Main Street Shop Features Cars And Collectibles

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Gasoline Alley on Main Street offers one of the most eclectic collections among all the antique and collectible stores in the Rim Country.

The selection includes low-mileage specialty cars, such as Corvettes and Vipers, as well as a selection of smaller collectibles, antiques and new pieces.

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Debbie Stuart and her husband, Mike, have been operating the Gasoline Alley shop since February. One of the area's more unique antique and collectibles shops, Gasoline Alley carries actual cars, along with automobile-related items, including a gas pump, as well as something for just about everyone. Debbie is showing off a talking "Betty Boop" limited edition cookie jar.

Mike and Debbie Stuart bought the building at 407 W. Main St. in December and opened the shop in February.

"We have loved the building for years and missed out on buying it a couple of times, so we didn't waste any time when it became available," Debbie said.

Mike's background is in auto sales.

The couple had a dealership in the Valley, which they sold, and the building on Main Street provided an opportunity to sell both cars and collectibles.

"We've bought things from all over the country," Mike said. "But in this business, you do sell some of your own collection."

Among the "smaller" items are auto-related items such as old signs and reproductions, gas pumps, lighted clocks, neons and oddities.

There are John Wayne collectibles, which are popular, Mike said. The John Wayne pieces sit on one of the older items in the shop, a 1907 egg incubator that was heated with lanterns.

The Stuarts have lots of Coca-Cola memorabilia, both collectibles and reproductions.

There are also collectibles featuring the Beatles and Elvis Presley, and lots of "Betty Boop" pieces, including a talking cookie jar.

The shop has bar lights and autographed photos of celebrities that are accompanied by certificates of authenticity.

Mike is especially proud of his selection of coin-operated machines.

He has quite a few from various eras.

"With this one, you'd put in a penny and get a gumball, and the images inside would spin," he said. "If it stopped on three of the same brand of cigarettes, you'd get those, too."

He said the machines were trade stimulators and in the case of the cigarette one was a way to get around anti-gambling laws.

Another of his favorites is a fortune-telling machine featured on a ‘Twilight Zone' episode, Mike said.

The "Betty Boop" talking cookie jar is one of several the store carries. All are limited editions, Debbie said.

There is a variety of antiques and firefighter collectibles, and a seven-foot Colonel Sanders weather vane that the old Kentucky Fried Chicken shops used to have on their roofs.

The shop also carries a lot of game room items, including juke boxes, and nostalgic candy, such as Sugar Babies and bubblegum cigars.

The shop also provides a venue for Debbie's handmade jewelry. Each piece is created using genuine Swarovski crystals and genuine stones, such as turquoise, coral, red jasper and sterling silver.

The Stuarts carry a collection of greeting cards, lots of refrigerator magnets and Smokehouse Pottery Candles.

The couple has owned a home in the area since 1984 and has been able to live here full-time for about a year.

"Our experience so far is a lot of men come in for gifts for their wives, then the wives come in for gifts for them," Debbie said.

"We meet a lot of nice people," Mike said. "That is part of the business, building relationships with people you might not have met otherwise."

Gasoline Alley, located at 407 W. Main St., is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, but often you will find one or both Stuarts working at the shop other days and they will open for you to visit.

For more information, call (928) 474-4932.

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