Preston Henn, perhaps best known as the colorful and eccentric entrepreneur who founded the Swap Shop Flea Market and Drive-in just outside of Ft. Lauderdale in southern Florida, passed away on Sunday at his home. He was 86 years of age.
While not a household name in the world of Porsche, and his car collection certainly covered other marques, Henn’s love of Porsche goes back decades and is chronicled in the annals of Porsche motorsport:
- 1983: Henn, along with co-drivers A. J. Foyt, Bob Wollek, and Claude Ballot-Lena claimed victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona in Henn’s Porsche 935.
- 1984: At Le Mans, Henn’s Porsche 956, driven by John Paul, Jr. and Jean Rondeau, placed second, just two laps behind the winning 956 of Henri Pescarolo and Klaus Ludwig.
- 1985: Henn’s Porsche 962, driven by A.J. Foyt and Bob Wollek, won the 12 Hours of Sebring. [Henn’s 962 was on display at the Amelia Island Concours this year and even took home an award]
- Over course of his racing career Henn made five Le Mans starts with his best finish, 10th place, coming in 1983
Anyone that’s ever been to the Swap Shop is fortunate enough to have seen a portion of Henn’s car collection that was almost as eccentric as he was said to be. It featured Porsches and Ferrari quite heavily.
Anyone visiting the Swap Shop could get up close and personal with Henn’s collection. It included at least the following Porsche models that we know of:
- Porsche 959
- Porsche Carrera GT
- Porsche 991 Turbo
- Porsche 918 Spyder
- Porsche 911R
- Porsche Panamera Hybrid
- Porsche 930 Turbo
- Porsche 935
- Porsche 962
Interestingly, the most valuable car in Henn’s vast collection is a 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale. As one of only three every built, there’s very little market data to go on to pin point value. However, a similar car (with no racing pedigree) sold for 26.4 million at an RM Auction in 2014. Some enthusiasts have speculated Henn’s 275 could sell for as much as $75MM, or even top $100MM.
Henn is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, Betty, who ran the Swap Shop with him, so it is unclear at this point what will happen to the Swap Shop, or any of the cars in Henn’s collection. We’ll update this story when/if we learn more.
Photo of Preston Henn via Sun Sentinal.