Photo from the Volo Auto Museum showroom in Volo, Illinois

Volo Auto Museum to Get Cable TV Spotlight

John Gunnell has been writing about classic cars since 1972. He is also the owner of Gunner’s Great Garage in Manawa, Wis. He owns 11 cars and seven motorcycles.

*See additional photos in the gallery below

During a recent visit to the Volo Auto Museum in Volo, Illinois, THE SHOP discovered that the 56-year-old collector car business is set to be the focal point of a new reality TV show on The History Channel.

Volo: House of Cars will be the name of the show that executive producer Julian Taylor came up with after meeting the Grams family—owners of Volo—when they appeared in an episode of his show South Beach Classics. In that episode, Brian Grams helped Ted Vernon find a low-mileage, red anniversary edition Lamborghini Countach.

Taylor spent a week at the Volo Auto Museum filming that episode of "South Beach Classics" and realized that the museum was a story in itself. From a modest start in the 1960s, Volo has become an internationally known Chicagoland destination that attracts 250,000 visitors per year. The museum facility houses 400 cars in five showrooms. About 75 percent of the vehicles are for sale. Volo’s specialty is a collection of movie cars and famous-owner cars.

The show will trace how the Grams find certain cars and tell the stories behind those vehicles. A 1967 Shelby Cobra roadster will be the focus of the first segment of the show. This Shelby was once a prototype vehicle that was supposed to be destroyed. It is the only one of its kind produced. Supposedly, someone disguised the car so that its existence was a well-kept secret.

Brian Grams discovered the car and bought it, despite having no proof that it was authentic. He then spent four years researching factory records and interviewing former Shelby employees to document the car’s pedigree.

Taylor began filming six episodes of the show last October. It is slated to hit TV screens later this year as part of The History Channel’s daytime schedule. It can be renewed for another season within 60 days of its premiere, according to Volo.

The Grams said they have been hoping to develop TV coverage for nearly 11 years and reported that the six episodes represent a $500,000 investment for Volo. If the show is a hit, the network will have the option of buying rights to it.

*All photos by Christa Haley