I love finding “stuff” I’m not looking for. It’s similar to how I often think about what Rick D’Louhy and I do. That is, we like to say “we specialize in finding cars no one’s looking for.” And that’s how it is about today’s story.
In our quest to find the rare and often coveted literature associated with small fiberglass sports car companies, we’ve been fortunate to become friends with some pretty powerful literature collectors out there. And one of the most impressive people we’ve found in this area is good friend Alden Jewell.
Alden has been collecting literature since he was very young – writing to companies and visiting dealerships to find very rare and desirable items. And he’s been sharing with me some of this favorite pieces via his website he maintains via flickr. Click here to visit Alden’s flickr photostream.
So one day Alden mentioned to me he had just found a great new piece that he had been searching for – for quite a while. This was a piece from 1953 that allowed children to build a Nash Dealership – cars, buildings, people, and even an elevator.
Of course I had to start looking for one and sure enough…some months later….I found one on ebay. And what an amazingly detailed piece this is. First of all, the entire package is quite large – about 18” x 18”. Second, the set of instructions opens into a sheet that is nearly 2 feet tall. These instructions show how to assemble everything that is part of the dealership which includes the building, the cars, and all of the equipment.
It is amazingly complex! I started to wonder just who were these kids who would be assembling such a thing. The detail on each piece is wonderful. The colors, the cars, the building….what a neat piece this would be to assemble and display. Let’s have a look at all of the pieces that are part of this package. And remember…you can click on any of the photos below to make the image larger on your screen.
So Alden and I wonder how many of these were actually built? No doubt many were started, but did anyone out there have the tenacity and the patience, and capability to finish such a project? And are there any built ones still in existence?
And thus I made a proposal to Alden. Next time he is in Tampa, Florida I offered to have him help build this kit into a finished project. But the more I look at it, the more I wonder if Alden and I can actually complete such a thing? I would guess this is a many, many, many hour project – not something that could be completed in just one or two evenings.
Anyone want to join Alden on his trip to Florida to visit Fiberglass Farms? I know we’ll put you to work helping us test the waters and see if just one more 1953 Nash Dealership could be built. I would be honored to display this prominently in my home. What fun!
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…
Marshall Foxworthy found a photo of a Nash Dealership that was actually built on the following website: Click here to view the website, and I’ve posted the photo below:
And….Alden Jewell found some wonderful advertising showing the “Nash Dealership Kits” announced in a newspaper – see below:
Many thanks to both Marshall Foxworthy and Alden Jewell for these contributions
Mike Reilly contact me this week with additional information about this model – and some beautiful photos of it assembled. He has quite a story to tell for Mike is the Catalog Librarian of the AACA Library and Research Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
As part of their story on this same literature, Mike discussed the assembly and build of this Nash Dealership model – a story that I recommend reviewing to all of you to review. Thanks to Mike for contacting me and sharing a bit more information with our readers, and here is what Mike shared with me earlier this week:
I saw your post get mentioned on the Hemmings blog and thought I’d chime in a bit. Here at the AACA Library we received one of these models a little over year ago. We also put it together for it to be put on display.
I wrote an article for our publication Antique Automobile in the July/Aug 2013 Issue. I photo documented the whole process, as it was quite a process. I don’t know how they expected kids to put these things together. Feel free to link to the article on our website and check out the pics.
I too was curious about how many were out there, and we didn’t have any info on them here in the library. That advertisement was awesome to see as we don’t have that here as well.
Here is the direct link to the article on our website page (this one has more pics)
and here it is as a pdf as it appeared in the magazine
Glad to see more of these pop up out there.
AACA Library and Research Center
501 West Governor Road, Hershey, PA 17033
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