THE CAR DOCTOR IS IN

Here’s what you need to know about Ryan Pilla, the auto ex­pert who di­ag­noses, treats, and births ev­ery­thing from col­lectible an­tiques to Ital­ian ex­otics.

Hamptons Magazine - - Contents - BY JEFF DUFOUR

He’s a record-set­ting driver: Although he’s known as the “Car Doctor,” Ryan Pilla holds two world speed records on the Bon­neville Salt Flats of Utah and has won the Mo­he­gan Sun Grand Prix. This year, he’s run­ning the 24 Hours of Day­tona in a Porsche. No won­der that when ac­tor Pa­trick Dempsey wanted to learn auto rac­ing, he came to Pilla. “Speed is in my blood,” Pilla says, and he’s se­ri­ous: His dad was a test driver for Jaguar in the ’60s. Have car, will travel: Pilla’s team trav­els all over the US and Europe, scour­ing car auc­tions for their clients. When they find the right model, they then cus­tom­ize or even re­build it to their cus­tomer’s specs— whether it’s an ex­otic road­ster or just a unique “gro­cery get­ter” with an up­grade or two. “The true Hamptons dream is not driv­ing down the road in a $300,000 con­vert­ible,” he says. “The real dream is be­com­ing part of the land­scape.” If you dream it, he can build it: Among the quirky ac­ces­sories his team has added to cars are a mar­garita blender in­stalled in a Range Rover, a pop­corn maker in the back of Jimmy Fal­lon’s F-150, and a fa­vorite stiletto pump re­pur­posed as a hood or­na­ment. There’s a bar in his garage: It fea­tures a rac­ing sim­u­la­tor and Fer­rari mem­o­ra­bilia in ad­di­tion to the Scotch and tequila. Once a month, Pilla in­vites his band of “car-crazy peo­ple” to come in for a cou­ple of cock­tails and a look at the new­est projects in the shop. 610 Scut­tle Hole Road, Wa­ter Mill, 631-537-1548

“Doctor” Ryan Pilla (above, far left)—auto spe­cial­ist to the rich and fa­mous for 27 years—with his crew: (front row) Edgar Villa (“The Master”), Os­car Euceda (“The De­tail Spe­cial­ist”), Rod David­son (“The Nurse”), (sec­ond row) Ryan Lewis (“The Mad Sci­en­tist”), and (back row) Erik Palmieri (“The Chief Sur­geon”). be­low: An ar­ray of custom-built cars.

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