Welcome to

2001 Lincoln MK9


This site is dedicated to prototype cars and other interesting cars from various periods in automotive history. The Bortz Automotive Collection has been featured at ACD museum, Cleveland Auto & Aviation, Peterson museum, Gilmore museum, Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, and were the featured cars at the Louis Vuitton show at Rockefeller Center. They have been covered by numerous magazines and featured in many car shows.


With this site we hope to bring these cars, their history and rare looks at the cars themselves to the World Wide Web.
We would love to hear your comments on how you like our website!

2003 mercury

Joseph E. Bortz, Founder
Debra L. Powless, Curator
William Sullivan, Director of Restorations

For more information
Joe's cell: 847-668-2004 - Please contact if you have any of the following cars - all leads appreciated!
call: 847-433-7777
fax: 847-433-0277
Or write us:
P.O. Box 280
Highland Park, IL 60035.


What's New

Click here.

whats new


VIEW VIDEO OF 1955 CHRYSLER GHIA FALCON AT THE FUELFED COFFEE AND CLASSICS, WINNETKA, IL SEPT 2016. 1955 Chrysler Ghia Falcon Concept Car on My Car Story with Lou Costabile Click here. 

Recently I had an occasion to take one of our favorite concept cars to one of our favorite local shows, the Coffee & Classics in Winnetka, IL. Unbeknownst to us there was an artist there that decided to sketch Harley Earl’s favorite GM Motorama car, the 1953 Buick Wildcat I. The artist sent us a copy of the sketch and we thought that it was so good that we decided to post here on the home page of our website. 

Buick Wildcat Painting


Original artwork by Richard Smyth
Copyright 2016
Contact information
Cell 312 388 1945

bortz roxas petras celebrating

Joe Bortz celebrating the birthday of the famous Fran Roxas (coach builder and restorer) along with John Petras, (JP Plating, one of the finest chrome plating companies). L-R Fran Roxas, Joe Bortz and John Petras photo circa 1985

Others profess a nostalgia for specific old cars that borders on the obsessive. "It's a psychological phenomenon," said Joe Bortz, an Illinois-based collector of vintage concept cars. "An old car is like a time machine. You get in the car, and you can experience a time warp to a time that feels better than the present."


A Unique Concept

Almost accidently, Joe Bortz became the custodian of a fleet of forgotten automotive masterpieces. Along the way he became an expert on General Motors history and a staunch believer in its future. The retired Chicago biochemist and restaurateur is a self-described automotive archaeologist, rescuing classic concept cars from junkyards and forgotten warehouses. “The world’s finest designers did their best work in Detroit in the 1950s and the 1960s,” Bortz said. “A century from now, these cars will be recognized as the Picassos and Rembrandts of their time.”

The Providence Journal, August 8, 2010


"Dream cars are nothing like today's concepts and design studies," Mr. Bortz said. "The dream cars mark the high point of American Design. The are truly the Van Gogh and Rembrandt masters of the automotive world."
Quote from New York Times, August 2008

The Facts: Condensed information on history of Joe Bortz & the Bortz Auto Collection. Click here.

Who is Joe Bortz? by Frank Cunningham, All Car Central January 29, 2015. Click here.

Valkyrie at the Cadillac LaSalle Club Grand National 2015 June 24-27, 2015. Read it here.


1929 mercedes mitt blower

1929 Mercedes Roadster Mit Blower by Joe Bortz, Star Reflections 02 2016. Click here. 


petersen museum
1955 biscayne petersen museum
1955 biscayne petersen museum
1955 biscayne petersen museum

The 1955 Chevrolet Biscayne on display at the Petersen Museum 2015-2016



Joe and Angelo at the Duesenberg Races

Joe and Angelo at the Duesenberg Races

f\george barris and  joe bortz

Remembering an icon... by Joe Bortz, Old Cars Weekly December 10, 2015. Read it here.

"Custom car builder Barris visits dream car collector," by Joe Bortz. Click here.

George Barris Remembered Volo 2012. Click here.

Letters to the Bortz Auto Collection




Cars previously owned by Joe

Bortz on facebook
bortz at linkedIn
bortz on twitter

Joe Bortz is proud to be a Corporator for Heritage Museums & Gardens Heritage Museum & Gardens
67 Grove St, Sandwich, MA 02563