Couple sells $2M, 34-car collection to benefit private college
Mike and Dianne Morey have had fun collecting cars over the years. Now, as they get older, they’ve decided to give the collection away in an auction benefitting Northwood University, a private college in Midland, Michigan. The collection is valued at $2 million, and will be sold at the Mecum Auction in Kissimmee, Florida—just south of Orlando—in early January, with all proceeds going to the college.
The Moreys are sending 34 cars and trucks to auction. The Morey Collection is diverse, including plenty of 1955–57 Chevrolets, some vintage Corvettes, a 1966 Pontiac GTO, a 1955 Chevrolet Cameo pickup, a rare 1981 Teledyne Continental Cheetah—the company’s answer to a Hummer—a 1969 Plymouth GTX Hemi, and some 1932 Ford street rods.
There are a few cars, like a 1958 Corvette, that the Moreys are holding back for personal reasons, but the donation represents the lion’s share of the vehicles they’ve collected.
Mr. Morey said in a video for the college that a candy apple red 1957 Chevrolet “kind of got me going” on the collection. “And obviously I’ve overdone it, like I do everything. I collected 40-something cars, and I had a ball doing it.
“I’ve had a great time finding the cars and meeting the people. I always thought if I made some money, and I’ve been lucky enough to make a little—I wasn’t interested in investing; it seemed like a crap shoot to me. Why not have more fun collecting cars?
“At our age, my wife and I have what we want. Doing this for the college, for them to get a couple of bucks to help run the place, is great. It tops off all the fun I’ve had.”
The Moreys started Bandit Industries with a single model wood chipper, and the business expanded into a variety of forestry industry products. There are over 600 employees, and they’ve marketed equipment in more than 50 countries.
Though the Moreys live less than a half-hour from the university, they have no direct connection to it. Mike Morey’s cousin was honored by Northwood for his business leadership several years ago, and he recommended Northwood as a potential recipient of Mike and Dianne’s collection, said Justin Marshall, chief development and engagement officer at Northwood.
It’s a small private school with about 3000 students, Marshall said, and early on after the university was founded in 1959, they began offering degree programs in automotive-marketing areas. “That was one of the things that impressed the Moreys,” he said.
“I worked hard, treated my employees right, and we built a beautiful business,” Morey said. Now he and his wife are making a beautiful gesture to give something back to their community.
You can see the cars in the collection that are going to the Mecum auction here.
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