Ron started collecting the museum’s toys in the 1980s. We’ll let Ron tell his own story:

When I began collecting toys, I was already in love with Mercedes, and other fine European marques. I decided then that I would aspire to own every Mercedes toy made. I was naive. It didn’t take me long to realize that buying new toys was like pitching an ice cube into the ocean in the hopes of cooling it down.

I began to buy strictly antique toys. Over the years, my focus narrowed even more to specific manufacturers like Tippco, and models that were interesting, like race-cars or open cars, or those steeped in history or loaded with provenance.

As in business, I wasn’t afraid to pay a little too much for something I really liked, or was exceedingly rare. Soon those buys looked great, as antique toys continued to increase in value. In the ‘90’s, I accumulated About 60 antique real cars, but decided to sell most of them in 1999, after selling my chain of junkyards to Ford Motor Company. The big cars were a pain in the rear, and toys were easy to store and enjoy, and had an ever-increasing value with no overhead expenses. In the ‘90’s, I started buying automotive art, including paintings and bronzes, if they engaged me, although my first love remained toys.

I hope you enjoy my collection; it’s been my pleasure to open it up to my friends and put it on display here at the museum and, to the world on this web site. Today the collection is approaching 3,000 pieces. I am known for my Driving School Model collections, and have perhaps the largest collection in the world. Automotive enthusiasts and gearheads love it as it’s extremely engaging for folks who have a technical appreciation for its exquisite detail and accuracy. Please visit that portion of the site.

Please email Curator Rodney Ross with any questions, corrections, or perhaps offers of a rare toy you have for sale. I haven’t sold any of my toys to date, and don’t have any plans to do so. Thanks again, and as my old friend and famous toy collector Al Marwick (1920-1999) once said, “The fun is in the search.”.