... isn’t really crazy, he’s just focused
by dcx staff
“Crazy” Jack Struller ...
Above: Meet “Crazy” Jack Struller, street racer, car junkie, and
master of all things collectible.
Below: Deb Struller likes cars too
— especially the Strullers’ rapid,
warmed-over yellow Duster.
Jack and Deb Struller are a typical suburban New Jersey couple who just happen to have a house, a garage, and an off-site storage facility filled with decades worth of Hot Wheels, GI Joes, plastic kits, and diecast cars. We know that because we’ve seen it — and
so have millions of American television viewers who caught the collecting power couple on
SyFy Channel’s Collection Intervention last summer.
That show wasn’t Jack’s first ride at the TV rodeo;
Struller (who is the president of the United Street Racers
Auto Club, in Passaic, NJ) also rocked Speed Channel’s
Car Warriors with his “Plum Crazy Auto” crew — and
they won the builder-against-builder contest on that
episode by slamming a tricked-out ‘73 440 Challenger
together in 48 hours. They also got to keep the car, which
regularly appears at car shows and special events.
“I guess I started collecting
because my parents would buy
us lots of toys — Robbie the Robot,
stuff like that,” says Jack, “then
I got into cars and motors. My
first car was a ‘ 53 Studebaker
with a straight axle and a 492
Caddy engine.” That triple-carbed
menace to society was soon
joined by a Plymouth G TX, then
several other Mopars, including a
‘50s-vintage rose metallic Imperial — with a warmed-over Hemi, of course. All told, Jack — “Crazy Jack” to his
friends — owns 30 cars in various stages of completion,
and scores of classic bicycles, pedal cars, mini-bikes,
As for tallying up the small cars, good luck trying.
There are literally tens of thousands of them, all arranged
throughout the Strullers’ home so that Jack and Deb can
enjoy them. They range from classic Corgi, Matchbox,
and Bandai tin toys to cereal prizes and dealer promo
cars. Along with a miniature army of GI Joes, Jack’s
collection of Hot Wheels — by far the largest segment of
his collecting — is legendary, and so are the rooms full of
accessories, magazines, and specialty items.
Our favorites on the day we visited Jack and Deb were
the older plastic kits, some long
out of production, but complete;
in among the N.O.S. muscle car
parts and pieces in Jack’s garage,
we lost count of the limited edition
diecasts, some signed by Jack’s
idol, Richard Petty. “The King” has
been a constant inspiration to
Jack, and he signed one of Jack’s
favorite full-sized cars, too —
Jack’s 1970 Superbird. He’s owned
the winged beast for decades — and it’s an ever-evolving
work in progress. “I saw Petty racing in one at Daytona,
and I knew I had to have one, one day.”
When you’re as passionate as Jack Struller — and
have someone like Deb at your side — anything is
possible. If that’s what being “crazy” gets you, sign us
up. Thanks, Jack — we’ll see you on TV.
Is it the hunt?
Or the display?
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