Story and photos by Ron Kowalke
It’s taken David Zocchi most of his lifetime to accumulate several buildings full of vintage cars and parts, but with age, his collecting focus has shifted. While it may seem having a large collection of automotive-related items would never be considered a problem, having too much stuff does have a downside. Maintenance expenses related to keeping the cars operational, the costs of keeping up storage buildings and associated insurance, electricity and pest-control charges, all adds up on the bottom line. Often, as long-time collectors realize, these associated worries of costs, theft and damage from Mother Nature, rodents and/or vandals prevents enjoying a collection to its fullest when compared to something smaller and more manageable in scope.
Zocchi’s automotive collection is wide-ranging, and includes cars, trucks, bicycles, toys, petroliana, automobilia and lots of parts. The northern Ohio enthusiast reached a decision earlier this year to rein in his collection and keep what’s most important to him and sell the rest. An ad in the Oct. 6 issue of Old Cars Weekly concisely said it all: “60 years of cars, parts, memorabilia, antiques and much more * A must-see, too much to list * four buildings full”, and, most importantly, what Zocchi told Old Cars Weekly, “90 percent of it is for sale.”
Wanting to minimize problems, Zocchi said he is showing his collection to potential buyers by appointment only. He’ll reveal the location of the items for sale only to those he speaks with on the phone and feels are seriously interested in what he has to sell.
What he has to sell, according to Zocchi, began to take shape almost 40 years ago. “I loved cars all my life,” Zocchi explained. “But it wasn’t until 1972 that [my collecting] started as a serious hobby. Before that, I occasionally had old cars — mostly Model A Fords.”
Even though he admits to liking all brands of cars, Zocchi’s collection has its most depth in Ford products. “I’ve belonged to the Nifty Fifties Ford Club since 1972,” Zocchi said. When Old Cars Weekly recently toured his collection, the bulk of parts cars, parts and restored cars on his property bore the Blue Oval, but there also were enough non-Ford representatives to keep it interesting. One example of this is a 1953 Oldsmobile Super 88 convertible, of which only 8,310 were produced. The ragtop is in show condition, and Zocchi said he’d like to see someone buy it and enjoy it, as he doesn’t have the time to drive it.
Zocchi said his parts collection ranges from the 1930s to ’70s, and includes starters, generators, rear ends and suspension parts. He has two cargo vans parked on his property that are each filled from top to bottom with parts. He has a good memory of what all exists. The same recall is evident with the many shelving units of parts, literature and toys he displays in his main shop.
Anyone interested in making an appointment to view Zocchi’s collection, call 330-472-9346.