While most car enthusiasts can only dream of buying that pricey new Lamborghini or Bugatti, the ultra-rich can pick up not one but a fleet of luxury vehicles and supercars. Because when you have $50 million, $100 million, or more of disposable cash, suddenly a million-dollar car price tag doesn’t seem insane. Well, Rick Hendrick of Hendrick Motor Sports is not only a car enthusiast but also ultra-rich. Therefore, he’s used some of his fortune to create one of the largest private Corvette collections in the world.
Who is Rick Hendrick?
If you’re not a NASCAR fan, the name Rick Hendrick might not immediately ring any bells. However, the 72-year-old is well-known to fans of the sport. He’s the Chairman of Hendrick Motor Sports, a championship racing business he founded nearly four decades ago, and the CEO of the Hendrick Automotive Group, an automotive dealership network of 94 dealerships, as per The Drive. Additionally, he’s the co-owner of JR Motorsports, a professional stock racing car team.
Hendrick was born in North Carolina but raised in Virginia. A long-time automotive and car racing enthusiast, he built his first drag racing vehicle when he was 14. In his early adult years, Hendrick sold used cars and was promoted to general sales manager of his employer’s company. By the age of 27, he’d cobbled together enough cash and assets to purchase a Chrysler dealership franchise, making him the youngest owner of one in the U.S. Since then, he’s acquired more dealerships and built the sixth-largest dealership network in the U.S. As per Superyacht Fan, it’s the largest private auto dealership network in the world.
He began putting together drag racing teams in the late ’70s, starting with boats. His team won three consecutive world championships before Hendrick moved on to NASCAR teams. His teams have won 17 championships and 347 wins in the following four decades and obtained 291 pole positions. As such, he’s considered the most successful team owner in NASCAR history. With such success in NASCAR and business have come great rewards. According to Alt driver, Hendrick is worth approximately $1 billion.
Rick Hendrick’s Corvette collection
With his tremendous wealth, Rick Hendrick has established a massive car collection, which he houses at a facility known as the Heritage Center, located next to the Motor Sports campus in Concord, North Carolina. As per the Detroit Free Press, it houses 210 expensive and rare luxury vehicles, including 120 Chevrolet Corvette models. Corvettes occupy a special place in Hendrick’s heart, as his first date with his long-time spouse was in one. He later sold that Corvette to purchase his first dealership and kickstart his business empire.
Among his prized Corvettes are a recently purchased 2020 C8 Corvette Stingray, which he bought at a charity auction for the Detroit Children’s Fund. It’s the first mid-engine Stingray of its model year and has the VIN 0001. The purchase price was a steep $3 million. Hendrick doesn’t plan to drive it and will warehouse it in the Heritage Center, along with the rest of his collection.
That collection also includes the first Corvettes built in 1955-1957 and the first ZR1 built in 1989. It also includes two Corvettes once owned by King Leopold III of Belgium, and one by former Mexican President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz. He’s even got a 1967 Corvette once owned by the late, great singer Roy Orbison.
Other cars in Rick Hendrick’s collection
Rick Hendrick’s collection doesn’t just include Chevrolet Corvette models. A USA Today article on Hendrick noted other vehicles in his collection, including the Chevrolet Lumina from the movie Days of Thunder and a Camaro once owned by baseball legend Reggie Jackson, among other rarities. Additionally, even though Corvettes make up the majority of his collection, you may be surprised to learn that he does not count a Corvette as his absolute favorite car of all time.
That distinction belongs to the first car he and his father built: a 1931 Chevrolet. They bought it for $250 and rebuilt it in the back of his great grandfather’s general store. While it’s not close to the most valuable car in the Heritage Center, it’s the first he’d try to save if a natural disaster occurred. That vehicle was the springboard to all of his subsequent success, from racing to business. Its inclusion is symbolic of the Heritage Center’s tribute to Hendrick’s past.
The Heritage Center doesn’t just house cars. It also contains replicas of the general store, along with the gas station where he met his wife and the bank where his mother worked. As Hendrick noted in the USA Today interview, the Heritage Center is a tribute to his family and milestones in his life. Of course, it’s also a tribute to his love of automobiles. With Hendrick’s regular attendance at rare car auctions, his love will continue to grow.