Sparking Interest in Old Spark Plugs

Lowly old spark plugs becoming highly collectible

| December 1999

I have always been a collector. In my youth, it was bottle caps, then rocks. From there I progressed to Coca Cola items, and finally to the niche I've occupied since 1972: antique gas engines originally used on the farm. 

At an engine show in 1985, a friend introduced me to the hobby of collecting old spark plugs. I had known Craig Solmenson as a collector of gas engines. But the words he greeted me with on that February day were:

"Got any old spark plugs?"

"Why?" I asked.

"Well, I've been collecting them for a while now," he said.

A collection, I thought. What are there, maybe a half a dozen different brands? But I politely said "Really. How many do you have?"