Volo Auto Museum readies to roar back
The pandemic life has not been an idle one for crews at the Volo Auto Museum.
When the doors at 27582 Volo Village Road reopen, fans of the museum will marvel at the many transformations. Opening day is set for May 14, rain or shine, as long as the region is in Coronavirus Response Phase 4 or better.
Among the upgrades taking root since March 2020 has been an indoor Jurassic Gardens adventure featuring several dozen lifelike -- and many life-size -- animatronic dinosaurs, plus a gift shop, arcade, fossil dig and "lab."
That's not to mention the 1920s carousel and music machine hall, the re-engineered entryway, and the high-tech admissions system that will both cut wait times and allow ticket holders to come and go at multiple points of entry.
Speaking of which, one new point of entry should especially appeal to lovers of modern muscle.
Showroom 5's vintage car collection is giving way to late-model Mustangs, Challengers, Vipers and 'Vettes.
All in all, there will be roughly 28,000 square feet of newly constructed or completely renovated interior space to explore. It's a multimillion-dollar investment, said museum Director Brian Grams. And that could spell a sweet opportunity for collectors of the sort of rare, film-famous cars for which the Volo Auto Museum is known.
"To pay for all of the improvements we have been making while we have been closed," Grams said, "we are going to be parting with some film-car collector gold."
Up for no-reserve eBay auction April 14-21 will be a 1963 Corvette Grand Sport replica, a car used by Paul Walker and Vin Diesel in "Fast 5"; a 1966 Ferrari replica that was screen-used in the epic "Ford v Ferrari"; a 1965 Econoline van from "Ford v Ferrari"; a 1958 Chevy Nomad featured prominently throughout the 2020 film "Let Him Go," starring Kevin Costner and Diane Lane; a 1973 Ferrari Daytona replica used in the TV series "9-1-1" as well as in an upcoming Bradley Cooper film called "Soggy Bottom"; a 1966 Chrysler Imperial Black Beauty from "The Green Hornet"; and a 1981 Cadillac hearse ordered by Sony to promote the 2016 "Ghostbusters" movie that featured Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon.
Other vehicles and museum assets will also be sold, including a Von Dutch-Ed Roth car and an eight-passenger electric trolley from Disney World.
"These are some incredible collector pieces for the right buyers," Grams said. "The newer Ectomobile is a ton of fun. The 'Fast Five' Vette is an iconic part of film franchise history. And you might be surprised at the amount of buzz the van gets."
Referring to the blue van with white lettering that was used to depict a Shelby American shop van in "Ford v Ferrari," Grams said die-hard car guys are enamored with both the Carroll Shelby legend and the movie.
"That's easily the best car movie of our generation," he said.
Grams noted that an actual Ferrari driven in the 1966 LeMans, the race on which the movie is based, recently sold for $40 million.
"For a fraction of that price, someone will own some really cool pieces of TV and movie car history this spring," Grams said. "And we'll use the auction proceeds to offset the cost of the improvements we've been working on for the past year."
Find more details about the items available in the auction at www.volocars.com/the-attraction/Auction-Movie-Cars-and-More. For other information, call (815) 385-3644, visit volocars.com or find Volo Auto Museum on Facebook.
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