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, 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.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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