'Volo's House of Cars' to be a History Channel series starring museum
Reality show will be filmed at showcase for exotic cars
From what the founding Grams family calls "a gravel-floored shed of jalopies" to today's vast selection of curiosities and collectibles, the Volo Auto Museum has quite a history.
Since that humble start in 1960, the operation draws as many as 250,000 visitors each year to see a collection of 400 cars and other attractions. The roster includes '50s favorites, vehicles featured on TV and in movies, muscle cars and celebrity wheels.
Beginning next year, some of the stories behind the eclectic inventory will be shared with a national viewership, as owners said they have signed a deal with the History Channel for a new series.
The working title is "Volo's House of Cars," and the initial run will be six daytime episodes. A History Channel representative declined to comment.
"Eleven years' worth of pitching and trying to get with the right people, and it finally happened," said Brian Grams, a partner in the family business known for its many classic and historic cars. "It's been several months of legalities and red tape."
While Grams and the Volo Auto Museum have seen their share of film crews, this endeavor is beyond a guest spot on another show or on-site interview. The family has teamed with Miami-based Accord Productions for the half-hour episodes.
"It's very exciting for all of us. It's uncharted territory," Grams said.
Each episode will feature a main story, such as the search for a given vehicle, and two related side stories, such as its purchase or sale.
"The focal point will be the treasure hunting, so to speak," Grams said. He and his brother, Jay, will be the main characters. One story is expected to delve into Elvis Presley's personal, custom-made 1974 Cadillac DeVille station wagon, advertised as being found after 37 years.
While Brian Grams found that gem, Jay is the day-to-day forager.
"I'm the guy who goes around the country and finds these cars for sale. There are some interesting stories," Jay Grams said.
After all this time, the family is well-connected, buying and selling about 1,000 vehicles a year.
"We get them from all over the country," he said.
Filming will commence for three months this fall and is scheduled to begin Sept. 10 during the Car Corral hosted by Volo Auto Museum. During the twice-a-year event, buyers and sellers can deal with no fees or commissions.
Brian Grams said it will cost his company $500,000 to produce the six-episode series. If it fares well, the network will have the option of buying the rights.
"We hear it all the time, 'You guys should have your own show,'" he said.
Grams said the stories won't include manufactured conflict or people "throwing wrenches at each other. We have enough drama," he said.