Kemp Auto Museum set to close

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CHESTERFIELD, MO (KTVI) - He's a cool cat who can make an engine purr.

'This is a 1954 300 SL coupe, commonly known as the gullwing because they're very iconic gold wing doors,' says Mike Dyer, Assistant Curator at the Kemp Auto Museum.

For five years Mike Dyer has been helping keep these classic cars running and looking right at the Kemp Auto Museum.

'There are a few cars in here that are worth easily over $1 million at auction,' says Dyer.  'The development of the automobile throughout the 20th century kind of forged what America became.'

Dyer and Mark Stolzenberg are the men who manage the automobiles from the collection of St. Louisan Fred Kemp.

'Should I come on that side of the ropes?' asks Patrick Clark.

'The ropes are here for a reason,' says a deadpanned Dyer.

The reason this automotive collection is in Chesterfield is because of Kemp's mission to display the evolution of European 20th century automotive design and engineering.

'He loved the setting he loved his car collection and he opened this place to not showcase his collection but share his love of cars and why he thought they were so special to everyone else around,' says Dyer.

But come June, the ten year old museum will be motoring off into the sunset.

'It's not about the place closing its doors to the public it's about the Fred Kemp Foundation turning a new leaf in a way that will allow it to give back more to the St. Louis community more than what the Kemp Auto Museum was able to,' says Dyer.

That means these Mercedes Benz won't be on display after June.

The Kemp foundation will change their focus from automobiles to education in the community.

And Mike Dyer will continue to redo old cars, like his classic Herbie the Love Bug and another VW that he's getting ready to rebuild.

'I love old cars why I think I'm just a history buff and they're part of our history,' says Dyer.