Sam Adelman's N.Y. Full Classic Junkyard

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27 Nov 2010 05:40 #18550 by silverghost
silverghost replied the topic:
Chris & Others:
Rumor control~

Duesenberg "J" Rumors in the 70s !

I had often heard rumors of an older fellow that had six Duesenberg "J" s in barn storage and would not allow anyone to see them; nor would he sell any~
These were known cars; not undiscoverd new finds !

There was also a story of a model "J" in a junkyard that the owner would not sell.
Supposedly it was rough; but fairly complete.
It was often said he turned down $40 K in the mid 1970s !
Later I had heard that it was finally in fact sold ?

Now both these were rumors that were circulating around the car collector world in the 70s-80s ~

Is there any truth at all to both these rumors above ?

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. BRAD HUNTER Huntingdon Valley Pa/Ocean City NJ 215 947 4676 Engineer & RE Developer Brass & Classic Auto, Antique Boat, Mechanical Automatic Music Machine, & Jukebox Collector

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27 Nov 2010 19:30 #18554 by mikespeed35
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One of Pollards cars, a L-29 Cab., showed up a Auburn a few years ago with the front of both front fenders in fiberglass because thay had rusted off being stored nose down.
CORDially Mike

Mike Huffman

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28 Nov 2010 05:56 #18556 by silverghost
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James Melton, the high-profile popular singer had 110 cars at one time ! He was known worldwide for his interest in antique cars. Think of him as the Jay Leno of antique car collecting in his day ! Everyone who listened to Melton on Radio or TV knew of his car collecting hobby; and that is how he got many of his rare brass-era cars.
His collection would be worth tens of millions today !
Some of his cars were very rare, one only,survivors like his Speedwell raceabout.

James Melton lived in Weston Ct. not far from his friend Arthur"Jim" Hoe.
Dad knew Melton but he had already moved his collection to Fla. before I got to meet Jim Hoe in the 50s-late 60s.

Hoe often talked of working on many of Melton's restoration projects.
Jim Hoe and his "Sportscar Garage" crew restored or maintained many of James Melton's cars; mostly mechanical work.
Hoe also found cars for melton's growing collection.

Melton was also close friends to NY collector "Austie" Clarke ,and Sam Adelman .
All these early mega collectors knew each other in those days !

If we only had that time machine so we could all go back to buy those rare Antiques & Classics at 1940s_1950s prices !
I doubt that the Melton estate got very much for that entire fantastic collection when they sold it in 1961 ? !

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. BRAD HUNTER Huntingdon Valley Pa/Ocean City NJ 215 947 4676 Engineer & RE Developer Brass & Classic Auto, Antique Boat, Mechanical Automatic Music Machine, & Jukebox Collector

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28 Nov 2010 06:21 #18557 by Chris Summers
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Winthrop Rockefeller bought most of Melton's cars in 1961. Bill Harrah - a friend of the tenor - bought some others previously, and wound up with the rest when he bought out Rockefeller's collection in 1975. Harrah was not one to shortchange when buying cars and so the ones he purchased from the Melton were likely bought at fair prices.

My personal favorite Melton car was his favorite as well, a 1907 Rolls-Royce, actually the second Silver Ghost in the country. This car later wound up in Rick Carroll's collection and was sold back to England at his estate auction. Melton drove the car on numerous early Glidden Tours and on other tours all over the country. One of the best stories on Margo Melton Nutt's blog is of "Operation Brass Lamp," the tale of the lengths Melton had to go to when replacing a headlight that fell off his Rolls and under its wheels.

According to Ken Purdy, most of Melton's restorations were performed by an "elderly master mechanic," Conrad Lofink, working one car at a time in a one-car garage. Cosmetic work was by Gus Reuter of the Bronx, later Ridgefield, CT (Reuter's Coach Works). I seem to recall that Reuter descendants are still doing restoration work today.

Purdy's story on Gus Reuter, "The Body Beautiful," appeared originally in the September 1970 issue of "Holiday," as well as in his "Book of Automobiles." It is a wonderful insight into old-school restoration as practiced by Hoe, Reuter, and others.

Chris Summers
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Chandler-Cleveland Motor Club
CCCA

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

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29 May 2013 06:46 #25241 by silverghost
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I just had a long phone conversation with one of my late Father's older Classic Car friends.

The subject of Sam Adelman & his classic car wrecking yard came-up in our marathon coversation.

As I had mentioned earlier in this thread Sam had a pet rooster that lived in a Springfield Rolls~Royce towncar on his wrecking yard's business property.
I was reminded that the name of Sam's pet rooster was "Mr. Melton" as Sam's joke tribute to his close Antique & Classic Car collector friend James Melton the famous popular singer & early car collector.
Sam also insisted that if you planned to visit his scrapyard on a weekend you should arrive eary just before the "Chickens woke-up ! "
I remember my late Father getting me up at 4:00 AM to leave the Phila area to be up at Sam's place on time !
Sam was a very smart, & sharp, fellow !
I was also told, by my Dad's friend, that in an earlier life Sam had been a big-time NY stockbroker until the Big 1929 Stock Market Crash.
Sam had once been a very welthy guy~~that is~~until the market's bottom fell-out I was told.
Then to make ends meet Sam then chose to drive a NY cab until he had saved up enough money to start his Classic Car Salvage Yard business.
He bought his very first yard, already a car scrapyard, in Brooklyn NY for $300 !
Soon he found that he needed much more space and then he moved the entire operation to Mount Vernon NY.
Sam stayed with this Classic Scrapyard Wrecking business until his passing in 1967 ?
I beieve many car collectors then bought-up his remaining cars & spare parts when he passed-away.
It is said that RROC member, & noted restorer, Frank Cooke bought most all his Springfield Rolls~Royce parts.

I am also told that Admiral Byrd had bought Classic car parts from Sam !
There are notes & letters to Sam Adelman in Admiral Byrd's libray arcives.
Was he a Cassic Car Collector ? ? ?

These great old Classics from the NY, Ct. & the entire North East USA seemed to somehow find their way to Sam's salvage & auto wrecking scrapyard~~~
He soon became known all over the USA ,if not the word, as the go-to guy for buying & selling old 20s-30s Classic Cars & their hard to find parts.
He especially loved Springfield Rolls~Royces, Pierce Arrows, Packards , and almost Any brand of formal towncar.

I was also told that many of Barney Pollard's 700+ cars in his giant collection / hoard had come directly from Sam's wrecking yard.

Other Collectors such as~ ~
James Melton , as well as Austin Clark, & early Classic car restorers, Jim Hoe, of Sportscar Garage fame in Westin Ct., & Frank Cooke, of Springfield Rolls~Royce restoration fame had also bought many great Clasic cars, & replacement spare parts, from Sam.

Sam's yard was located at 635 South Columbus Ave. Mount Vernon New York.
At any point in time 40-50 full Classics were packed tightly sid-by-side & bumper-to-bumper.
Tall piles of Buffalo Wire Wheel Corp of America wire wheels were piled up eight feet high.

Sam would always be seen chomping on a cheap cigar burning in his mouth.
If it was really cold outside he would ask you to come inside "to Florida" and sit inside his office where he had a very large pot-bellied stove burning with scraps of old wood from old fruit crates.
His antique phone on his roll-top desk was always ringing with calls from collectors seeking parts & cars.
You could barely get inside the door while the piles of removed rare spare parts were everywhere.
He had radiator mascots & caps piled on his desk.
I once saw six Springfield Flying Lady mascots in a small pile inside the old oak roll-top desk !
There was only one low wattage drop light bulb to illuminate the office.
In spite of this large dis-array of piled parts Sam seemed to always know his entire parts stock~~~where each item was located~~~and could put his hands on whatever you needed very quickly.
Sam knew the complete history of every car in his yard; along with the technical mechanical specifications of each car brand & model.
He was really a walking Classic Car encyclopedia !

To have visited Sam Adelman at his classic car parts wrecking yard ,when I was an 8-12 y/o, kid was an experience that I shall never Ever forget !

Sam was an early AACA & CCCA member and started & sponsored several early New York area car show events.

We believe Sam passed-away sometime in 1967 ?

[ Samuel Adelman 1894~1967 ]

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. BRAD HUNTER Huntingdon Valley Pa/Ocean City NJ 215 947 4676 Engineer & RE Developer Brass & Classic Auto, Antique Boat, Mechanical Automatic Music Machine, & Jukebox Collector

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29 May 2013 15:48 #25246 by RandyEma
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Brad. Adm Byrd had classic cars as new cars but not as collector cars ie 1927 Pierce Arrow limo. But his son had collected classics ie Duesenberg and others as used cars. Randy

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