Smith-Miller Toy Co.

Founded in Los Angeles, California and operated from 1944 to 1958. Fred Thompson in California acquired the Smith-Miller name as well as existing stock in the spring of 1979.

Fred had bought Smith-Miller trucks as a kid. He still had several and needed parts to restore them. Unlike today, original or replacement parts for Smith-Miller trucks were not available. Not to be deterred, Fred called information in Santa Monica where he thought the company had last been located but with no luck. For some reason that he cannot explain or remember, a few weeks later he called Los Angeles information. After considerable time spent by an unusually cooperative operator, she found a listing for Smith-Miller, Incorporated in the white pages. The owner had maintained a phone for the inoperative company. Fred had located the former Smith-Miller factory.

After several calls for an appointment, Fred was finally able to get into the factory. The factory was easy to spot, because the sign still hung over the door. Thereafter, he made recurring trips to obtain parts for his trucks. On occasion, he would express to the owner an interest in obtaining the remnants of the company.

In the spring of 1979, a 'toy deal' unlike few that had preceded or have followed was being concluded. Fred Thompson, the heretofore restorer of Smith-Miller trucks who had found the former company four years earlier, was going to buy the whole company!

What became the stock, materials inventory and tooling for the resurrected Smith-Miller Corporation was moved to several locations with reasonable attempts to inventory the holdings. While plans for the future were being considered, the lure of immediate profits by reselling his acquisition was dismissed by the new owner. Interested buyers seemed likely to use the assets to reproduce formerly issued Smith-Miller trucks. That prospect did not appeal to the toy collector instincts in Fred. As a result, to date no Smith-Miller trucks have been reproduced or reissued. Rumors to the contrary still persist but are simply not true.

Fred Thompson decided that two courses of action would best benefit the company and Smith-Miller truck collectors alike. These were to first sell the Smith-Miller trucks in production and in stock and then to make new trucks of at least equal quality that had never before been produced.

website: www.smithmillertoytrucks.com

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