As promised to Les, I would start the Toy session …
A bit of history how I got started with steel toys …
Back in 1998, while at an antique show, I met a dealer that specialized in “restored” items: toys, coin-op stuff, slot_machines, what have you. I asked Keith if accepts restoration work. He gladly said “yes”. He asked me what I had in mid for restoration. I told him a “rusty” cast iron toy. Keith told me to bring it to next show & he would take care of it. Cut the story short, the toy was restored in a month. Could not wait to get to Keith’s house to see the work. Got there & much to my surprise a killer restoration. Keith told me: “this is nothing. Let me show you the rest of stuff I have restored for other folks”.
Could not believe when entered the room full of restored coin-op machines (Scales, Gumball machines, Slot machines, etc). Then I saw two big trucks on the floor. I asked Keith about them.
Keith replied: “ They are called pressed-steel trucks that were introduced early 1920. They belong to a fella with deep-pockets. I can introduce you to Bill when I deliver the trucks to him at the next show”.
I could not wait to meet Bill. Came Saturday of the show & got there by 10 AM. While roaming around the show, I got a call from Keith that Bill is waiting at his booth. Got there & we were introduced but Bill was kind of cold. It took Bill 3 months to warm up to me. He finally invited me to visit him. Arrived at Bill’s house Saturday morning around 10 AM. Could not believe when I entered the house. 5-Bedroom house full of trains & toys. I am not talking about small trains. They are 1/6 scale steam engines & cars that are used in parks. The killer one was the Union Pacific Diesel with tender. Bill told me it was made by a master-craftsman all from scratch. Only one in the world. It cost him $20K back in 1985. That is a lot of money then. But Bill told me he had to have it.
What a Beauty!
Bill’s other passion: Steel trucks, Buses & Vans. All with “custom” paint job. Few painted as original.
I must admit I got the “virus” about steel toys then and the idea of “custom” trucks from original trucks.
My passion : 1920-1938 Buddy L
1920 : Sturditoy, Kelmet, American national & Steelcraft
I will start with Bill’s on my 1st visit.
To be continued ...