By Diana West Note: This feature is in the June TT&C 2015 issue.
A favorite in Burnace Pence’s True Value collection is #20, a 1918 Ford Runabout w/semi-trailer, that was issued in 2000. (Photo by Diana West.)
These pieces of Burnace Pence’s True Value collection have Pearl Bros. name on it. (Photo by Diana West.)
The only True Value vehicles issued in a multiple pack was #19 released in 2000, which were 1913 Ford Model “T” Vans in 1:43” and 1.25” scales. (Photo by Diana West.)
Burnace Pence, 80, of Webb City, Mo., has the complete set of True Value die-cast vehicles, dating to when the series began in 1982. While he has all 33 of the vehicles, one issued each year, with the True Value logo, he didn’t necessarily buy them in order. “I don’t remember the first one I bought or when I actually started collecting them,” he says. He admits he has no connection to True Value hardware stores other than shopping there. Burnace bought some of his vehicles at Pearl Bros. True Value hardware store in nearby Joplin, Mo. He says they usually retail for about $32. Suggested retail price varies from $29.99 to $34.99. “Whenever something different comes out, I buy it,” he says. If he misses buying a model when a new issue is first released, he searches for it at auctions. At one time, he shopped toy shows as far away as Kansas City and Springfield, Mo., and Tulsa, Okla., but in recent years has limited his shopping to local auctions. “I go to auctions, where I find stuff,” he says. He has also bought some pieces through mail-order or online. He admits to buying duplicates or even triplicates of the same model. “If I like it and I’m not sure that I have it, I buy it,” he says. Later, he realizes he already has that model. He says he doesn’t keep any records of what he has so often ends up with more than one of a model. “I’m bad about that,” he says. “I don’t keep track of them. That’s how I end up with doubles.” Although he doesn’t really want to part with the multiple models, he knows he must. He has given some away, offered others for prizes in contests and sold some.
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