By Dianne R. Davis
Photos by Dianne R. Davis or Burt Davis unless otherwise indicated.
Liberace's Cars on Display Following Gala Opening at Hollywood Car Museum
You can't see Liberace in person anymore, but you can see his cars. And wow, they are something to see. Liberace is remembered not just for his performances, but also in part for his outlandish costumes. In addition, he owned some unique cars to complement his costumes. Several of these cars are now on display in the Liberace Garage section of the Hollywood Cars Museum at 5115 Dean Martin Dr in Las Vegas.
Jay Ohrberg and Jonathan Warren – Photo by Ira Kuzma
The cars are the property of the Liberace foundation(www.liberace.org). The foundation has raised over $6 million in scholarships over the past decade. The mission of the Liberace Foundation according to its brochure, is, “to manage the Liberace Museum Collection in such a manner as to garner brand licensing income and donations to provide students with artistic exposure and scholarships in the creative and performing arts.”
Debbie Pickavance, Jimarillo Miller, Stephen Makepeace Walker, Victor James and Alicia Perrone - Photo by Ira Kuzma
Jonathan Warren (left) and Jonathan Scott welcomed Susan Liberace to the event. Photo by Ira Kuzma
Liberace's cars were originally housed in the Liberace Museum which closed in 2010.
The Liberace Garage was formally opened on April 7, 2016 at a reception hosted by The Liberace Foundation for the Perfoming and Creative Arts; The Hollywood Cars Museum; the designer of Liberace Garage. Consul Paulina Biggs Sparkuhl and Consul Jonathan Warren.
Wes Winters entertained on Liberace's piano
Jonathan Scott mcee introduced a variety of talented performers. One of the highlights of the concert was Wes Winters who brings a very personal connection to Liberace associated events. Wes, a self taught pianist, came to Las Vegas in 2003 and won the Liberace Play-A-Like competition. He went on to conceive, write, produce and star in “ “A Musical Tribute to Liberace” and created the “Wes Winters Showroom” at the Liberace Museum. Honored with several awards, the show ran nearly five years, followed by a limited engagement on the Las Vegas Strip at Planet Hollywood. What a delight to watch and listen at the Museum as Wes played on one of Liberace's pianos.
Lisa Gay, Nieve Malandra, Gianna Malandra and Frank Salerno
Fans of Jimmy Century performed – Photo by Ira Kuzma
Guests also enjoyed performances by singer Nieve Malandra, Marco Antonio Varela with soprano Marcie Ley, songstress Lisa Gay, Alicia Perrone, Victor James and Stephen Makepeace Walker of Fans of Jimmy Century, pianists Gee G. Alan and the CSN Jazz Singers.
Guests were treated to delicious cheese burger sliders and large shrimps perpared by STK LAS VEGAS, A cash bar was hosted by Sippin Society.
Liberace's VW Rolls – Photo by Dianne R. Davis
Liberace's Phantom Rolls Royce Photo by Dianne R. Davis
Entertainment, food, and fancy cars! Liberaces classic cars were a treasure that patrons enjoyed. Among the vehicles on display at the Liberace Garage is the 1961 Rolls Royce Phantom V that Liberace used to drive onto the stage when he performed at the Las Vegas Hilton. The Foundation lent it to the production of the Emmy and Golden Globe Award winning HBO film Behind the Candelabra, starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon; Douglas, as Liberace, drove it on the stage.
The Liberace Garage also includes the crystal encrusted roadster that he had onstage during his final run of shows at Radio City Music Hall in 1986; a red, white and blue Rolls convertible which he flew out of via high wire cables at Hilton shows celebrating America's Bicentennial; and a large handful of cars he drove regularly, including the London Taxi (with the meter still installed) that he used to pick up famous guests from the Palm Springs Airport and the 1956 Rolls Royce convertible which he would fly out of during performances.
The exhibit also features automotive related Liberace souvenirs, including light posts he kept in his personal garage, film posters and auto advertisements the entertainer appeared in, and, naturally, chandeliers.
Visitors to Liberace's Garage can also tour the Hollywood Car Museum. It features vehicles that have appeared in more than 100 films, TV shows and videos.
The museum is located at 5115 Dean Martin Dr and is open seven days a week from 10 to 5.
Jon and Annette Linquist – Photo by Dianne R. Davis