Hemi Heaven

For Tim and Pam Wellborn, this museum is a spectacular look at Mopar (and muscle car) history

For long-time Mopar collectors Pam and Tim Wellborn, it ended up being a former Chevrolet franchise that answered their questions. Having amassed the largest collection of 1971 Hemi Chargers (it is possible the Wellborns now own more ’71 Hemi Chargers than Dodge itself at any one time did during the season the cars were available) plus many other high-quality musclecars, the desire to find a way to display them had grown. Moreover, the Wellborns also wanted them to be someplace that would allow others to appreciate them. The answer turned out to be the large but decrepit Darwin Dobbs dealership on Broad St. in their hometown of Alexander City, Alabama.

For hours and information:

Wellborn Muscle Car Museum
124 Broad St.
Alexander City, AL 35010

Tim purchased the building back in 2004, and began directing an extensive level of renovation to turn it into a world-class facility. The dealership had a small showroom, but had been very successful in the service side of the business, with a cavernous floorpan for complete servicing. All of that was long past when the Wellborns purchased it; the roof was leaking, there were mechanical upgrades required, and frankly it was likely more of an eyesore than a reflection of its Art Moderne heritage from the streamlined era of the late 1940s. However the effort was worth it, as the building was perfectly suited for the display of Detroit’s finest performance iron, plus the artifacts the couple has gathered over the years.

Once the restoration was finished, this collection of cars formerly housed at their estate home was transferred to the new location, which opened to the public on January 18, 2010. Gracious to a fault, the Wellborn are now sharing perhaps the largest Hemi collection in the world with the public. In late 2009, we were treated to a very special preview of the collection, with Tim as our guide. Here’s is a sneak peak at the real reason why ‘the stars fall on Alabama.’

This is just half of the row of 1971 Hemi Chargers that Tim and Pam accumulated. There may not be a more impressive gathering anywhere, let alone in a place where you can actual see them.