Floyd Garrett’s Muscle Car Museum. We need to go back there!
We were headed down to Dollywood for a little family fun, and as we passed through Sevierville, Tenn., I blurted out, “Floyd Garrett’s Muscle Car Museum. We need to go back there!” It’s a good thing we did, because this place is the real deal. This is a pretty well-known collection of cars, so stumbling across it like we did was a major stroke of luck. The museum claims to have 90 muscle cars worth a total of $8-million. If they told me they were worth more, I’d believe it. There were plenty of big engines, unusual options, and rare vehicles in this bunch. If you like vintage iron, you won’t be disappointed here.
I’ve said it here before, but I love, love, love ’67 Chevy sport coupes. As far as I’m concerned, there’s never been a prettier design than that fastback body style. I’m going to have one someday. You don’t really see them very often, but there were two in this museum. One was a Granada Gold Impala with a 327 under the hood, but this Marina Blue SS 427 was ridiculous. Look at this thing. I would have paid my admission just to look at this. There was a time when I would have hated these wheel covers, but now they even look good combined with those redlines. You can see a ’67 Camaro anywhere, but when was the last time you saw one of these?
This ’62 Pontiac Catalina is another one that really gets the blood pumpin’. This is a real 421 Super Duty, and they only made a couple hundred of them in 1962. These were really special cars, with aluminum front clips and lightweight frames from the factory. This Super Duty, as most, was drag raced in the early 1960s. Two four-barrels, a four-speed, and 405-hp will cause that. Plus, you just can’t beat Starlight Black over that tri-toned interior. Even among the cars in this collection, this one resides on a very high level.
With its wire wheels, large stature, gleaming chrome, and lavish interior, the ’55 Chrysler C-300 might not strike you as a muscle car. Contrary to its appearance, however, this was one of the hottest cars of its day. Surf White Chryslers like this one won an incredible 27 stock car races in 1955, mostly out of the Mercury Outboard Motor team owned by Carl Kiekhaefer and driven by Tim Flock and Frank Mundy. With a 255-hp, 350-c.i Hemi V8, these were the most powerful cars you could buy. Anyway, fast or not, this car is undeniably pretty. They only sold 1,725 of them total, so you aren’t going to see one of these beauties every day.
This Parisian Green over Emerald ’58 Mercury Monterey two-door sedan is, well, not pretty like that Chrysler. From a styling standpoint, at least to me, it leaves something to be desired. But it does have something that I can’t remember having ever seen before. Beneath that front-hinged hood is a 430-c.i. 400-hp, “Super Marauder” V8. This has an aluminum intake manifold, three deuces, and factory cold air induction. The signboard says they only built somewhere between 25 and 100 of these. Heaven help the guy in the ’57 Chevy who had to face off against this homely monster in a street race.
We are in Tennessee after all, so it makes sense that the quintessential moonshine runner would be on display in this museum. These black ’40 Ford coupes are the poster children for this sort of thing, and according to the sign, this one actually hauled whiskey in Greenville, Tenn. It also said this car only has 12,200 miles, and the paint and upholstery was original. It was exceptionally nice, and one of the nicest examples of a ’40 Ford you could ever hope to see. The whiskey still display in the background was also a nice touch.
There are a lot of very nice, very notable cars in this collection that I haven’t written about. I took pictures of all of them, which you can see in the slideshow below. Or, click this link for a nicer version.