Politis opens shop for car fans

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Paul Politis, owner of Auto Literature Shoppe, was joined by members of the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. At left are his daughter Janet Belleau, his grandchildren Benjamin and Jillian Belleau, and his wife Jo Marie Politis.

A chance purchase at a swap meet led to a career for Paul Politis. Always interested in cars, as a newlywed to Jo Marie, he attended an auction at Pleasant Hall in 1974 and bought a wooden box for $2.25. Inside he found manuals for Fords, Mercurys, Edsels and Lincolns. At another car show he purchased a 10 cent used car magazine, and realized his box of goods had value. Ever cost conscious, he placed a $6 ad in that magazine, and sold $200 worth of materials.

"With that money I bought a Chevy pickup for $195, and the rest, as they say, is history," said Politis.

He has accumulated a collection of 5,000 shop manuals, 10,000 owner manuals, 250,000 brochures, 10,000 paint chip sets and 8,000 old photos. That and other memorabilia serve car hobby enthusiasts in the United States and around the world.

Politis opened Auto Literature Shoppe at 33 Center Square in November. He has downscaled from his business in Fort Littleton, where his inventory was kept in a 6,000 square foot building and he employed three people. In 2001 he moved to Greencastle and worked out of his home. The residence on Homestead Drive was one of four damaged or destroyed in a July 2007 fire. Politis moved to Blue Bird Trail, where two-thirds of his products are stored in the basement. However, he has an organized filing system and can find what a customer needs.

"I've got stuff for cars nobody in their right minds ever heard of," he joked.

While he welcomes walk-in traffic at his store, he also concentrates on an internet-based business, selling through his eBay store. Modern times have changed how customers search for 'must have' items.

The brick and mortar store is open when Politis is present. If the door is not open, customers may call 717-360-3520 to make an appointment. He also offers a copying service.

And that wooden box sits in the front window as a reminder of where he came from.

Paul Politis has opened the Auto Literature Shoppe in downtown Greencastle.