About MuscleCar Station by George Collinge

MuscleCar Station owner, George Collinge

My Dad deserves a lot of credit for the way I turned out. He grew-up working on his own cars because he couldn't afford to pay someone else to do it and he's the kind of guy who can fix just about anything. He was always there for me with moral and technical support and let me use (and loose) his tools but, he made me do almost all the work myself. He told me "The only way your gonna learn is to get out there and do it" and that's pretty much what I've been doing my whole life, Thanks Dad!

I guess I was destined to work on old cars. When I just turned 13 yrs old I was driving my Dad's 1952 Chevy pick-up to go bow-hunting for Deer a few miles from our home in rural Osage County Kansas. I was, of -course, driving the old babbet-beater, 3-on-the-tree Chevy for all it was worth, flying down a hill, when I lost control in some loose gravel, ran off the road, and buried a tree into the front of the truck about two feet. My Dad was pretty upset with me for wrecking his truck but, rather than kill me, he decided a fitting punishment would be to make me fix the truck myself. Within a few weeks I found a 53 Chevy truck, with a bad motor (bought it for $35) swapped out the entire front-clip and radiator, and had the old truck fixed.

Shortly after that, I bought a motorcycle, that didn't run, for $15, got it running, and traded it for my first car. It was a 1964 Chevy Malibu convertible that was wrecked in the front-end pretty bad. With the help of a couple trees and a come-along, I got the front-end pulled-out, pulled and repaired the radiator, and got the thing running and driving again. The day I turned 14, I got my drivers license and hit the road!

From age 14 to 19 I owned nine different cars. They were: 64 Malibu, 51 Plymouth, 56 Ford, 55 Ford, 67 Barracuda, 66 VW bug, 72 Vega, 70 Road-Runner, and a 66 Chevelle SS. Of-course I worked on almost all of these cars while I owned them. Everything from electrical and wiring problems to overhauling the engine and everything in-between. If it didn't work, I figured-out how to fix it!

'72 Plymouth Cuda 440

Over the next 20 years I didn't even own a muscle car but I sure missed them. I still worked on my own cars and even did some body and paint work on the side but, I guess I was too busy trying to make a living and support my family and felt I couldn't afford any hot-rods. I worked for a specialized metal fabrication and welding company for 12 years and gained a lot of good experience working with metal. Quit there and went to work for the Phone Company to get better benefits and pay for the next 19 years.

Well, we got the kids raised and decided it was time to restore a car. I decided on a Plymouth Cuda. I had always loved the Mopar E-body's but never owned one. I saw a 1974 Cuda in a parking lot that someone was driving back and forth to work. It had the usual rust issues but, was a pretty straight car and wasn't missing too many pieces. I found out who owned it, went to work on him, and got it bought a week later! My wife paid for the car ($2500) and committed to help me restore it. I knew what a big undertaking the restoration would be and had a vision of the finished project but, my wife didn't have a clue. For the next 18 months almost all of my spare time, and some of my wife's, was devoted to the Cuda. For me, it was worth it (my wife almost divorced me over it) but we now owned a BEAUTIFUL cloned 1972 Plymouth Cuda with a 440 4-barrel, 727 slapstick, posi rear-end, with awesome Lime-Twist green base-clear paint.

Restoring the old Cuda gave me Hot-Rod-Fever again! For the next 8 years I was buying and building Muscle Cars and Drag Cars. I became a pretty serious Drag-Racer and built several race cars. My fastest car was a 70 Challenger tube-chassis car that I built from scratch myself. It ran a best pass of 8.46 sec. @ 164 mph in the 1/4 mile and boy was it fun to drive!

Hot-rod shop w-down-draft paint-booth in body shop and mechanic bays 2-post lift and automotive machine shop

My passion for Muscle Cars and Hot-Rods grew to the point that I decided to Quit my job and work on cars full-time. I purchased a 7500 sq. ft. building and turned it into my hot-rod shop. I built a down-draft paint-booth in the body shop area and set up mechanic bays in another area with a 2-post lift. Then I bought out an existing automotive machine shop (Lonestar Machine) and moved it into another part of the building so we could do our own engine work in-house.

I have been very selective with the people I have hired over the years and now have a dedicated team with 75 plus years of experience in metal fabrication, autobody, paint, and auto mechanics. With the increase in business, we out grew the space we had so I purchased another building right next door and set it up as the main Restoration-Shop and named it The MuscleCar Station.

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