A Michigan couple has donated a car collection worth $2 million to support a local university.
As covered by Fox Business, Mike and Dianne Morey built up a 35-car collection with the proceeds earned from their successful business, woodchipper manufacturer Bandit Industries. Now, the couple has decided the time is right to divest the collection, donating it to Northwood University, a tertiary education provider in their local area. The cars are to be sold to help fund scholarships for new and existing students at the private university.
"You get to that age, there isn't much you want," says Morey, discussing his decision to donate the cherished collection. "For us to do this for the college... it tops off all the fun I've had," he adds. The cars are to be sold at Mecum's upcoming Kissimmee Auction. As per the auction listings, the collection will go under the hammer on January 6. However, one special vehicle from the collection won't be present. The university has set aside a 1958 Chevrolet Corvette, which it will display on campus in tribute to the Morey's donation.
The rest of the collection is largely American in origin, too. It includes a 1932 Ford Roadster and a Ford Hi-Boy convertible from the same year, along with a 1937 Chevrolet pickup. The 1950s are well represented too, with multiple Chevrolet Bel Airs and 210s in both hardtop and convertible form, along with a unique ute-style build. Rounding out the Happy Days era, the collection also features a 1958 Chevrolet Impala and a pair of 1955 Chevrolet pickups.
The collection also has plenty of cars from the golden era of American muscle. A 1960 Chevrolet Corvette drop top is joined by a 1962 model as well, and a 1968 Pontiac Firebird convertible shows off its classic Coke bottle styling. There's also a 1966 Chevrolet Nova and a 1966 Pontiac GTO with a matching-numbers Tri-Power V8.
Big block fans will appreciate the 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS with a massive 8.2-liter engine. Other big-name models include a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T, a 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda, and a 1967 Shelby GT500 with a matching-numbers police interceptor engine. A rare 1969 Plymouth Hemi GTX, one of only 198 produced that year, is perhaps the most special of all, with a NASCAR-derived 7.0-liter V8 under the hood.
The oddest inclusion in the collection, though, is the 1981 Teledyne Continental Cheetah. The off-road military vehicle was developed from an earlier Lamborghini concept. After US Army trials, it was passed over for the AM General HMMWV, or "Humvee," and never entered mainstream production. This version features an International 6.9-liter diesel V8 engine, paired with a GM 3-speed automatic transmission. It's an incredibly rare survivor and should be highly sought after by military collectors.
Amusingly, the collection also includes a Mazda Miata, because everyone needs to try one at some point in their life. It's wearing garish chrome wheels, and is incorrectly listed at the time of writing as having a 1.4-liter engine—it's actually a 1.6-liter. Notably, though, it has just 29,350 miles on the clock and is gorgeously presented inside with the original CD player still installed.
Overall, the vehicles in the collection are both highly desirable and presented in good condition. Many have had various quality-of-life upgrades or modifications for improved performance, too, all well-documented in the individual Mecum auction listings.
At the end of the day, some new collectors will get to enjoy these special vehicles, and the auction should bring in a pretty penny for Northwood University. The money should go a long way to supporting scholarships and improvements to the university's campus. Here's hoping the world subsequently gets to hear some of these cars roar into life once more.
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