Mt. Dora Museum of Speed has closed, collection for sale

75-year-old owner says it’s time for him to retire

The quaint and wonderful Museum Of Speed in central Florida’s Mt. Dora community has closed its doors to the public, the building has been sold, and its inventory is being readied for dismantling, sale, and auctions.

The museum, a six-time winner of TripAdvisor’s Certificate Of Excellence, has been operating in its location for 19 years, a compact 6,800-square-foot Art Deco building that was once full of automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles and automobilia.

Among the cars the museum’s owner plans to keep is this Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS-6 Collector Edition from 2002, one of 839 built, loaded with every factory option

It is a collection of Americana that includes star guitars, a whole squadron of mannequins in period dress and uniforms, antiques of every imaginable kind, hundreds of vintage tin and neon signs, and models.  We’ve never seen so much stuff in such a small space.

The museum has always operated as an adjunct to the company’s real business, Classic Dream Cars, a company that has bought and sold thousands of classic cars since the business opened in 1989.\

Kerry Bogard, 75, the founder/owner/operator of the museum, spent 23 years in radio station management before turning his attention to cars.  He designed and built the building in Mt. Dora in 2000 after starting his business in the Palm Beaches in 1989 and operating at four previous locations.

“I love what I do, and I wanted to share the antiques,” he said.”It’s kind of a long, gnarly story. I just kept tiddlywinking cars and putting all the car money back into the collection.  It started in my garage, and just kept getting bigger and bigger.”

He said Classic Dream Cars was all about buying and selling rare, unique, low-mileage, all original, matching-numbers vehicles and dealing with serious collectors. 

During the recession, when, for example, Corvette prices fell through the floor, Bogard discovered that there were funeral directors all over the country looking for vintage, quality hearses and flower cars, so be bought and sold about 30 of those until the usual collector market came back.

Bogard, who has operated the museum pretty much on his own all these years with a few volunteers, said it is time to retire and enjoy his hobby from a different perspective.

The new/old Art Deco building was built in 2001 to reflect the design of the auto parts store across the street, which is now gone.

He will keep about a dozen of the cars at home in his eight-car garage, along with some of the signage and some of the neon, and everything else will be sold off until the building is empty.  He said the new owner will use the Art Deco building as a mountain bike retail and repair shop.

If you’re interested in buying anything you see in the photos, Bogard is interesting in selling, and he said he’s there every day at (352)  385-1945, (352) 385-0049 or at classicdc@aol.com. But if you’re serious, you’d better hurry.

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Jim McCraw
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5 Comments

  • Gene Brown
    June 5, 2019, 2:42 PM

    Do you have any1967 Corvette COUPE Big blocks with Factory air, Power Steering side exhaust? Protecto Plate and Tank sticker with matching numbers? OR A 63 split WINDOW?
    Thanks so much!

    REPLY
  • Ryan Corman
    June 5, 2019, 10:42 PM

    Sad to see another curator of our automotive history aging out. I wish someone like Jay Leno or Jerry Seinfeld would set up a foundation for the preservation of this kind of history; use crowdfunding and the hobby to preserve what’s fading.
    Gotta say, the gaudy yellow, stickered up "rare" Trans Am isn’t something I would want; as a symbol of that era? Priceless.

    REPLY
    • Kerry Bogard@Ryan Corman
      June 7, 2019, 6:20 AM

      Hello Ryan; Appreciate the observation. Actually, Jim McGraw misplaced my comment about ‘keeping’ some of the cars that were there the day he visited. The car I was pointing to was actually parked immediately in front of this yellow Bird. A 1963 Corvette Split Window Fuelie. Reading the article closely, it neglects to correctly mention the Classic Car Dealership, Classic Dreamcars, will continue selling cars in new location. It is the Museum of Speed itself, I closed & retired from. It required -a lot – of work and expense to operate. Plus, when ‘The Entitled Bunch’ started to write negative comments online and make ‘demands’ about hours, the nominal admission fee, & short term closings for personal /family emergencies, it started to eventually override the passion & effort you put into the project. I appreciate all the wonderful things the majority of people have said over the last 20 years, and I met some awesome car guys & gals so, I kept it going 10 years past typical retirement.
      No, the Firebird offered for sale wouldn’t fit in my garage as one of my permanent keepers but, I disagree in your observation. It is desirable for many, as it’s the last issue of the Pontiac Trans Am, and one of 839 w/ a Manual Gearbox, Ram Air, T-Tops and the ‘Collector Edition’ . Color? Man, 30 years in the business taught me, that is strictly subject to personal taste! The car dubbed "priceless" in the Museum was the original ’66 Shelby GT350 Paxton…which went home.

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  • Jim Droces
    June 9, 2019, 10:20 AM

    Where can we see what is for sale?

    REPLY
  • Joe Kearney
    June 10, 2019, 12:20 AM

    Sorry to hear the museum is closing….Have had a 1957 Chevy Belair 245 horsepower, dual 4, with close ration 3 speed in Northeast Classic Car Museum in Norwich, N.Y. for the last 3 years. With the help of friends, we did a 13 year restoration,,,Got the car as close to original as I could. Tropical Turquoise w/ white top. I couldn’t decipher engine number completely, guy who sold me rebuilt 283, said it’s serial number matched, but to me, it appeared to have a number leading me to believe it should have had a Powerglide behind it……You can never say never on part numbers, if the engine blew in first year of ownership, the 245 hp covertable had a rating to race it as a stock car; dealer or mechanic took whatever was in stock, to get a replacement motor in…Kind of like a 1965 Caprice I have that has two oddities; 1) a 300hp Corvette engine, correct numbers, and black vinyl seats, that weren’t offered….I confered with Pres. Of Vintage Club, that I thought it might be a "Brasshat", or "Goldhat", a car special ordered by an Executive of GM Headquarters, or one of the GM Motor Divisions; I learned about "Brasshats years ago…….Pres. of VCCA, asked me what was different with mine, told him about Corvette engine and vinyl seats, he said yes, he had a 1966 Caprice Brasshat also…..Mecum Actions is coming up to a friend’s place, to consign his collection….I have a true ’57 Belair 4dr. sedan, with 27, 800 miles on it, original paper work, and the whole story on the car’s history, I’m the 3rd owner, 99% original, a 4 dr. Belair hardtop, with original sunvisor, got to get down to one classic, I’m a Disabled Veteran from Vietnam, 73 years old, and some days, feel older than my 102 year old mom did…I’ve got her 2002 Buick Century Custom, and my wife’s 1998 Olds Intrigue, with the Touring package and tires, best roadcar I’ve ever driven on winding country and mountain roads…Treat my daily drivers like my classics…454 GMC Suburban has 105,000 miles on it, keep it like new, everybody in Airstream Club we belonged to wanted it……..I should write a book about all the wonderfull people I’ve met over the years….took my future wife to a car show 38 years ago, cold tell car people were past "OK"All God’s best to you and yours, even at my age, I’ve got a line on a Sierra Gold 1965 Caprice, all original, hasn’t been run since 1982, but no a/c…26,000 miles! Belonged to a Harley_Chevy Dealer in Denver Co.; would have to get somebody to look at it, to be sure, seller had it advertised in Hemmings 3-4 years ago, as they say, a car is only original once….you can put enough lipstick on a pig……. and sell it to someone joey the k

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