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Ray and Bill Skillman Have Serious American Muscle—Inside The Ray Skillman Auto Collection

Posted By: Evan J. Smith
Ray and Bill Skillman Have Serious American Muscle—Inside The Ray Skillman Auto Collection
 
By Evan J. Smith
 
High performance runs in the Skillman family as three generations have competed successfully in NHRA, NMCA and NMRA drag racing. Grandfather Ray, along with his son Bill and his son Drew, have won races in a wide range of categories, from Stock to Pro Stock and Bill Skillman, who is a regular at NMCA events, won the Holley EFI Factory Super Cars championship in 2021.
 
By day, the Skillman’s run a successful family owned line of car dealerships in the Greenwood, Indiana area, which is just south of Indianapolis. And tucked away near Ray Skillman Ford is their amazing automobile and transportation collection that includes muscle cars, sports cars, race cars of different types, plus bicycles, memorabilia, neon signs and an operating 1928 carousel horse ride.
 
While private, the collection is generally open to those who ask and we recently toured the facility while in town for the PRI Show last December. The views are nothing short of amazing—you’ll find treasures at every turn, but most impressive are the stories behind each piece of the collection. One section even has a recreation of a decade-old Sunoco Gas station that serves as a functioning workshop. There are cases of trinkets, the aforementioned bicycles, plus ice cream and popcorn carts, Corvettes, Indy cars, sprints cars, all brands of American muscle and a few anomalies, too.
 
Fortunately for myself, fellow NMRA/NMCA staffer Jim Campisano and our friend Rob Herrod of Australia, former Pro Stock and Comp racer Donnie Gardner is an integral part of the museum and he spent a few hours educating us along a guided tour. He answered all our questions, of which there were many, on vehicles like a beautiful, black 352-cube Ford Starliner, a ’61 409 Chevy and a bunch of drag cars from the 1960s.
 
As if getting up close with a 1967 Shelby GT500 and a rare 1970 big-block, 4-speed Camaro wasn’t cool enough, Donnie fired up the carousel and gave us a ride that made us feel like kids again. Only, instead of looking at a carnival scene as we glided around, we took in all the neat signs and the pure muscle that surrounded us a full 360-degrees.
 
Of course, if you’re in the market for a new car or truck, contact the folks at the Skillman Auto Group (rayskillman.com) and they’ll get you squared away.

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