Collier was the son of Barron Gift Collier and Juliet Gordon Carnes, the founders of Collier County, Florida. He had two brothers. He married Dixie Thompson from Honolulu in 1936. Together they had two children, Terry and Richard.
As a teenager Collier completed three seasons as a designer, proprietor, and manager of the Overlook Theatre, in Pocantico Hills, New York. He attended Yale where he was a member of Skull and Bones. He graduated in 1935. He served in World War II as a Navy pilot.
"He was one of the founders of the Automobile Racing Club of America, competed in the 1939 Alpine Trial, and was the founder of the concern of Motor Sport, Inc., sole American importers of M.G. cars." 
Collier drove in the 1950 24 Hours of Le Mans: "Of the two Cadillacs entered by Briggs Cunningham, the strictly stock saloon, driven by the brothers Miles and Sam Collier, which had been nicknamed 'Clumsy Pup', had come in tenth at an average of 81.398 m.p.h." 
Samuel was killed while leading the (September 23) 1950 Watkins Glen Grand Prix, held on public roads in and around the village of Watkins Glen, New York, when the Ferrari 166 that he was driving left the road. He died at 6:30 pm in Montour Falls. The accident received front-page coverage in the New York press. A memorial stone was placed at the spot where Sam Collier left the road. His brother, Miles, gave up racing soon thereafter and died of polio within a few years. Samuel was honored in 1995 in front of the Court House at that year's Watkins Glen Grand Prix Festival.
- New York Times: TROTH ANNOUNCED OF DIXIE THOMPSON, May 7, 1936
- "AT 16, S.C. COLLIER RUNS OWN THEATRE", Special to The New York Times, September 16, 1928, Page 36.
- "OBITUARY RECORD OF GRADUATES OF THE UNDERGRADUATE SCHOOLS DECEASED DURING THE YEAR 1950-1951" (PDF). Yale University. January 1, 1952. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- Quarter-century record. Yale Class of 1935, Yale publication.
- Obit: Motor Sport, November 1950, Page 578.
- Motor Sport, November 1949, Pages 451-452.
- Georges Fraichard, The Le Mans Story, The Sportsman's Book Club, 1956, Page 82.
- New York Times, September 24, 1950, Page S2.
- Gene M. Burnett, Florida's Past, Volume 3, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1991