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bitten by the Mustang bug, he ac-

quired two other Mustangs and even-

tually sold all three to pump the

money into his business. For penance

he drove a ratty Nissan while thinking

about Ferraris, Lamborghinis and


When he realized it was possible

to make decent money in his antiques

business, along with buying used cars

and fixing them up to make them reli-

able before selling them, he left the

bank. Over a period of years he figures

about fifty cars went through his

hands. He began putting all of his time

and efforts into buying and selling an-

tiques, with the goal of specializing in

higher-end objects.

Atzbach was working about 120

hours a week and doing well. He was

making a lot of contacts and was

building up an impressive inventory.

But he felt himself getting burned-out.

He was so busy making money that he

had no time to spend it. That’s when

he went to the Monterey car week

with the intention of buying a Shelby

at one of the auctions. He came home

with a ‘68 GT500KR (which he still

has) and a Boss 302. His life was be-

ginning to acquire some meaning.


Collecting always starts with a car. Some people own only one and collect stuff. Others

collect only cars. But usually both go hand-in-hand. Atzbach’s collection of cars is

nowhere near his memorabilia collection, but he has managed to snag a few historically

important examples. For example, he has half of all the 1966 GT350 convertibles made.

And what about the petrolania? That might be a new word for you. Atzbach says he just

likes the gas and oil signs. He also has a small room that has nothing but outdoor ther-

mometers, the kind you used to see at gas stations, candy stores, burger joints and malt

shops pitching just about every brand of soda pop you can name.

Winter 2016 65