began hosting symposia on collecting rare automobiles that gathered the world’s most prestigious experts on preservation technique and theory.

Above all, providing the automobile with a platform that demonstrates the sheer power and influence that this great, modern invention has profoundly contributed to our culture and history remains Mr. Collier’s tireless mission. The Revs Institute was founded in 2009 as a reflection of that determination and to serve as a center of scholarly study.

That academic mission was bolstered in 2011 by the acquisition of the Ludvigsen Library; Karl Ludvigsen, a former General Motors consultant and past editor of Car and Driver and Motor Trend magazines, had assembled a vast library with over 7,000 automotive books, 300,000 photographs and hundreds of research files.

That same year, through the vision of Miles Collier the Institute began an affiliation with Stanford University known as The Revs Program which established a new trans-disciplinary field connecting the past, present and future of the automobile. The Revs Program at Stanford fosters a wide ranging academic focus on the automobile. In recognition of the program’s scholastic merits, Hearst Publishing Corporation transferred its entire archive of Road & Track magazine to The Revs Program which will preserve and digitize the collection for future research and make its information available to the public.

By meticulously preserving these incredible milestones in automotive history, The Revs Institute is also endeavoring to shape history by elevating the status of the automobile as a cultural icon and agent of change and human progress. Thereby, collecting and documenting this important history and making it available to a new era of scholars and thought leaders, The Revs Institute seeks to serve as a platform for the next century of automotive innovation on and off the track.