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Plans for automobile museum in old Press Journal building placed on hold

STORY BY LISA ZAHNER (Week of August 5, 2021)

Classic car collector and entrepreneur Wayne Gould said his dream of opening a car museum in Vero Beach has been indefinitely delayed.

Gould, who owns Wayne’s Toys Tucson Classic Car Museum, went before the Vero Beach City Council a year ago to get a zoning change for his planned museum before purchasing the former Press-Journal property in December 2020 for $3 million.

City officials welcomed the concept and unanimously granted Gould’s zoning request. At the time, Gould hoped the museum would open by the end of 2021. But last week, he said in an email the project is “on hold for now.”

Apparently renovations have not begun. Vero’s planning and development director Jason Jeffries said in late June “the owner of the old Press Journal building has not submitted for any permits.”

Gould’s vision for the 42,000-square-foot building includes an eventual “commercial aspect,” he said last fall, “but it’s going to be a museum first” featuring his private car collection.

The 20-year Vero resident said local collectors have told him they need a central location to display their rare and classic automobiles – especially those that are up for sale.

Wayne’s Toys Classic and Historic Cars museum in Tucson currently displays 60 to 75 of Gould’s cars to the public in the fall and winter for four hours each Saturday, for a $10 admission fee, with discounts for veterans and seniors.

The museum also serves as a venue for charitable events and private parties throughout the year, with classic cars for hire for special events.