Despite unsuccessful auction, Lakewood Township man’s classic car sold to Florida museum – Duluth News Tribune

Despite unsuccessful auction, Lakewood Township man’s classic car sold to Florida museum – Duluth News Tribune

LAKEWOOD TOWNSHIP — Suffice it to say the success of a Jan. 14 auction in Kissimmee, Florida, had been not in trying to keep with Tom Maruska’s anticipations.

He experienced invested hundreds of hrs and a substantial sum of dollars to restore a just one-of-a-kind 1956 Mercury XM-Turnpike Cruiser principle motor vehicle that had drawn massive crowds of admirers throughout the nation on the auto clearly show circuit in its working day. In the several years that followed, on the other hand, the vehicle fell into neglect. The show automobile was a rusty mess by the time

Maruska got his palms on it and started the laborious method of bringing it back again to lifetime


As Maruska prepared to choose the reinvigorated chrome-laden car or truck to a nationally acknowledged traditional car or truck auction, he speculated that the 1-off principle vehicle could fetch $1 million or far more.

Man standing beside a car.

Tom Maruska talks Sept. 29 about the 1956 Mercury XM-Turnpike Cruiser he expended 3 yrs restoring.

Steve Kuchera / 2022 file / Duluth News Tribune

But that was not to be.

The bidding started at a proposed $1 million and ceased at $350,000, very well underneath the obligated reserve value for the car or truck.

At the summary, the auctioneer commented: “We’re a lengthy way from the house there, boys.”

The expertise confirmed misgivings Maruska experienced likely into the auction.

“They promised me a good place and marketing guidance. But they did absolutely nothing at all for the automobile,” he reported. “They put it on their web-site as even though it was a Corvette or a Mustang or anything that was crafted in the tens of hundreds. It was positioned involving day to day cars and trucks.”

“And the identical matter on-internet site down there at the auction. They experienced it next to a utilized Porsche and a custom made Charger,” he claimed.

Car sitting in a driveway.

The 1956 Mercury XM-Turnpike Cruiser highlighted tailfins, chrome exhaust pipes coming by way of the quarter panel, and brake lights at the again of it roof as effectively as on the tailfins.

Steve Kuchera / 2022 file / Duluth News Tribune

As for the genuine auction, Maruska mentioned the tumbling selling price spoke for itself.

“When my car or truck went up on the block, I really don’t know they even experienced a genuine bid on it, for the reason that the house has the right to bid up to the reserve amount of money, and they under no circumstances even got close to the reserve volume,” he mentioned.

A couple weeks later on, Maruska experienced the vehicle delivered back to his household shop in Lakewood Township.

In retrospect, Maruska stated, “It was the incorrect auction to have that vehicle at.”

Maruska stated his to start with decision would have been to just take the motor vehicle to an auction run by RM Sotheby’s in Phoenix. But when they offered to just take the concept vehicle at a reserve selling price of no far more than $300,000, he felt that sum was only as well lower.

For Maruska, the story has a joyful ending even so.

Car interior.

The inside of Tom Maruska’s 1956 Mercury. Be aware the special butterfly roof windows that mechanically open up and near with the doors to present greater head clearance getting into or exiting the car.

Steve Kuchera / 2022 file / Duluth News Tribune

Four diverse events contacted him, expressing fascination in the Mercury concept car right after the unsuccessful auction, and two created what he believed were suitable delivers.

Maruska didn’t want to go into specifics, saying the vehicle bought for “an undisclosed amount” to the American Muscle mass Automobile Museum in Melbourne, Florida.

Man opening a car hood.

Tom Maruska opens the hood of his 1956 Mercury on Sept. 29 to clearly show its 292-cubic-inch engine.

Steve Kuchera / 2022 file / Duluth News Tribune

When requested if the sale broke the $1 million mark, he said: “It didn’t make $1 million, but it acquired shut enough that I was pleased with it.”

Maruska also expressed his enjoyment that the auto went to a museum, wherever it will be on general public show, somewhat than sitting down primarily out of sight in a private collection.

A further additionally is that a non-public sale not involving an auction residence will help you save each the purchaser and vendor 10{e3fa8c93bbc40c5a69d9feca38dfe7b99f2900dad9038a568cd0f4101441c3f9} commission charges, even as the car helps make a return excursion to Florida in an enclosed trailer.

Maruska has now concluded 22 auto restorations. But the 72-yr-old acknowledged the most current was his most formidable.

He has no designs to slow down and is at this time functioning on a 1964 Amphicar, as properly as a 1965 Corvette.

“I’ve got to continue to keep going. Otherwise, I’d just be sitting down close to, carrying out nothing. And I like to remain lively,” Maruska said.