Recently we were invited to travel to the tiny town of Pattison, Texas, about 40 miles west of Houston for an open house at the Hemi Hideout, a striking cathedral-style building that is home to a fine collection of vintage Mopar Muscle and neon signs. Lots of neon signs.
The Hemi Hideout is the creation of John Hovas, the founder of HDH Instruments in nearby Brookshire. Hovas has been in love with Dodge muscle cars since his father brought home a 1969 Dodge Coronet Super Bee. Over the years, his tastes have expanded to include Plymouths and he now has a stunning assortment of fully restored Chrysler classics from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s as well as a fine Hemi-powered 1937 Plymouth Business Coupe hot rod that Hovas says can crank out 1,000 horsepower.
Just to balance things a bit, there’s also a 1937 Plymouth pickup and a 1947 Dodge Power Wagon and some antiques tractors.
With the business allowing him to satisfy his passion, Hovas and his wife, Diane, began traveling to auctions around the country, buying fully restored Challengers,’Cudas, Road Runners and Chargers. There’s even a Duster in the collection.
Hovas’ vision of a structure to house his collection began taking shape early in 2011. Groundbreaking was in June 2011 and construction was completed last summer.
At 20,000 square feet and reaching 53 feet high, the Hemi Hideout is one of the largest, if not the largest, timber-framed structure in Texas. It’s built with mortise and tenon construction instead of nails, like the classic cathedrals in Europe.
As much as I hate the phrase, the Hemi Hideout may well be one of the world’s ultimate man caves. In addition to the cars and signs, there is a beautiful lounge area with a huge 14 by 26-foot fireplace more suited for colder climes than Southeast Texas. There’s also a ’50s-style diner and ice cream parlor. Outside is the barbecue area required by state law and a skeet shooting range.
Hovas’ enthusiasm for classic muscle and the Hemi Hideout is infectious: he enjoys talking about driving the cars he collects and the history behind them.
Hovas says the Hemi Hideout will be open from time to time and will be available for special occasions.
It has been years since Allpar first reported on the future launch of a new Jeep Wagoneer, and the dropping of the Dodge Caravan. With Wagoneer on the books, Chrysler planners may have had mixed feelings about the sudden success of the Dodge Durango. They wanted to drop the Durango for a more-profitable Wagoneer (essentially a Durango with the Grand Cherokee suspension design [...]
Months after unconfirmed reports made it to Allpar’s pages, the power of Automotive News, in the person of reporter Larry Vellequette, pried a key fact from Chrysler executives — that they cast and build “Ferrari” engines for Maserati. As our sister site pentastars.com reported, the engines are actually cast in Kokomo, and machined in the Trenton Engine plant, using a mixture of [...]
Alfa Romeo will launch the second new car in its attempted comeback next year, on the brand’s 105th anniversary. Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (roughly, Lombarda car making company) — or ALFA — was born on June 24, 1910. Their next car will be unveiled on June 24, 2015. While Alfa Romeo’s leader, Harald Wester, has said that the company is creating all [...]
The Challenger Hellcat is a hot image car for Dodge, and the brand’s leader has already said he wants to get as many out to the public as possible, suggesting to dealers that they not tack on $10,000 (or higher) surcharges as they did to hot cars in the past — from Vipers to PT Cruisers. While his calls may [...]
The 2015 Chrysler 300C has been inadvertently revealed by Chrysler itself, in an optional image for its navigation systems. As Allpar sources predicted, the car has dropped the chrome underneath the headlamps and moved the Chrysler wings to the top of the grille, but otherwise is rather similar to the current model. The grille has grown to be Audi-oversized in this [...]