Editor-at-large and LA Car’s Everything Emeritus Doug Stokes shares some thoughts about his friend Bruce Meyer.
I’ve been lucky enough to call Bruce Meyer a friend for a number of years now. Very honestly we don’t really pal around on a weekly basis, but we do try to keep in touch by e-mail and … when we do run into each other at an event we tend to bump chests and laugh about something or another. (… and the first one to call the other one “…young man” wins the round.)
Bruce Meyer is, among other things, a reasonably wealthy man (a collection like this, the means to assemble and keep it does not just fall out the sky). But his wealth is not the story.
Many will have noted that this jaw-dropping exhibit “Winning Numbers” was subtitled “Never Lift” which is one of his favorite catchphrases. In the most rudimentary of terms it’s an old racing saying that cheers on bravado by saying, “…keep the throttle pedal pinned flat to the floor, never take your foot off the pedal (short version: never lift).
We all know that, in real life, we’re not only going to take our foot off of the throttle pedal every now and again, we’re even going to apply the brakes and shift gears quite often on the race track … and that applies in life in general.
This guy’s “Never Lift” motto is about how he lives life without hesitation, and how he treats people. And that means always/everyone with respect and interest. “Courtly” is a word that’s not used to describe very many people … it fits here with Bruce like the Italian string-back racing gloves that go with his Ferrari SWB.
There’s really no other way to explain this guy but to say his smile is genuine and his interest in people exceeds his interest in cars by at least a hundredfold.
Here are two words about the guy that I wish more people would say more about more people: “He listens…” Simple, easy-to-do-stuff like that, are his specialty, and that’s why he’s so well liked and truly respected.
I saw it the other night as I was leaving the Motor Press Guild’s annual Batchelor Awards Dinner at the Petersen. Meyer and I found ourselves on the same path to the elevators when we walked by one of the Petersen’s man security people. I sort of smiled and waved and Bruce smiled, waved and said: “Good night Stan … hey …Thank You.”
His business work schedule is hectic, but his life as an enthusiast is even faster-paced and that life involves sharing his love of great motorsports machines with friend and the public … You really don’t want to know what each of the truly special machines that are on view at the Petersen are worth, and that’s far from the point here.
The remarkable grouping of cars are all direct links back to the history of high performance and they all have a great friend in Bruce Meyer, who here shares them with the public, stepping way back, out of the spotlight to let everyone concentrate on the machines and understand what each meant in its own time…
You may not know this guy … but you can still raise a thumb (or a glass, if you’re not driving) to an authentic car person … his superb collection reflects well on him, and him on it. –DS