Why automobile collectibles, you might ask? Well let me tell you, this isn’t my first rodeo!
I’ve always been interested in specialty automobiles. I loved ambulances and hearses when I was a little kid.There was an ambulance/hearse dealer probably five miles from the house. So whenever my grandparents took me to go somewhere I made them drive by there.
I actually bought an ambulance when I turned 16. I had a paper route from when I was 11, so I had money. Unbeknownst to my father, I went and put a downpayment on a gorgeous, 1963 Pontiac ambulance that was in beautiful shape. It was like $1,200 and I needed insurance cards, but I had the money to buy the rest. I went home and told my dad and was all excited. He said, “Well, you can buy the ambulance. But you’re going to have to go live in that somewhere else. The choice is yours.” I was 16 and as badly as I wanted it, the guy gave me my money back and said, “This happens more often than you would think.”
I switched gears and studied broadcast journalism at Syracuse University for one year before transferring to the State University of New York at Brockport for another year. I was a musician (jazz guitar) but was also interested in the technical side, the engineering side. I spent two decades in the music industry as the guy in the middle of the audience with the sound board _ that’s what I used to do. I got out of the sound business because I started feeling too old. I was almost 40 and all the people I’m working for were 20-years-old. Are they going to listen to an old guy? So I sold the sound equipment and put that money into used cars.
Working for an auto wholesaler gave me the opportunity to attend and participate in auctions, which I did as a part-time job for the next 10-12 years. That is, until I got married and my wife got an opportunity in the Eastern part of New York. It turns out her parents lived not very far away and we ended up in Vermont!
During my career in the wholesale automobile business I developed coachbuilt.com, an on-line encyclopedia detailing the history of America’s automotive body builders, some located in the Mohawk Valley. At the 2010 Antique Automobile Club of America’s Fall Meet in Hershey, Pennsylvania, coachbuilt.com was awarded the Society of Automotive Historians’ E.P. Ingersoll Award.
Our first foray in the brick and mortar antique car collectible business began in Vermont’s Green mountains with Motor Library.
In 2010, we opened Adirondack Motorbooks & Collectibles, an independent bookstore and hobby shop focusing on automotive history and die-cast motor vehicles in Holland Patent, NY.
The store, located in the center of Holland Patent, was formerly Jweid’s Market. We purchased the building in 2005, fully stocked with dry goods and decades-old shelves and coolers. After donating the contents to charities, we completely gutted and renovated the building over the course of three years to give it a new lease on life. We constructed the store’s specialized bookcases ourselves, spending almost a year organizing the store’s merchandise for the December 1st opening.
Good car books and die-cast replicas are harder to find in recent years, and we hope to fill the gap the big-box stores have left. We stock more than 5,000 new, used, rare and out of print autotmotive related magazines, sales brochures, advertisements, and books, as well as the Northeast’s largest selection of collectible die cast trucks and automobiles in various scales, with 3,000 models (and counting!!). While our emphasis is on trucks and automobiles, he also carries books and replicas of construction equipment, military vehicles, farm machinery and motorcycles.
Motorsports enthusiast will discover plenty to enjoy, including diecast replicas of the region’s most popular DIRT modifieds, World of Outlaws sprint cars and NASCAR stock cars. Diehard fans will be amazed at the store’s selection of Winston and Sprint Cup books, caps, T-shirts and jackets.