Life

These farmers own a muscle car collection worth millions

From a distance, the Segerstrom lima bean farm in Costa Mesa, California looks as unassuming as its owners, Ted and Rae. But the farm's repurposed horse barn was recently filled with the couple's collection of vintage muscle cars worth millions of dollars.

CNBC's "Secret Lives of the Super Rich," got a private tour of the auto stockpile in a recent episode.

The Segerstrom Collection
CNBC
The Segerstrom Collection

The Segerstrom family began amassing their immense fortune in the 1960s, when Ted's father transformed part of their farmland into what is today some of the most expensive real estate in the world: the highest-grossing mall in the U.S., California's South Coast Plaza.

Ted's love of classic cars began when he was a child and has continued throughout his life. Vintage rides even play a role in Ted's retelling of the early days of his relationship with his wife Rae.

"When we were dating back in the 70s — our first date in my '72 Mach 1— we got in an accident," says Ted.

"And I still married him," says Rae.

Ted and Rae Segerstrom
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Ted and Rae Segerstrom

Over the past three decades, Ted has carefully handpicked and cataloged each vintage vehicle in his 85-car collection.

"You don't want the ordinary car," says Ted. "I lean towards the specialty ones."

The collection centers around cars made by racing driver and automotive designer Carroll Shelby.

"We grew up with him as a real symbol," says Ted. "He's a legend."

The Segerstroms now safeguard some of Shelby's most iconic creations, including a pair of 1968 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KRs worth $800,000.

1968 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KRs
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1968 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KRs

Ted says the jewel of his collection, and one of his favorites, is the first Paxton Shelby ever built: a 1966 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Paxton Supercharged, now worth half a million dollars.

"We have such a fondness for those cars," says Ted. "It's really hard to say no."

1966 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Paxton Supercharged
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1966 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Paxton Supercharged

After purchasing each vintage vehicle, the Segerstroms oversee a painstaking restoration process in order to preserve them.

"That's the way we like to have them," says Ted. "This is what made them so special, and that's the way we're going to keep them."

The Segerstrom Collection
CNBC
The Segerstrom Collection

The Segerstroms hope to one day showcase their collection in a car museum, which they plan to run as a non-profit with all proceeds benefiting the Shriners for Children Medical Center in Pasadena, California.

"All profits of the company will go to that hospital every year," says Ted. "That's our life work."

"Secret Lives of the Super Rich" is available on demand on CNBC.

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