High Revs!

Visit Miles Collier Collections at Revs Institute in a way that’s never been possible before

Located in Naples, Florida, the Miles Collier Collections of more than one hundred fine automobiles, housed at Revs Institute, in its own words, is “a curated assemblage of the most profound and rare automotive resources and innovations of our time, professionally preserved and authentically restored to their original build standards.”

Combining cars from the former Briggs Cunningham collection with those assembled by Miles Collier over several decades, the resulting display is acknowledged as one of the finest car collections in the world.

The collection encompasses a world-class array of competition Porsches, which share space with examples of every Cunningham ever built. Sports and racing cars are predominant, with a Mercedes-Benz W154, a Grand Prix Delage, a Mercer Raceabout, two Ford GT40s, a Ferrari 250LM, and a Corvette Grand Sport, to name just a few, along with a Duesenberg J, a Figoni-bodied Delahaye 135M, an Alfa Romeo 8C 2900, a Chrysler Airflow, a Bugatti Type 55 — and so much more.

There’s also a world-renowned library and historic photograph collection.

After being closed to the public since last March due to Covid-19, Revs Institute reopened on February 25th with limited visitation. Tickets are available via the website, which allow visitors to tour the museum in small groups of thirty people

But if you can’t get to the museum itself, there’s a new, very exciting and involving way to participate.

Revs Institute has painstakingly developed a state-of-the-art mobile app that allows visitors to see the museum and all its cars virtually – down to the smallest interior details. The new Revs app is available now online for free at the App Store or Google Play.

Immerse yourself into an automobile collection like no other with Revs new iOS and Android app.

download in the apple app store download for android on Google play

Carl Grant, who joined Revs Institute last July says, “It’s been my mission to bring awareness of the museum and Revs Institute to a global audience. Covid accelerated this development. Even if you lived locally, because we were closed, we still wanted people to engage with the collection and benefit from all the things you can do here, on a virtual level.”

Revs Institute’s app is designed for Android devices as well as iOS devices (iPad and iPhone). Some content is shared between the website and the app. There’s a detailed guide to every car that’s on display. You can inspect the cars themselves and you can highlight features: there are technical specifications and videos of the vehicles being started and driving on the road. From the comfort of their home or office, visitors can experience a 3D immersive tour through each gallery, as well as the museum’s workshop. They can even experience a remarkable 360-degree view from the driver’s seat of each car. The app can be enhanced in virtual reality using Oculus Quest (recommended), Oculus Go, and other modern headsets that include controllers.

And here’s the kicker – there’s a built-in urban sociology course (password protected) that’s not on the website. What it represents will be of interest to many. Eckerd College educators are using the new app to build “course packs.” These intuitive elements are part of an existing course – SO220 — that ties together the automobiles and their contributions to society, art, culture, engineering, and physics.

Carl Grant, Revs Institute’s managing director, says, “One professor has loaded digitized comments about the role of the vehicle in urban society. In effect, it’s a miniature college course. After students have experienced this virtually, they can revert to a Zoom class for discussion. Working with these schools is very exciting and it puts real substance behind Miles’ vision of people better understanding the importance of the automobile. Just go through the app and you’ll learn why each vehicle is here in the collection, and what makes it a milestone car that’s unique and important.”

Additional segments, to be developed with a college physics professor, will help viewers understand what goes on in an engine when it’s running. This will be enhanced using some of the museum’s cutaway engines. For the future, they plan to build a sequence of courses – all involving the cars in the collection. The result represents a whole new dimension for these kinds of museums. “Science, technology, and culture are things that younger people engage with,” says Grant. “They’re interested in cars, and this app demonstrates how that interest can be rewarded and educational at the same time. And you don’t have to go to the museum to experience this.”

Grant says, “Miles Collier has always talked about how the automobile has affected our world in so many significant ways. We’re starting to work with professors who are open to that idea, and who are allowing us, in this case, to build a segment of an urban sociology course on how cities grew and expanded. One session involves a tour through the museum, identifying cars that directly relate to that subject, like the Ford Model T and Model A.”

“Available on the app for the course,” Grant continues, “is a virtual tour with many digitized holdings, like actual sales brochures, repair manuals, historic films, vintage photographs, even pictures of the dashboard with each of the controls labeled, so people today can learn exactly how the car operated. Other materials, specifically linked to each car, will help students understand how that car played a significant role in society at that time.”

Using the new app, you can tour each gallery from the floor level or study the cars using a “dollhouse” view from overhead, then zoom down to focus in on a particular vehicle. Videos of that car in action let you see the starting ritual, hear the sound of the engine, and see the car driving on the road. It really brings everything in the museum to life. Links with the museum’s library take you to photography on each car, most of which can be ordered for purchase.

Grant says, “This is a real game changer for automotive museums. It’s an example for museums around the world. You don’t have to close or go out of business. This is a way to continue to engage visitors and to increase engagement. With the app, you can visit, and learn, over and over.”

Where do they go from here?

“We’re going to keep refining this,” says Grant. “There are buried hooks in the software that will continue to be enhanced. Right now, it’s the minimum viable product. But there’s much more planned.”