This California Museum Houses a Spectacular $60 Million Muscle Car Collection

YouTube channel AutotopiaLAYouTube channel AutotopiaLA heads to a unique Southern California classic car museum to explore a jaw-dropping $60 million collection of muscle cars and other automotive treasures. Presenter Shawn Davis and museum co-founder John Marconi walk viewers through a portion of the more than 100 vehicles housed at the Marconi Automotive Museum in Tustin, CA.

Checking Out Drool-Worthy Mustangs

A General Lee Dodge Charger on display at the Marconi Automotive Museum

Of course, no muscle car collection is complete without a Ford Mustang, and the Marconi Museum doesn’t disappoint. We first encounter a glistening 1968 Mustang coupe with an interesting background. The car was previously owned by a hotel executive who converted the original V6 base into a V8 wonder car thanks to $135,000 in upgrades.

Marconi then highlights a 1969 Boss 302 that’s been a family vehicle for 35 years. But, efforts with a 351 V8 Cleveland engine swap out required suspension upgrades to preserve the car’s handling abilities. Other Mustangs include a survivor Mach 1 Cobra Jet and a 1971 Mach 1 351 Ram Air. We even catch a glimpse of a Shelby Mustang GT350 that Marconi raced for 18 years.

Highlighting Original TV Cars

A General Lee Dodge Charger on display at the Marconi Automotive Museum
Given Tustin isn’t too far from Hollywood, it’s unsurprising that this museum includes a few famous vehicles from TV. A shiny black Pontiac Firebird is a genuine KITT car from Knight Rider. While there’s no details about the vehicle’s originality, Marconi assures everyone that this Pontiac was part of the series.

Nearby is a mint “General Lee” Dodge Charger that Marconi calls a “real deal” car. Not only was the vehicle used to promote The Dukes of Hazzard show, but numerous cast signatures on the trunk lid ensure authenticity.

Cruising With Cudas

Plymouth Cudas at the Marconi Automotive Museum

Adding to the museum’s Mopar credentials is a pair of pristine Plymouth Cudas, owned by Marconi and his wife (hers is green, while he has the red one). He’s particularly fond of these cars, as 1971 Cudas represent both the high mark and the end of the muscle car era.

Regrettably, viewers get kept in the dark about much of the cars’ specs and history, other than the green Cuda received a restoration at some point. Likewise, there’s little to learn about Marconi’s 340 Hemi Cuda, but some behind-the-wheel time showcases the rawness of an iconic muscle car

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