Charles and Susan Rathel have thought about opening a "Car Museum" for the past 25 or more years but with their business, children, and life in general, it always seemed to be just a dream. After selling their used parts business to their oldest son last year, they seemed to have a little more time on their hands. When most people their age were getting ready to retire, Charles and Susan said "it was a perfect time to pursue our dream."
"We have always loved "Muscle Cars" so we knew that was the direction we wanted to put our time and money into," Susan said. They started gathering together all the things they had collected over the years; records, antique telephones, car parts and vintage signs. "We joke with each other all the time that our kids and grandchildren will think our stuff is just junk, little do they know that this junk is worth a pretty penny, " Susan commented.
The Rathels were planning on constructing a large building to house their collectibles until they saw the old daycare for sale on Zorn Rd. "We were driving home from lunch one Sunday afternoon and saw them putting a new for-sale sign up," Susan mentioned, "That was a sign from "God" we decided." They stopped and looked at the run down building that had housed many of their kids, as well as their friends and family's kids for years. Then and there they started envisioning how to turn the old nursery into the showroom it is now.
When you step in "Rathel's Classics," you step back in time to when life was simpler. You'll find thousands of collectibles and antiques that surround a nostalgic black-and-white-checkered floor showroom complete with cars from "the glory days."
Rathel's Classics is first and foremost a showroom for classic cars that are for sale. It also functions as a museum of sorts, which the couple plans to open for school field trips. "We have many things that our younger generations have never seen. We will open up weekly, by appointment only for anyone wanting to step back in time." Susan commented. Susan and Charles plan to open the showroom twice a month on a regular basis. They will also host several car shows a year for people to come check out our community's "Muscle Cars." The first annual car show will be, Saturday, March 23rd. Registration starts at 9am and show starts at 12 PM est.
The Chamber will host a ribbon cutting for Rathel's Classics on Tuesday March 19th, at 5:00 p.m. and invites all to join!
Rathel's Classic Cars
1019 Zorn Road
Bainbridge, GA 39817