More sad news. ICTA member and world famous auto literature collector Walter Miller has passed. Walter was very supportive of this club and antique auto hobby. He posted many Checker promotional photographs from his large collection. RIP and condolences to his family.
Walter provided our members with a wide array of Checker collectible brochures, manuals and photos. Walter generously posted may Checker factory photos into the ICTA Facebook page. He will be greatly missed.
For information about Walter, we have posted the Syracuse
Obit by Rick Moriarty, Syracuse.com
Syracuse, N.Y. — Syracuse’s Walter “Wally” Miller, known by car enthusiasts around the world for his massive collection of original automobile literature, has died.
Miller, 66, died Friday night at Francis House from pancreatic cancer, according to his obituary.
He was an automobile literature collector from an early age. In a 1988 interview with Engineers & Engines magazine, he said he began clipping automobile ads from old magazines when he was 6 years old.
Known as the “auto lit king,” Miller traveled the world collecting millions of pieces of original showroom brochures, owner’s and repair manuals, catalogs, postcards, photos, and poster and showroom displays dating to the 1890s. He told The Post-Standard in 1996 that he got the literature from flea markets, antique shops, art museums, scrap heaps and other dealers.
He collected only originals, no copies. Starting in the 1970s, Miller made a career buying and selling the literature, with customers in more than 100 countries. In 1996, he opened the Museum of Automobile History at 321 N. Clinton St. in Syracuse. It had no cars, but it did have more than 10,000 pieces of memorabilia, ranging from showroom posters to photographs, autographs, letters, toys, design models, cartoons, war posters, movie posters, license plates, and 500 oil paintings and pencil drawings of cars and trucks. It closed in 2003.
Miller was interviewed by car enthusiast and former NBC Tonight host Jay Leno in 2014 as part of a one-hour CNBC special on the Pebble Beach car show. During the show, Miller showed off his 1928 Chrysler Imperial LeBaron. He discontinued the business in March, citing health issues, and announced on his Facebook pagethat he planned to auction his inventory of literature later this year.
He is survived by his wife, Jane; their daughters Minerva and Octavia; his mother, Susan; and his sister Amy. Funeral services and burial will be private, followed by burial in Woodlawn Cemetery.