Brett Lirones has been immersed in the collector car and boat scene for most his life, which certainly carried some weight when Hagerty brought him aboard in 2013, fresh out of college at Central Michigan University.
“Some of my earliest memories are of my dad restoring his father’s 1957 Dunphy,” Brett said. “The smell of fresh varnish and the urge to go for boat rides on a sunny summer day have been ingrained into my brain ever since.”
Among Brett’s favorite memories: attending the Top O’ Michigan hydroplane races held each year on the Indian River in northern Michigan. “Seeing dozens of vintage and modern hydroplanes speed through the narrow river is one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve ever had,” Brett said.
When he was in 8th grade, Brett and his father built an eight-foot Minimax hydroplane, which he still has. He is also the proud owner of a 1970s-era 11-foot racing hydroplane that he and his dad found in a barn in Central Lake, Mich. Together they also rescued a 14-foot 1958 Lake ’N Sea that was rotting away in the woods. In an addition to his boat collection, Brett has a few outboard motors, including a 1949 Mercury KF7 and 1958 35-horsepower Evinrude.
He dreams of building a 1950s-style B-class hydroplane with a Mercury Mark 20H outboard. “The 1950s were the most interesting years for outboard racing and boat racing in general, and I’d love to be able to relive that era,” he said.
Being a member of Hagerty’s Marine team has only enhanced Brett’s love for boats, particularly classics. “I love having the opportunity to travel to different events and work side-by-side with my coworkers, who are equally enthusiastic about the hobby.”
In addition to working on and driving all sorts of cars and boats, Brett fills his free time with music. He played trumpet at CMU, and he still plays with friends and family on weekends.