By Yvette Vanderbrink
One thing great about the country we live in is that America gives us the freedom to do anything that we want to do. Kerry McAvoy, is no exception. This southern gentleman started from humble beginnings in Wilks County, Georgia. His dad farmed and owned a sawmill where Kerry helped his dad and learned the trade. He watched his dad work hard and built a business only to lose it. Kerry learned some hard lessons from the ordeal. He followed his dad to Atlanta and made his living making chair backs until chrome dining sets came in style and that venture ended too.
One day Kerry was helping his Dad clear some land and he’d had it with his current situation and threw down his ax and hitch hiked back to town and joined the Navy. Kerry eventually was commissioned on a minesweeper ship. Prior to shipping out Kerry had fallen in love with the neighbor gal, Nancy, at 16 they knew they were meant for each other. Nancy wasn’t his only love, cars were always a part of Kerry’s life. What Guy didn’t want a car to cruise around in? Kerry was a bit of a “Rook” and loved “ol’ bootlegging” Ford coupes. Nancy and Kerry got married while he was in the Navy and kids followed. After Kerry was done serving in the Navy they moved back home with their 2 girls and a boy. They’ve enjoyed 61 years of married bliss and adventure.
Kerry and Nancy started their own sawmill business. He also ventured into making box springs and eventually sold the division. After the sale he began cutting special order wood trusses for customers; today they ship all over the U.S. It is now a family affair and Kerry Jr. runs the business and still gets advice from his dad.
The success of Kerry’s business allowed him to enjoy the old cars hobby and collecting of automotive memorabilia. Kerry and Nancy have bought cars all over the U.S. and brought them home to join their collection. History is a big part of Kerry’s life and he surrounded himself with memories of his childhood and growing up in Wilk’s County. In 1995 Kerry built themed buildings on his land. One of the buildings was a country store that he adorns with the Sinclair gas pump and island similar to one where he grew up. He built a Saloon which holds family functions and even weddings. The collection consists of beautiful porcelain and neon signs. Kerry has over 300 signs that are painted tin, porcelain, and neon that advertise Petroliana Automotive and country store favorites. Kerry also bought those Fords that he loved so much growing up. A beautiful 1934 five-window coupe, 1935 coupe, and a 1940 Ford coupe. The collection also has 1957 Chevrolets, Ford, Chevrolet, and even a Studebaker pickup. One of the pickups was supposed to have been built by Dale Earnhardt’s engine crew. A rare piece of this collection is a 1933 Ford pickup that Kerry saw while driving home on day and bought it to be restored to a beautiful hotrod. There is also a 1929 Ford hot rod pickup that was featured in Hot Rod Magazine. They have had a lot of fun sharing their collection with people, but now they have decided to sell his vehicles and signs.
VanDerBrink Auctions will offer this fabulous collection at auction NO RESERVE on October 22nd at his home in Washington, Georgia. The auction will sell fabulously restored car and pickup collections along with over 300 signs. There are over 20 neon signs, rare gas & oil porcelain signs, painted tin signs, and so much more.
The auction will start at 9am with the vehicles and the remainder of the day will focus on the sale of the sign collection. There will be a preview and bar-b-que on Friday the 21st where you’ll get the chance to see these fabulous cars and signs. Plan to attend this auction in person, but if you can’t make it - the lots will be available for online bidding. This is a fabulous collection that includes rare signs and beautifully restored cars and pickups. You won’t want to miss this auction. So come on down and spend the day at the McAvoy Farm in Washington, Georgia and bring home a fabulous piece of this collection. For more info, video, and complete catalog. Go to our website at www.vanderbrinkauctions.com or Call VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC at 605-201-7005.