Curious Collections: Tim Durham Keeps $15 Million Car Collection in His Two-Story Garage in Fortville
I had the pleasure of befriending Tim Durham about eight years ago when he lived in the tony Diamond Pointe neighborhood. After an evening out on the town, I gave him a ride home. I was only 23 and had just purchased my pride and joy, a shiny, new, red Camaro Z28. Being young and naïve, I thought Tim was impressed with my awesome wheels. That is until we arrived at his home. He opened the garage, revealing a cache of exotic cars. Instantly, my Camaro’s coolness factor had slipped into the abyss of Geist, and I drove off that night with a bruised ego.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Tim Durham, he can be described as a colorful asset to normally non-flashy Geist. Despite his party-loving reputation, Tim has an air of seriousness permeating him. He has a “get down to business” attitude, an attribute that put him on the big business map. Tim is the chairman and CEO of Obsidian Enterprises, an umbrella company for many business ventures. He has resided in the area for many years, first in Diamond Pointe, and then building a 30,000-square-foot home in nearby Fortville.
Familiar local mainstays such as Chairman’s Cigars and Bella Vita are just a few of the many businesses Tim either owns or has a stake in. Tim is also responsible for single-handedly livening up the Geist landscape with his amazing parties peppered with celebrities such as rapper Ludacris, Kato Kaelin (remember him?), and Anna Nicole Smith.
Thanks to Tim, Geist is also home to a $15-million car collection, quietly housed in a two-story garage. This car showroom features black granite floors and artwork rivaling the living quarters of most homes in the area. The 10,000-square-foot garage houses “about 72 cars,” Tim estimates. He admits that at times he loses count of the cars in his possession. Naturally, this would be fitting for the owner of Car Collector Magazine — a venture he recently acquired.Joining the ranks of Clark Gable and the Duke of Windsor, Tim has become the proud owner of several Duesenberg automobiles. One formidable Duesenberg in Tim’s garage was once owned by famed publisher William Randolph Hearst. “It was actually made in Indiana,” remarks Tim. “As far as old cars, Duesenberg’s are one of my favorites.”
One very interesting car in Tim’s possession is a 1908 Cadillac. “When they first started making cars, it didn’t occur to them to put in a backseat, a windshield or a top,” said Tim, describing early manufacturers’ minimalist approach. Later, the windshield was added so the driver didn’t have to don goggles while driving.
“That’s the fastest car in the world,” Tim says as he points to a streamlined, black-and-silver automobile nonchalantly parked in the driveway. This Bugatti Veyron is the most costly car in his collection, setting him back $1.8 million. Clocking in with a top speed of 253 MPH, Tim describes it as an “amazing car to drive!”
Satisfying his love of cars isn’t the only reason behind Tim’s collection. His hobby may seem frivolous, but it is also lucrative. “Almost all of the older cars have appreciated in value.” He adds, “It’s a nice hobby where you can make money.”
The impressive collection includes names like Ferrari, Bentley, Lamborghini, De Lorean, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Lotus and many more. Don’t assume Tim amasses the cars only to leave them gathering dust in his garage. Proving that they aren’t just for show, Tim enjoys driving them, both for fun and to keep them functioning properly. “They are kind of like horses; you have to keep them running,” Tim laughs.