Moorestown man has a longtime love of autos
For Richard Myers, of Moorestown, that fascination is not surprising. Myers has been recognized in national magazines for his collection of cars, one that has attracted international attention.
And therein lies a tale.
There is no doubt that Myers is a determined sort. Back in his high school days, he was so committed to track and field that in one competition, he said, he came in first in the country.
“Running teaches you a lot about goals,” said this genial guy who loves anecdotes, and has plenty to share.
His passion for cars began innocently enough. Back in college at Seton Hall, Myers happened to see a used MG for sale. He loved it despite its condition, which was undeniably poor. So he seized the moment, bought the old MG, and determined that he would bring it back to its original charm and glory.
There was no Internet back then, but Myers started learning all he could by reading, experimenting, tinkering, and ultimately triumphing over the unknown.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
After a high school teaching career — his father had emphasized working at something secure — Myers realized that his true passion was not just in collecting unusual cars, but also in hands-on restoring. It’s a leap few take — many car collectors, he said, have others do the work.
“It often leads to owners being a bit insecure about even driving their cars because they lack real familiarity,” he said.
Not Myers, who has been open to new challenges and possibilities. His intensity is a gift when it comes to collecting and restoration, and teaching was gratifying, but not in the same way as finding a potential treasure of a car — and bringing it back to its glory days himself when necessary.
Initially, this car fancier opened a small but traditional car agency in Camden County to support himself and his family. His pride in his car collection is superseded by his pride in his three children, all of whom are attorneys.
“They are my success,” said Myers, who is divorced but has a significant other.
Barbara Miller once knew nothing about collector cars and is now his steadfast partner in his love for cars that have a legacy, are rare, and are always attention grabbers at car shows and expositions.
After that initial college MG purchase, there were Triumphs, Austin-Healeys and then Jaguars, which Myers truly loves.
“I tried to be fairly organized in my initial collecting — I needed to learn the basics and master them before moving on to the most exotic cars.”
Today, Myers’ collection spans early purchases of Rolls-Royces (he bought one at age 22) and Bentleys (he was 23 when he acquired one).
Of course, he had to sell some of the ones he restored to keep on collecting.
Today, some of the treasures in his collection, now housed in a sprawling warehouse/garage in West Berlin, Camden County, include very special cars like an Allard J2X, which took Best of Show in 2015 in Moorestown; a Shelby Cobra 289; a much-loved Jaguar XK120, and a Silverstone. Myers even owns a vintage Mercedes that was once owned by Donald Trump.
These days, Myers and Miller are familiar figures at high-end car events like the one at Pebble Beach in California. They know folks like Ralph Lauren and Jay Leno, and are particularly known in that circuit because of Myers’ reputation as a major collector and restorer.
They spend a lot of time in Newport, Rhode Island, where he owns a converted carriage house and where Miller is a tour guide for some of the grand historic “cottages.”
But there is one dream yet unfulfilled. Myers would like to create a very special museum dedicated to a complete history of post-World War II sports cars that helped launch today’s sports car industry. It is also the period that is the sweet spot in his own collection.
As to what’s ahead, he hopes more of the same.
“My children are my greatest accomplishment. My life is rich and wonderful because of them. The rest is a bonus.”