Muscle car luminary Floyd Garrett to retire: Future of museum being debated

Floyd Garrett, whose name is synonymous with the high performance muscle car collector world, says he is ready to hang up his hat. Garrett, owner of the Floyd Garrett Musclecar Museum in Sevierville, Tenn., confirmed this morning that he will retire, although promises, "I would stay on as a consultant. I’m not just walking away."

Still, what will happen to his museum and the 90 American-made muscle cars in the display is still up for debate. Garrett said he would consider putting the facility up for sale on the open market but would like to see the museum continue.

The museum was a major focal point for the location of the popular The Forge Invitational Musclecar Show that annually brings together rare and historic muscle cars and thousands of muscle car fans. Tim Lopata, president of The FORGE SHOW has met with Garrett to discuss the pending retirement and the future of the museum and the FORGE SHOW. The show had only recently moved back to the Sevieville area, two miles from the museum, in part because of the Garrett’s recognition in the muscle car world and the $8-million worth of cars in his museum collection that provided such a significant draw for muscle car fans.

"Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville pulls in millions of people a year for vacationing, tourism and especially all the numerous large car events within a 30 mile radius," Lopata said. "That is why Floyd built the museum in its current location….There’s something automotive going on on almost every weekend and we wanted to be a part of that.

"Hopefully if it remains a museum," Lopata added, "we can continue to have a relationship with the new owners like we did with Floyd."

Read a follow-up interview with Garrett

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