Ultimate Car Collector's Retreat
Price Upon request | 3 bedrooms | 2.1 baths | 7,964 Square feet | 2 Acres
Dennis Collins doesn’t just live in Murphy, Texas: He lives on the edge. As one of the stars of Fast N’ Loud, the hit Discovery show all about deadlines and drama at Gas Monkey Garage in Dallas, where found and rundown classics are turned into auction gold, Collins lives a life of fast cars and fast decisions. He is an astute collector — his private garage is filled with rare and wild vehicles — and the owner of Collins Bros Jeep in Wylie, a shop founded in 1984 where Jeeps are not only preserved and restored, they can also be turned into rock-stomping, head-turning custom creations.
Yes, Dennis Collins is all about speed and style. He’ll think nothing about strapping into a Ferrari for a high-speed, cross-country race. He’ll chase a dream car for decades, until it can be his. And he lives like he works: in an unconventional and unique way, on a luxurious, 2-acre personal resort in Murphy, complete with sprawling ranch house, party/guest wing, country-club pool, private baseball field and the pièce de résistance: air-conditioned garages for 20-plus cars. (Or boats, trucks, motorcycles or SUVs — whatever suits one’s fancy.)
With two kids now grown and living on their own, Collins and his wife, Kimberly, are embarking on a new adventure: building a contemporary home that will be dramatically cantilevered over a golf course. That leaves their original dream home — and it’s stunning 2-acre compound — available for the first time in more than 20 years.
The thrilling change from town to country is almost unbelievable. For there, in one turn of the steering wheel off a wide, elegant boulevard that cuts through Murphy, is pure relaxation. Acres of green. Mature trees. Ambling lanes. It’s as if you’ve flipped a switch. And in just a few seconds more, you arrive at 19 Maxwell Lane, a private idyll like no other. It is a full two acres, fully fenced and complete with a main house with guest wing and a large, freestanding garage complex — a situation unable to be repeated with today’s outbuilding ordinances.
The long, low, elegant ranch house wraps around a one-of-a-kind oasis that stars a V-shaped, double-size pool, with one side for swimming and diving and the other for spirited games of water volleyball. An integrated fountain doubles as a hot tub for 16. The guest-house wing, connected to the main house by a colonnade-like covered porch, offers a large living room, full kitchen, large bedroom with Murphy beds and an upstairs loft. The guest wing, mere steps from the pool, makes for the perfect party space. (More than 300 guests have been entertained here, comfortably.) A double-sided outdoor fireplace is the gathering spot on crisp fall and winter days and nights. The private baseball diamond — you can hear the crack of the bat and the cheers — is a kids’ dream. Fire, water, wonder: This is year-round family living at its very best.
Murphy has always attracted forward thinkers. The area was settled in the 1840s, just as Texas became a state. The first residents, says murphytx.org, “were rugged individualists … drawn to the area with the promise of abundant land, fertile soil and ample rainfall, a long growing season, bounteous fish and wild game for food, and sufficient timber for building cabins.” Oh, how times have changed: “Murphy citizens cherish the bedroom community located in a prime area of Collin County with plenty of access to retail, award winning school districts, community events, and beautiful parks and trail systems.” Says Collins: “It is a very family oriented community.” But its quiet, easy-living air defies Murphy’s proximity to the action: It is just 30 miles to downtown Dallas and 38 miles to DFW Airport. With abundant roads and highways, Collins says “you can get just about anywhere faster” than by living anywhere else. For the car enthusiast or weekend racer, 19 Maxwell Lane is a thoroughly enjoyable one-hour run to Texas Motor Speedway and just 90 minutes to Motorsport Ranch.
THE VROOM ROOMS
Original to the property is the garage complex: two air-conditioned, insulated buildings joined together and boasting a large, well-lighted workroom. These garages could tell stories: Many exotic projects have come to life here, including the fast and famous Spirit of Texas hydroplane boats, and many rare and one-off vehicles are safely stored and babied here. The garages have starred in episodes of Fast N’ Loud and in many car-magazine photo shoots. The various lighting options overhead are conducive to stunning photographs, and a sound system in the larger garage is the perfect accompaniment to days and nights spent tinkering with all the toys.
Dennis Collins had his eye on this opportunity for years. He grew up in nearby Richardson and graduated from The University of Texas at Dallas with a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance. “This is one of three homes I always wanted,” he says. It was, from the start, a car collector’s home, hence the deluxe garages filled with expensive and elusive vehicles. On Sundays, Collins would drive to all three properties, hoping to see a for-sale sign pop up at one of them. One day, it happened: It was here, at 19 Maxwell Lane — but the sign was already topped with SOLD. The property had gone on the market the day before. Seven offers were already underway. But through smarts and perseverance — two of Collins’ signature traits — he was able to make a dream come true. Over the 20-plus years since then, Collins and his wife Kimberly have reimagined the house entirely, updating it for a contemporary lifestyle and adding the guest wing and resort features. A “huge amount of thought” went into every change and upgrade, Collins says, from the smallest moldings to the largest luxuries, including the comprehensive audiovisual system, which stays with the house.
-Ultimate car collector’s retreat on 2 fenced and private acres, just 30 miles from Dallas
-Main brick-and-stone home completely remodeled — no expense spared — featuring light, bright finishes
-3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, 1 half-bath
-Gourmet kitchen with double ovens
-7,964 square feet
-Master suite with upstairs fashion-boutique dressing room of more than 600 square feet, reached by private staircase and including sink, sitting/office area and balcony overlooking pool
-Unparalleled outdoor entertaining with vast open and covered patio space, professional sound system with 78 integrated hidden speakers, double-sided fireplace and fire pit
-Unique V-shaped heated saltwater pool with a diving/swimming side and play/volleyball side, plus lifeguard chair and integrated hot tub for 16
-Full guest wing with large kitchen, 1.5 baths, living area, bedroom with Murphy beds and loft
-Very rare, air-conditioned garage and workshop for 20-plus cars, plus golf-cart storage and 18-wheeler/RV parking with hookups
-Lighted baseball field large enough for helicopter landings
-Fenced dog run
-Property dotted with trees: crape myrtles, live oaks, Bradford pears, more
Who is this one-of-a-kind property for? Dennis Collins knows. “The car lover, the sports lover, the big family — or anyone who wants a weekend retreat.” Whatever your whim, it can be fulfilled here. To arrange a private showing, call or write Gina Lester, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, 972-365-5215; firstname.lastname@example.org.