More Muscle on the Beach

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Rick Treworgy and his impressive collection of nearly 200 muscle
cars featured in the new Muscle Car City Museum.

The questions surrounding a mysterious e-mail recently passed from one car-collecting computer user to the next are finally being answered. The e-mail message, filled with photos of mid-1950s Chevrolet convertibles and muscle cars, didn’t give an explanation as to the who, what, where or why behind the impressive collection of cars gathered among walls of neon signs and other automobilia. The opening of the new Muscle Car City Museum in Punta Gorda, Fla., on March 1 clearly explains the message.

The nearly 200-car collection of Rick Treworgy featured in those e-mails will now be on display to the public. The museum is located in Charlotte Harbor, a tourist-strong area located halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast. 

The museum has examples from nearly every era dating back to
the 1920s with an emphasis on General Motors products.

[Photos courtesy of Muscle Car City Museum]

Treworgy fell in love with cars in the 1960s and has continued to trade and acquire cars since that time. Pontiac GTOs?  Treworgy has 12 of them. Chevy Corvettes? He owns 64 — one from every series from 1964 to 1975, plus some newer models. For those who share his passion, a speed shop is located next to the new museum, offering parts and accessories for tricking out a ride.

“This museum promises to be a fun exciting and educational experience for young and old,” says Treworgy. “Car shows and cruises will be a regular happening here, so bring out your toys.”

According to April Treworgy, the founder’s daughter and manager of the museum, her father’s collecting began in earnest in the 1970s. Most of the cars in the collection are stock, and were restored before they joined the collection. However, the museum has the resources to restore cars as it sees fit.

April Treworgy said her father’s collection started as a private affair, and after he showed many visitors the Oldsmobiles and Camaros and early Chevrolets in the collection on an appointment-only schedule, the time came to make it available to anyone that wants to see it.

“It’s been about a year and a half now,” said Treworgy of the time it took to prepare the collection for the public museum.

Of the nearly 200 automobiles on display, the museum says it has examples from nearly every era dating back to the 1920s with an emphasis on General Motors products. As per its name, the museum’s major focus is on the muscle cars of the mid ’60s to early ’70s — the Pontiac GTOs, Chevy Corvettes, Oldsmobile.

4-4-2 models, Chevelles, Camaros and high-horsepower Impalas that revved up the imaginations of teens and young adults all over America.

In addition to the wheeled American iron displayed, the museum also showcases automotive memorabilia from vintage gas pumps to road signs and traffic signals. There’s also a Motor City diner, which prepares the types of treats one might order from a drive-in restaurant car hop. A gift shop offers everything from T-shirts, posters and jewelry to neon signs and gas pumps.

According to Becky Bovell, director of the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau, “Muscle Car City Museum is a stunning showplace, a perfect indoor complement to the many outdoor activities in Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Islands for residents and visitors alike.”

Muscle Car City Museum
3811 Tamiami Trl
Punta Gorda, FL 33950-7900
941-575-5959 • www.musclecarcity.net
Admission: $10 one-time pass,
  $30 annual pass.
  Children under 12 free with adult.

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More Images:

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Iconic American pavement eaters, such as cars like this 1969 ZL1 Camaro, will be the stars of the new Muscle Car City Museum. [Jerry Heasley photo]
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The museum also showcases automotive memorabilia from vintage gas pumps to road signs and traffic signals.

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