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Tuesday, August 11, 2015



Back in 2013 I was just becoming acquainted with a man named Malcolm Pray Jr., I never met the man and was suddenly aware that he had passed away soon after. 
Learning about the people behind some of the most fantastic collections usually has an equally fascinating story behind it all.
Take the time and check out my first blog October of 2013
His 1937 Delahaye 135M Roadster, the "Other Woman" a love affair that literally lasted a lifetime, but more important it inspired Mr. Pray to ACHIEVE!
73 years is long love affair!
More about HER later.
Mr. Pray by no means was born into wealth growing up in NYC and just as I was bitten by the car lust at about age 11 so was Mr. Pray when this 11 year old young man attended the 1939 World's Fair and  upon entering the French Pavilion fell in love with a 1937 Delahaye.
  Young Malcolm drew this rendering of the car after returning home.
Let's jump ahead 10 years or so and car crazy Malcolm informs his parents of his desire to take an entry level job in a car dealership in Connecticut where the Pray family migrated to from NYC. The Pray's had not envisioned this career path for their son! No job too menial or not deservant of his full attention to detail,yes including mopping the floor, this attitude had not gone unnoticed and he was soon asked to take a shot at selling cars.
Malcolm Pray had found his niche and became a top salesman of VW cars!
Most impressive is that young man who piloted a mop soon purchased the dealership which later became part of the  Malcolm Pray Automobile Corporation. A meager start soon developed into a huge presence in the Auto Dealership world, his achievements were amazing and led to holding the presidency of the American Imported Dealers Association and so many more just too numerous to mention! An entrepreneur, philanthropist and Automotive Magnate!
In 1964 Mr. Pray now 35 had been collecting classic cars and spots a 1937 Delahaye for sale in the NY Times, the same model as the 1939 World's Fair car he had seen almost 25 years ago! Only 7 of these were built so finding one was exciting enough and he shelled out $5000 for it, pretty high price for a car in 1964! 
As the 60's roll to end Mr. Pray already blessed with 3 daughters now has a son Malcolm Pray III who is destined to follow in his dads footsteps and take over the dealership empire one day, the young man shown under the Delahaye above was to inherit a legacy.
In 1986 a 17 year old Malcolm Pray III lost his life in a speeding car. 
Malcolm Pray decided without his son to carry on the business he sold the dealerships after he previously built the Malcolm Pray building for the local Boy Scouts in memory of Malcolm Pray III.
A word we mentioned before, how did a young man turn dreams into an empire?
His desire to have the finest things in life for his family and enjoy his love of classic cars.

Yes any wealthy car collector can build a man cave to house his babies, but today I was welcomed into the Pray Achievement Center and Automotive Museum
I want to thank Christina from the Pray Body shop and my host Marikay Satryano, the  Executive Director for an amazing afternoon.
A garage to the left and a garage to the right also!
 This greets you as you enter amongst endless trophies and honors of Mr. Pray's amazing life.

 What is going on over there?
They have a mission here and I was met by a group of 9,10 and 11 year olds from the South Bronx Education Foundation!

These guys were here not only to see the cars, but carry on Mr. Pray's vision to use the cars to inspire young people to ACHIEVE positive goals in life!
The young men in the Red shirts are counselors from SBEF and did  a great job of keeping the boys focused!

They are boys so of course the ARMY Jeep was of interest, Marikay is a Combat Veteran and had met Mr. Pray as part of a humanitarian operation.

Asked to do a "walk around" of the 1907 Metz and study it with the question proposed; "what is different on this car compared to today's cars?" Hard to believe this car is 108 years old!
No keys, no doors, no windows all were noticed right away!

Next they examined the 1954 Kaiser Darrin
They noticed that the doors slid into the front fenders and that the body styling seemed way ahead of it's time!

They were shocked that the car was fiberglass and not metal!

Marikay realizes you need to spark interest and explained this car was much like the car JFK was in that historic day and how it changed how The President travels to this day!

 Marikay tells the story of the Delahaye and then shows them the photo taken at the 1939 World's Fair, Amazing story as the car Mr. Pray purchased in 1964 during restoration some 30 years later  was discovered to be that actual car in the photo taken in 1939!! Not only had he purchased a car he fell in love with, but the actual car he saw in the 1939 World's Fair  that started it all! Mr. Pray took his French mistress back to France for a Tour D'Elegance of sorts. Mrs. Pray did not mind this "other woman" in fact wrote a book "Malcolm's French Mistress!"

Although the Porsche below was named as the most valuable car now in the collection, Marikay shocked the boys when she told them the $5000 Delahaye recently sold for $6.6 million at auction!
Take the time to look at this link, but check out the old commercials he made.

At the end of the tour a short exercise suggested how to manage money so you can ACHIEVE goals in your life using a car as the example!
The boys then held a board meeting to decide which car to take the group photo with, I was impressed that they remembered the names of the cars and picked the Lincoln.
Young boys and girls can be sparked to set goals!
It is not about materialistic possessions, maybe a vintage car does not inspire achievement?
  Making choices in your life are important, Malcolm's son chose to drive recklessly and Mr. Pray wanted young people to make smart choices.
BORN 1929  *  2013 DIED
A wise man told me once that those numbers above are not important, but that star in between is because it represents everything that happened in between those dates. 
You make choices your entire life, but on those 2 dates you really have no choices so wisely choose so you can ACHIEVE your goals in life!

There are 3 kinds of people in the world;




Malcolm Pray Jr. made things happen and shared that goal of ACHIEVEMENT with the world

The Pray Achievement Center will continue to remind us of Mr. Pray's Honesty, Integrity and Reputation which are 3 of the most important traits he wanted to instill in young people that if you follow these words and learn that YOU make all the choices in life you can ACHIEVE anything you want! Thousands of young people passed through those doors and if even one gains something to guide them down the right path it is all worth it. Hopefully every one of those young minds come out with a positive message that will be retained through life!  
  Malcolm Pray was the second owner of the Straw Yellow and Blue Monaco  rolling art and it believed only one more of this chassis design still exists today!
I wanted to finish with images of the lady. More important images of Malcolm Pray enjoying that car!

Why not inspire a young person using your car hobby?


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