Last November, LA DREAMS commemorated David Lee’s incredible collection of sixteen Ferraris, identifying him as LA’s Ferrari Aficionado. Enthusiasts from all over Southern California marveled over the spectacle, some curious as to how David could ever build upon his great collection. With machines ranging from the old classics to current day customs, what more could be added?
Much like his career in business and philanthropy, Lee thought on a grander scale of what his collection could become. Just as he put his vision of transforming Hing Wa Lee Gallery into Hing Wa Lee Jewelers into action, Lee wasted no time planning and executing his next move. So how did the recently appointed client ambassador of Ferrari North America respond to all of his accolades? By getting another Ferrari, of course.
Less than one year later, Lee has added yet another crown jewel to his assortment, the 488GTB Spider – adding to the collection now being labeled as one of the most impressive in the world.
If adding the 488GTB Spider wasn’t impressive enough, Lee added another jewel to his LA DREAMS lifestyle. With passion for Rolls-Royce trickling down from his father, Hing Wa Lee, he purchased a brand-new 2016, custom Rolls-Royce Dawn from Rusnak Auto Group.
Seemingly adding to his collection on a daily basis, we took the time to catch up with David and get his take on the 488GTB Spider and the story behind his Rolls-Royce Dawn.
To learn more about David Lee and his impressive collection, visit ferraricollectordavidlee.com
LA DREAMS MAGAZINE: What made you interested in the Ferrari 488GTB Spider?
David Lee: The reason why I am so excited, and how it is connected is because I have the Super Car 5. I have all the modern models, and the 488GTB Spider is one of the first in the US and they are designing a one-off limited specifically for me. The grouping together and one person owning all five is very appealing to the car collecting community.
DREAMS: What were the feelings or emotions you had when buying this car?
Lee: It was very impactful because Ferrari is a very big organization. It is an organization of hierarchy and is very political. There are so many collectors and owners. To be high up in their hierarchy of customers, and for them to regard you as a good customer and give you that respect in front of all your peers and other collectors, it is a good feeling. Ferrari acknowledging that I am a good customer and ambassador, and rewarding me with (access to) the very first car, it is very special for me.
DREAMS: What has some of the feedback been from posting the 488GTB Spider on your social media platforms?
Lee: The reason it is popular is because it is still new. I am on the forefront of posting these cars so people get a chance to actually see them. There are a lot of people who never get to see these cars, but now they can and I think that is why it is appealing.
Forbes actually created an article “10 Impressive Instagram Profiles To Follow” and featured me as one of the top 10, recommending people view my profile. Today, I am at 274,000 followers.
DREAMS: You’re well known for your rare and immaculate Ferrari collection. What triggered your interest in adding Rolls-Royce?
Lee: My father, Hing Wa Lee, came from China to Hong Kong 55 years ago with nothing. Every day on the way to his gallery, he would pass The Peninsula Hotel. In front of that hotel there was always a fleet of Rolls-Royce. To my father, a Rolls was a symbol of success. Through hard work, persistence and integrity, my father became very successful. He would never stop talking about the Rolls-Royce at the Peninsula, but he would never buy one.
In 1993, I was doing business with a Taiwanese doctor who had a beach house on the Central Coast. He and his wife picked us up in his Rolls Corniche convertible and said “let’s enjoy ourselves.” It seemed like the pinnacle of luxury – a Rolls convertible and a beautiful beach house.
Twelve years later I bought my father a brand new Phantom Rolls-Royce from Rusnak Auto Group as a gift knowing he wouldn’t buy one for himself. He was so happy to finally own a Rolls but even more proud that his son bought it for him. Last year, I bought a beach house and had to have a Rolls convertible. I loved the blue Dawn convertible and the creativity of the Mandarin Orange interior.
My father passed away from cancer 5 years ago. Before he passed he kept saying “don’t sell the car”, and just like that, the Rolls- Royce dream was passed along.
DREAMS: Besides your impressive collection, what is it that makes you stand out from other car collecting icons?
Lee: A lot of people collect cars as their passion and hobby, and I do that too. Where I differ is with social media, because I have such a large following I try to spread positive vibes, good advice and core values that I believe in. Other people may be collecting and sharing their collections and cars on social media, but I take it a step further. I have these cars and I am passionate about it, but I make it a point to share positive vibes, good advice and encouragement from my business background. A lot of people tell me they first started to follow me because of the cars but that it evolves into that they follow me because of the person I am, so I make it a point in this space to make a positive impact on others.