Fired Up

| November 2001

Eddie Laginess knew he had a keeper on his hands. He'd been to the same local flea market dozens of times but had never turned up any additions to his spark plug collection, but this day was different. A man had a table strewn with automotive junk and, there among the parts, sat a coffee can filled with plugs. Eddie asked how much they were and the man said they were $2. Eddie began digging into the can, adding $2 to the total each time he found another plug he wanted. After a minute or so, the seller, perhaps concerned that he was in the presence of a haggler, piped up, saying, 'I know those old plugs are used, but I aim's taking a penny less than $2 for the whole can.'

'When I heard that,' Eddie says, 'I quit digging and paid the man, grabbed the can and headed for the car.'

Dumping out the can in the trunk, Eddie was delighted. In his $2 can of plugs were some plugs that the collector had never seen before, including a Taco plug with round ball center and ground electrodes. 'I think my eyes jumped out of my head,' Eddie recalls.

The can of spark plugs was not the true keeper, however. 'What was real neat about the flea market,' Eddie says, 'was the fact that my girlfriend seemed as excited as I was to find the plugs. I though, 'Hey, this girl is all right.' So, a couple of years later, I married her and now we have four kids and thousands of old spark plugs.'

The Laginesses also have a museum that has sprung from their collection, filled with automobilia and other items at their home in Carleton, Mich.

'I started spark plug collecting when I was very young,' Eddie explains. 'My father was a very avid collector of antique cars, hit-and-miss engines and any other old relic that caught his eye. My brother Tim and myself were dragged along to many old car swap meets. While Dad was buying cars and parts, Tim and I were always exposed to neat old junk.'