Muscle Car City Goes Out in a Blaze of Bidding

Jonathon Ramsey
·2 min read
Photo credit: Mecum Auctions
Photo credit: Mecum Auctions

From Car and Driver

Commercial real estate developer Rick Treworgy bought his first car when he was 14 years old. Then, embarking on what he once told Car Crazy was "a lack of sense for 45 years," he amassed a collection of vehicles he turned into Muscle Car City, a museum spread over the 60,000 square feet of a former Wal-Mart in Punta Gorda, Florida. Dedicated to GM vehicles, some consider his collection of roughly 200 cars and trucks among the finest assemblages of GM products in the world.

Muscle Car City closed for good on January 17. Mecum Auctions is holding a two-day event at the museum as you read this (as long as you're reading this on January 23). With the lots offered at no reserve, everything from the 1902 Oldsmobile to the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette coupe, plus motorcycles and road art, will find a new home.

Treworgy said he defines a muscle car as "a mid-size car with the biggest engine a manufacturer made," and he hunted the rarest and most powerful ends of the spectrum for his museum. The auction will feature well-known stars like the Hugger Orange 1969 COPO Camaro with the 427-cubic-inch V-8. But there's plenty down the order to lure aficionados, such as a trio of Camaro Z28s, a 1964 Pontiac GTO with the Tri-Power 389 among six GTOs and GTO Judges, and a 1970 Oldsmobile 442 in Sebring Yellow with a 455-cubic-inch V-8.

About the only thing Treworgy likes more than muscle cars generally are Corvettes specifically—the auction includes 48 examples across all eight generations of America's sports car. Treworgy sold his 1953 Corvette previously, so the Mecum auction will start with the 1954 Corvette Roadster in Pennant Blue with the 235-cubic-inch six-cylinder, and end with that red 2020 C8 Corvette in top-spec 3LT trim with the Z51 Performance Package and fewer than 200 miles on the odometer.

Treworgy's selling his new C8 Corvette because he wants the 2022 Corvette Z06. While he waits, he'll still have plenty of Bowling Green's finest to keep him company. Treworgy owns 20 versions of the 1967 Corvette—his favorite year, clearly—in every color, and he's not selling those. He told the Venice Gondolier they live in a "private toy box" at his residence, alongside 30 more muscle cars and a 6,000-foot storehouse of Chevy parts.

The auction of roughly 65,000 horsepower runs today through Saturday, and you can watch it live. Treworgy wants all to know that even though the Muscle Car City is no more, the '50s-style Stingray's Bar and Grill will remain open. Patrons will be welcome to swing by and celebrate how wonderful "a lack of sense" can be.

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