The cherished collection, worth more than $2 million, will be auctioned off to support Northwood University.
A Michigan couple has decided to donate their cherished and highly valuable car collection to a university in Michigan.
The Moreys amassed the 35-car-strong collection over the years but, at age 76, husband Mike decided it was time to let go of his museum-worthy vehicles, reports Fox Business. Instead of selling the collection - which includes a fleet of Chevrolet Bel Airs, classic Corvette roadsters, and even a Mazda Miata - Mike and his wife, Dianne, decided to donate all 35 cars to a worthy cause.
"My wife and I have been lucky enough to make several dollars," said Mr. Morey in the video below. "You get to that age [where] there isn't much you want. For us to do this for the college, to give a few bucks to help run the place, is great. It tops off all the fun I've had."
He notes that it's the concept of free enterprise that enabled him to attain his collection over the years. "If you're willing, [especially] when you're young, and you want to do stuff like this, go to work. I built a business and learned one thing: the most important thing you can do if you own a business, [is to] treat your employees right."
Mr. Morey founded a wood-chipper manufacturer called Bandit Industries and said jokingly said he chose to buy cars instead of investing. His ethos is mirrored by the private institution Northwood University, which aims to develop free-enterprise leaders in America.
"We will reinvest those dollars back into Northwood, in particular, scholarships," Kent MacDonald, President of Northwood, told FOX Business. "As a private university… we want to continue to make sure we're affordable for young people to attend."
The envy-inducing collection will be sold off by Mecum Auctions at its Kissimmee event between January 4 - 15. Fans of classic Americana will certainly want to get in on the action, as the collection contains some incredible cars. Muscle car fans will adore the 1967 Shelby GT500 Fastback painted in a desirable red with white stripes.
Signed by Caroll Shelby's wife, Cleo, this particular model sports a numbers-matching 7.0-liter (428 ci) Police Interceptor engine mated to a four-speed manual gearbox. The 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T is just as spectacular and gains motivation from the iconic 440 Six Pack V8 engine. These two are sure to fetch big money at auction, which will go a long way to help aspiring students at Northwood University.
Mecum Auctions has a legacy of hosting charity-minded events; in February, the auction house sold two Tundras for a combined $1.25 million, with the proceeds heading toward Toyota's Paralympic fund.
While mostly American, the collection has a few quirky gems too. The 1981 Teledyne Continental Cheetah is particularly interesting. Created out of a need to supply the US Army with High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, very few examples of the Cheetah were produced. This particular model is powered by an International 6.9-liter diesel V8.
Another anomaly comes in the form of the Mazda Miata. Peculiar wheel choice aside, this little Japanese drop-top has just 29,350 miles on the clock and presents new. We expect it and the rest of the vehicles to sell for top dollar.
It's going to be tough for the couple to let go of their collection, but the reason they're selling is admirable. Mr. Morey will, most likely, miss his collection of Bel Airs the most. "When I was 16 and got my driver's license, the car was a '57 Chevy," he remembers fondly.