For the past three years, there has only been one way to get a glimpse of Zack Loffert’s collection of vintage cars: to rent them.
The 33-year-old car enthusiast – who owns several vehicles that have appeared in movies, as well as more traditional classic cars – leased them between $ 250 and $ 1,000 a day through his Rodz & Bodz business. Customers reserve them for media productions or weddings. Or just a stroll.
But Loffert’s collection is accelerating for a more public profile. On May 15, he opened a museum exhibiting 60 of his cars in the Colorado Mills Mall in Lakewood, where Saks Off 5th previously operated.
âI felt the collection was hidden and hated that it wasn’t open to the public because we have a limited client base,â Loffert said. “People who knew our cars begged me to let others enjoy it and told me to stop being selfish.”
There’s âBumblebee,â the old Chevrolet Camaro used in the 2007 âTransformersâ first scene. And the little three-wheeled Corbin Sparrow that Mike Myers drove in the 2002 âAustin Powers in Goldmemberâ.
One of Loffert’s personal favorites is the bright yellow Hummer that Woody Harrelson used to hunt down the Twinkies in 2009’s âZombielandâ.
It won’t be in the museum, but it could be parked outside. That’s because he’s Loffert’s daily driver.
âI’ve always liked the way the car becomes the characters in the movies,â he said.
Look in the rearview mirror
Loffert, originally from Littleton, has been passionate about cars from a young age. He was raised by women and said he wanted to find an outlet for his testosterone, spending time in the auto stores of his uncles and friends. Before he was old enough to drive he had two cars named after him, one from his mother and the other bought with money from a lawn mowing company.
“And at the age of 16 and a half, I had 15 speeding tickets, so the judge ended up having me sell one of them,” Loffert said.
He started working in auto sales and repair, and said he went on to start a business to help turn around struggling auto stores.
âI was helping some of them, who were making between $ 700,000 and $ 800,000 a year, earn between $ 1.8 and $ 1.9 million a year. But my salary was not the same, so I decided to do something for myself, âsaid Loffert.
Loffert bought cars at auction and online with his savings over time. He also builds three to five cars a year, some of which are replicas of animated films, like the Mystery Van in âScooby Dooâ. In 2016, he said, he won $ 50,000 on a lottery ticket. He used it to buy three cars.
Three weeks before his wedding in 2017, he told his wife he was going to launch Rodz & Bodz and rent out his car collection, which at the time contained 25 vintage and movie cars.
âThere wasn’t a company in the state that leased cars for a variety of uses, and I wanted to build something where I didn’t have competition,â Loffert said. “I had friends in the film industry who picked us up right away, so this seemed like the perfect route.”
Relaunch the rental activity
Rodz & Bodz, which he launched in 2018, previously operated out of a 14,000 square foot former warehouse at the corner of Santa Fe Drive and Hampden Avenue in Englewood. Loffert has a staff of six and plans to double it this year.
Customers can lease a vehicle for as little as a few hours to several years. A small town cafe has been renting Loffert’s replica cars from âMaterâ and âLightning McQueenâ from the 2006 movie âCarsâ for two years, he said.
Loffert said around 25 cars have been hired for television and movies, some of which are slated to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and on Netflix. Every six months, it sends a list of cars available for rental to various administrators. He is usually not told the name of the project, but how long each director needs the vehicle.
âBut music videos and weddings are more of our bread and butter, because they don’t have the budget to buy a $ 30,000 or $ 40,000 car like some movies,â Loffert said. âThe big production companies have millions of dollars and don’t rent in places like us. They are building theirs. We mainly work with smaller, local franchises.
When it comes to weddings, the 1953 Chevrolet Corvette and 1935 Auburn Speedster are the most popular, Loffert said.
The business started to ramp up in 2019, peaking at 31 rentals at a time. When the pandemic swept in, Loffert lost $ 25,000 on pre-bookings overnight, he said.
Rodz & Bodz also has a transport arm of the company, transporting cars throughout the state.
“I thought to myself that since we’re spending money on it anyway, why not make money out of it at the same time?” Said Loffert.
The museum offers an additional source of income
Loffert was initially looking for a larger space for his growing collection when he had the opportunity to go to the mall and open a museum.
âI didn’t want to open a museum for another 10 years,â Loffert said. “I’m too young to open a museum, that’s what I told myself, but then COVID happened.”
Needing additional income, he decided it was time to unveil his collection. Loffert signed a lease on April 1 for the space: 29,000 square feet for the museum plus a 5,000 square foot warehouse for the rental company. Loffert said he already had 50 reservations for the summer.
Entrance to the museum will cost $ 12 and the hours will be the same as the mall. On opening day, visitors will have the chance to take photos inside one of Loffert’s popular movie cars, which he is waiting to unveil.
âI can’t wait to see and hear people’s reactions when they come in and see what I have collected over the years,â Loffert said. âThe buzz is real. We have mall visitors all the time pulling the banner off the door and sticking their heads in it. “
Stuart Zall, founder of Denver-based company Zall, represented Loffert in the deal and put him in touch with Colorado Mills, which is owned by Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group.
Zall told BusinessDen the lease was around two years, less than a typical retail tenant. Although he did not represent the mall in the deal, he said he assumed Colorado Mills wanted to expand its audience by signing an attraction rather than a department store.
âLet’s say you live in Littleton or Colorado Springs, but you’re an avid car enthusiast, well you go to Colorado Mills to check them out,â Zall said. âAnd while they’re there, maybe they’ll grab a pretzel or buy a pair of shoes. I always like to say, ‘If somebody’s going to the game, they’re going to buy a hot dog.’ “
The mall declined to comment on its new tenant.
âConsidering the timing, they’ve lost a few anchors like everyone else and there aren’t a lot of new and exciting clothing concepts,â Zall said. âIf they add a TJ Maxx, it’s just one more TJ Maxx in a sea of ââothers on the market, which doesn’t help expand the commercial area. But if this is the only auto museum of its kind, it’s exciting, and it serves as a tourist stop on the Mountain Path, as well as a place Zack can store his cars.
Colorado Mills isn’t the only mall to get creative. In December, Denver Pavilions launched Distortions Monster World, a 19,000 square foot temporary interactive installation on the mall’s first floor. The installation features monsters and sculptures created by Greeley-based Distortions Unlimited, which has been making Halloween props, monsters, and handcrafted animatronics since 1978.