Classic & Collectible Cars was established in 1982 in North Las Vegas by Larry Nicholl. Larry had recently retired after 22 years of military service in the US Air Force. Along with his sons, he specialized in sale of classic Mustang parts, restoration and the sale of collector cars. During this time, Larry and his eldest son Greg operated the small shop on Losee Road in North Las Vegas. This business grew and relocated to Las Vegas and became the most recognized and respected Mustang shop in Southern Nevada. In 1986, Larry sold the Mustang parts and restoration end of the business and began to focus primarily in the sales and appraising of all types of classic and special interest automobiles. He built a facility on Arville Street near Tropicana, to house the newly directed Classic & Collectible Cars. He continued to operate in this facility for several years until its sale of the building in the mid 1990s. By this time, his sons had left the business to pursue other interests and the shop had shrunk to a manageable, one man operation.
In 1997, youngest son Michael Nicholl proposed to take over the business and resurrect the Classic & Collectible Cars name. Michael had always worked with business after school through his graduation from UNLV. He left his job as an insurance claims representative to embark on this new endeavor. His focus would be same – to buy, sell and appraise classic and special interest automobiles. At the time, the internet was an emerging marketplace. Michael saw the opportunity to begin to market and sell collector cars in a new way. With an established reputation, Classic & Collectible Cars grew quickly, and at its height occupied a leased 15,000 square foot facility housing a 65 car inventory. In 2002, Larry purchased its last location on Sheridan Street. The company operated in the Sheridan location for 11 years. In 2012, second eldest son Jeff Nicholl left 25 years of Las Vegas community banking to take over the company's expanding appraisal service. Through the years Jeff's sons Chris Greibling and Brett Nicholl have worked in the business. Brett worked with the company for six years and now currently operates a classic car appraisal and inspection business in Northern California. After six years, Chris left the company in 2006 and is now a Purchasing Manager for Scott Drake Enterprises. Scott Drake is the largest vintage Mustang parts manufacturer in the US.
Concerns came at the beginning the Great Recession. Dealing in luxury items at a time when US unemployment surged, we worried that sales could dwindle to nothing. At the height of the financial crisis, our sales dropped but remained strong enough to survive the downturn. What was initially a concern turned into a new market opportunity. Our foreign sales began to surge. As the US dollar weakened, foreign currencies remained strong. This fueled a upswing in foreign sales that continues today. Our cars have been shipped to several countries including Australia, Germany, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Japan, England, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Spain. Today, upwards of 60% or more of our sales are still to foreign buyers. It remains a key part of our marketing strategy and success.
In addition to the four Nicholl family members, Classic & Collectible Cars has three additional employees. They include office manager Kami Perkins who will be celebrating her 17th year with the company. Mechanic Phil Fast has been with the company eight years. We also have Jim Haferkamp on our team. Jim owned and operated Mustangs of Las Vegas for several years. He now handles the bulk of our Mustang work.
In early 2013, Michael and Jeff purchased the abandoned Normandy Bakery located at 3701 Sirius Avenue. The building was an neighborhood eyesore that had been gutted by fire. The move was prompted by the need for a larger lot and a brighter and better showroom for the cars. The new shop features a bright warehouse showroom, fenced outdoor storage, customer lobby and offices. The goal was not to be bigger, but to improve our presentation.
The Classic & Collectible Cars business philosophy has proved to be a solid one. We offer quality collector cars at affordable, market competitive prices. The most active market is not in top quality show cars but is more in driver quality cars that can be had a reasonable prices. Successful sales have been found in the $10,000 to $30,000 price bracket. More importantly, our sales goal is to offer personalized, friendly and professional service. This comes from our experienced staff and extensive knowledge about collector cars. We offer our online customers extensive photos and shipping services. We purposely keep the business small and manageable. We strive to accurately represent our cars. Classic cars can be a dream or, for some, an emotional purchase. We want meet our customer's expectations on a personal level. Over the years, many of our customers have become good friends. This has earned us an excellent reputation worldwide with numerous repeat customers. Ninety percent of our sales are internet generated. We have a strong internet presence with our website www.classiccarlasvegas.com and through extensive advertising on leading collector car websites.
Our success has also been fueled by Las Vegas’ international fame and instant name recognition. National and international customers alike, know the Las Vegas brand. It has greatly aided us in our marketing. It invariably puts us at the top of the list for customers who are willing to travel to find a classic car. The Las Vegas brand has also aided our production rental business. As one of the top shooting locations in the US, production companies from all over the world have used our cars for both still photography and moving production in and around Southern Nevada. Our cars have been used by numerous production companies including MTV, Sony, GQ, Playboy, Town & Country, Travel Channel and in numerous music videos and short films. You will also see Michael, on numerous episodes of History Channel’s Counting Cars and on Discovery’s Vegas Rat Rods.
Our unique business is well positioned in the Las Vegas market. We are one of only a few collector car dealerships in the valley. We are the longest running classic car dealership in Southern Nevada. Our production knowledge, price point and quality gives us an advantage over all others who tend to focus their efforts on much more expensive collector cars.
The future looks bright for Classic & Collectible Cars. The collector car hobby and Las Vegas are at the height of their popularity. We stock 20-25 vehicles in our inventory. On average we are turning over 50% of the inventory on a monthly basis. Our greatest challenge is not in sales, but lies in stocking the showroom with new inventory. We have great success in consignment. While we try to purchase as many vehicles as we can in Las Vegas, we also have moved to purchase more vehicles in the states surrounding Nevada. Our appraisal business remains steady with numerous large clients like State Farm, Allstate and several local law offices.
Classic automobiles are at the heart of America and becoming more so across the globe. Classic & Collectible Cars plans to serve the hobby for years to come!