|Lillian Gottschalk, collector of antique toy cars, dies at 84|
LOS ANGELES - Lillian B. Gottschalk, who collected hundreds of antique toy cars and wrote a well-regarded book on the subject, has died. She was 84.
The Westlake Village resident died July 23 at a hospital from complications of kidney failure, said her son, H. William Gottschalk, of Calabasas.
Gottschalk began amassing the toys in the 1960s, inspired by her husband's vintage car collection.
"Her first one was a cast-iron car, and it cost maybe 25 or 50 cents," her son told the Los Angeles Times.
The collection eventually included buses, taxis, ambulances, and tractors made of everything from paper to lead. Some toys dated back to the 1890s.
The collection was displayed in a converted dairy barn at the Gottschalks' home in Parkton, Md. It attracted enthusiasts from around the world.
Gottschalk also wrote a 1985 book, "American Toy Cars and Trucks."
"It was a well-documented, lavishly illustrated book that helped define the hobby," antiques appraiser Noel Barrett said.
After her husband, Bill, died of cancer in 1989, Gottschalk sold most of her collection. It brought in more than $1.5 million, then a record for a toy auction.
She kept a few favorites, though.