Guilford garage turning into museum including more than 500 old cars

GUILFORD, Maine (WABI) - Car lover or not, stepping inside Cookson's Garage is like taking a trip back in time and Chip Merrill is determined to keep it that way.

"I had known Lyle for about 50 years," says Merrill.

Through the years, Chip and Lyle became bonded by life, family, and especially through their love of cars. After Lyle passed away at age 90 this summer, Chip bought the property.

"This is an end of my life commitment. The rest of my life is going to be spent in here," he says.

It's now Chip's Auto Sales and Cookson's Garage. You'll know it by the Pontiac GTO out front.

"It's hard to digest. It's sensory overload, especially if you're a gear head," says Bruce Furman.

Furman was also a good friend of Lyle's. He's helping Chip turn 80 years worth of stuff into a museum.

And, if all that memorabilia isn't enough for you, there's 12 acres of antique automobiles.

"We've got about every car in here from the early 20's to the 70's."

Including a 1957 Chevy Bel Air.

"You can spend all day out there. I mean, there's 500 plus vehicles, so you know, come, enjoy yourself, take a trip back in time."

$20 gets you a ticket to spend the day wandering through what seems like endless rows of retro rides all right off of Route 15 in Guilford.

"It's a time in history that doesn't happen anymore," says Furman.

They're working on properly displaying their massive inventory and are selling parts and pieces of it...but some things aren't for sale.

"Lyle put his life in here, I know what he thought of most of this stuff, and I feel the same way," says Merrill.

They're open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8am to 5pm.