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Passing of a great Literature collector Walter Miller

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I purchase a lot of pieces of Literature from Mr. Walter Miller over the years.  I noticed he hasn't been at Hershey that lat few years


Take from hemmings daily news letter

Remembering Walter Miller, 1953 - 2019

Remembering Walter Miller, 1953 - 2019

Posted by Richard Lentinello - With a deep-seated passion and life-long appreciation for automotive literature, this soft-spoken gentleman was a friend to everyone who ever met him. On Friday, November 15, the collector-car hobby lost a giant of a personality when Walter Miller passed away at age 66. It was a life cut short by pancreatic cancer. Walter began collecting literature on automobiles both American and foreign at a very young age, and he never stopped. He turned his love of printed brochures into a life-long career, one which...Read More see below



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  • 3 months later...

I had heard something about an auction,  but haven't heard about any details and that was last fall.   Probably the only way to effectively sell off a collection of that type as I imagine very few literature collectors or more realistically dealers are in a position to be able or want to acquire an enormous amount of inventory.  

I know from my experience buying,  the larger the lot, especially when you get into collections of over 5000 pieces and especially 10,000 and up,  the value is greatly effected by the volume the person has to buy move and store. 

Recently talked to a seller that has been slowly selling me his rather large collection 100 or so pieces at a time, for which I have bought atleast 5,000 to this point and a friend of his who is also a collector was recently offered 25G for a collection of 47,000 pieces and he thought that was a very fair offer.  I agreed as there are just so few buyers in that range.  

Will be an interesting auction for sure if they do indeed have one. 

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I spoke to Walter extensively while he was sick. I went back to the early 80’s with him, as I didn’t have money for cars, so I made due with the paper. I purchased some very high end collectibles from him in January. He told me 90 percent of the “great stuff” was all sold to one guy, who has put it in semi poor storage........we are talking truck loads here.........and the rest was mostly general trade type materials. He also told me it was going to be a single auction and gave me a time and place, but obviously this has not happened yet. I saw the person who was supposed to handle the auction at Amelia, and he didn’t mention anything to me about it.......if the sale was eminent, he would have said something. My guess is there is a “new” plan in the works. Best, Ed.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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What a shame if not in good storage.  I can guarantee anything that ends up with me will get dispersed to collections throughout the world in fairly short order.  Listed Hudson Stuff last night, every piece I had ,  which wasn't a ton,  but 3 nights of Nash before that and a few nights of Studebaker prior to that. 

Selling 30-40 pieces a night you burn through material fast.  I try to list in an organized manor both chronological and by Manufacture. Seems to work well for buyers to get really good deals on shipping lots and a whole lot easier to pull when you put the order together.

We all love the rare stuff but I find the common stuff sells fairly well as long as your expectations are pretty low.  

You make your money on the good stuff but the Drudge pays the monthly bills.

Seems easiest to buy lots with alot of common stuff and a little rare which you score with, than to pay over the top for only premium stuff only to find it's not as premium as you thought.  I've bought more than a few collections where the buyer's overpaid 3 to 4 times what the item brought on the current market.

I've also found the small stuff you are ready to toss as it doesn't look like it's worth the time to list for 1.99 sells for $50 and the prestige catalog sells for $10.

Hard market to get a handle on selling with the format I use.

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If anyone comes across Staver Chicago material I am probably interested. I have about 3/4 of the yearly sales catalogs but I am missing at least a couple. And the only parts book I have is a photocopy from Harrah's library probably copied at least 30 years ago. It's usable but it would be nice to have an original.

Greg in Canada

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