In Photos: Go Inside Rick's Garage, an 80+Car Muscle Dream Museum
It's not just cars that shine in the throwback space.
As a young lad growing up in SoCal during the 1950s and early 1960s, Rick Lorenzen came to appreciate the cars of the era, from muscle cars to gassers. He began collecting them as far back as the 1970s, and eventually he had an opportunity to show them in an engaging environment that highlights them in a setting befitting their eras came to fruition shortly after the turn of the century. The 80-plus vehicles Lorenzen has on site at his museum include some gems: a gang of killer Corvettes, a 1962 Dart, 1963 Impala, 1965 GTO, 1970 Hemi 'Cuda, and a Superbird, to name a few.
They are surrounded by amazing displays revolving around store front re-creations from a Foster's Freeze stand and music store to a hobby shop and a complete diner. Then there's the re-created speed shop stacked with period goods, and the fully stocked Texaco gas station, a reproduction of the outlet run by his mother and father during the 1950s.
While not open to the public, the museum can be experienced via the private tours Lorenzen and his crew occasionally organize. You can contact the team via the Lions Drag Strip website.
Corvettes from 1962 and 1967 keep company with a clone of the Lorenzen family's Texaco station, which Rick's dad (Fred) ran back in the day. It features a wide array of vintage Texaco products, including motor-oil cans.
NASCAR icon Fred Lorenzen happened to have the same name as Rick's father, hence Rick went on a hunt for a genuine Holman-Moody race car. Fred had become a full-time driver for the team in 1961, and he competed with this Ford Galaxie in 1966, the year he won the Old Dominion 500 and American 500 at Rockingham, North Carolina.
"I'm a Clint Eastwood fan," says Lorenzen. thus the decision to include a 1972 Ford Gran Torino in the collection. This coupe is identical to the one seen in the Gran Torino movie starring the now-89-year-old actor, who owns the original model seen in the film. Eastwood signed the glovebox of Rick's car.
When he won the 1961 NHRA World Points Championship, drag-racing hero Jack Chrisman was presented with a new Ford Thunderbird, the very car you see here in Lorenzen's collection. The Petersen Publishing photo archive turned up the below photo of George Hurst presenting the car to Chrisman in September 1961.
A version of this story originally appeared on the Hot Rod Network.