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Celebrity car auction fuels new showroom

(Photo provided)
The 1979 Rolls-Royce that transported Princess Diana during her first visit to the U.S. was among the autos auctioned by the Volo Auto Musuem.

VOLO – The final minutes of Volo Auto Museum’s recent celebrity car auction on eBay drew nail-biting and cheers in the office of museum director Brian Grams.

“We were all inside here watching it, and I have the eBay app on my phone and it’s going ‘bing, bing, bing,’” he said of the scene around his office computer. “I had a dream the night before that [the Princess Di-connected, armor-plated] Rolls sold for $750,000.

“When I woke up and checked, it was only at $60,000,” he continued. “It jumped up to $122,300 within 32 seconds of the time-out. Everyone was in here cheering and yelling. It was more exciting than a football game.”

After the dust settled, the museum had generated nearly $260,000 from the eight cars placed up for auction, Grams said, including the 1979 Rolls-Royce that transported Princess Diana during her first visit to the United States. The money is earmarked for a new museum space sure to boast special appeal for children.

“We’re happy with the results,” Grams said. “We traded off some of our inventory for a new showroom.”

Volo Auto Museum officials are pursuing permits from the village of Volo to break ground for a fifth showroom, planned for the hill just north of what is now Showroom 3.

“It’s going to be geared more toward kids,” Grams said as his 7-year-old daughter, Bridgette, placed a wig on his head and his 4-year-old daughter, Breanna, talked about their recent visit to Legoland.

Grams said the new showroom will feature both Hollywood cars from child-friendly films as well as more interactive exhibits. The expansion also will free up what currently is the museum’s most kid-friendly space — its round entryway display area — to become a more upscale exhibit hall for special events.

“We already bought the marble tile for the floor,” Grams said.

Other cars sold in the celebrity car eBay auction that ended Friday included a replica Beverly Hillbillies jalopy, $9,100; Days of Thunder Lumina, $17,500; and XXX GTO, $23,000.

Volo Auto Museum, which features hundreds of classic, muscle and Hollywood cars, is located at 27582 Volo Village Road. For information, visit www.volocars.com, or call 815-385-3644.


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