Well, things didn't exactly turn out as Tom Maruska had anticipated. Tom was hoping this rare classic he restored would bring in somewhere around one million at auction.

In hindsight, he thinks maybe he picked the wrong auction to sell the car. With a reserve on the car at a million dollars, the highest bid 2as $350,000, far short of what he was hoping for.

“They promised me a good spot and promotional support. But they did absolutely nothing for the car,” he said. “They put it on their website as though it was a Corvette or a Mustang or something that was built in the tens of thousands. It was placed between everyday cars.”

In retrospect, Maruska said, “It was the wrong auction to have that car at.”

After the disappointing auction, Maruska  received 4 inquiries about this classic car and 2 of them were, in his mind, acceptable offers. All's good that ends well. Maruska accepted one of the offers and his totally restored 1956 Mercury concept car now has a new home at the American Muscle Car Museum in Melbourne, Florida.


As to what was paid for the car, Maruska just commented “an undisclosed amount”


This seems like the perfect hobby. That is if you have a lot of free time, a lot of money and are mechanically inclined.

Well, Tom Maruska, of Duluth, seems to have all three of those things going for him and it could pay off big time for him when he decides to take his masterpiece to auction.

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As reported by inforum.com, Maruska bought what was left of this rare classic in 2018 from a fellow restorer in California. He saw the value in this car and shelled out $100,000 for this 1956 Mercury XM-Turnpike Cruiser.

Photo credit; Tom Maruska
Photo credit; Tom Maruska

The car was rusted out and in pretty bad shape from being left out in the elements for who knows how long before Maruska's fellow car buff picked it up. Some 6000 hours of labor later and a good amount of money invested, this beauty is ready for auction.

So, what makes this car so special and potentially worth over a million dollars restored? The answer is it's a one-of-a-kind concept car built by Mercury to gauge consumer interest at car shows.

Maruska predicts that when he displays this restored classic at a car show in January, most likely in Arizona, where collectors come from all over at auction time. He expects it to bring a tidy sum,  "should go for north of $1 million. At least I hope it does.” he said.

Maruska isn't new to this labor intensive hobby. He's restored 22 vehicles to their original look, mostly Thunderbirds. Maruska, at 73 plans to continue his love of restoring classic cars.

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