A classic automobile collection donated by a generous couple to Northwood University fetched more than $2.3 million during an auction Friday, Jan. 6, in Florida.
Michael and Dianne Morey, of Mount Pleasant, Michigan, pledged 35 vehicles from their automotive collection, and the cars were auctioned off at Mecum Auctions in Kissimmee, Florida. The auction raised over $2,371,000 to support Northwood University and The Northwood Idea.
“Mike and Dianne’s incredible gift will be forever remembered by Northwood University,” stated Northwood President Kent MacDonald. “We have retained a 1958 Chevrolet Corvette to display on campus as a reminder of the Morey’s generosity and American innovation.”
In 1983, the Moreys believed they could build a wood chipper better than anyone else. Mike left his job, invested in a small workshop, and with six employees and a small operating budget, built the Model 100 Brush Bandit, a 12-inch capacity disc-style chipper. Based on the success of the Brush Bandit, Bandit Industries was created, and Dianne actively joined the company.
Bandit designed and launched the world’s first self-propelled track whole tree chipper in 1990 and continues to lead this industry segment. Bandit operates a network of more than 180 dealer locations worldwide, and it currently has 725 employees. In 2018, the Moreys sold the company to their trusted employees, rather than accepting two offers to sell from private firms.
“The Moreys are stellar examples of how ingenuity, persistence and dedication pave the way for success in a free-market society,” stated Justin Marshall, chief development and engagement officer for Northwood University. “Each car the Morey family donated was part of their family story, and the story now evolves with Northwood University inspiring the dreams of young entrepreneurs from throughout the world.”
At the end of Friday’s auction, Mecum Auctions announced that two of the Morey vehicles were the top two automotive sales of the day. The 1967 Shelby GT500 Fastback sold for $330,000, and the 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda sold for $275,000. The surprise of the day was a 1981 Teledyne Continental Cheetah, selling for $65,000 (which was well beyond its appraised value).
Northwood University will utilize up to $1 million of the cash proceeds to enhance the campus experience. The remaining proceeds will be used to build the university’s endowment to create new scholarship opportunities for Northwood students.
The Moreys previously noted they are pleased their classic car collection will help support young men and women who want to work hard, build something of their own, and positively influence the communities they call home.
“Northwood University is a special place, filled with wonderful students, and we are thrilled to support their mission,” they stated.
Also known as America’s Free Enterprise University, Northwood University’s mission is to create future leaders of global economic and social progress. If you’re interested in supporting this effort, please visit https://www.northwood.edu/advancement/give.