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Glen Violette, Hubcap Heaven

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  • Location:

    Littleton, Maine, USA (Map)

  • Status:

    Extant

  • Artist:
  • Built:

    Begun 1970s

Visiting Information

The site is open most days and viewable from the street.

About the Artist/Site

Glenn Violette has been collecting, refurbishing, and selling hubcaps since the 1970s. But while he has an active business doing so (hupcap4u.com) – its incredible value due to the fact that he can match a hubcap for most car makes and models, from the Model A to the present – Violette has gone beyond mere merchandising to attractively piling, placing, sorting, and building with his collection.

Violette is only able to approximately estimate the number of hubcaps on his property; his last inventory was in the 1980s, when he counted just over 12,000. He started collecting them as a kid, before he had a driver’s license or could drive, just picking up stray hubcaps that he would find along the highway. After his stash grew to a dozen or so, he put up a sign and tried to sell them for $1 each. But no one bought. So he brought them to a flea market, and still, no takers. At the end of the day, the man in the stall next to his, who had also been trying to sell hubcaps, asked him if he’d buy his own pile for $2; he did, and then, realizing that he’d actually paid money for them, figured he should increase the price, doubling it to $2. At that price point people started to buy – apparently, the $1 price had been too low – and soon he increased the price again, and then again, and his sales continued to soar. He sells fewer than he did at the lower prices, but his revenue has remained stable, and the caps now sell for a range of prices. Hubcap replacement is the core of his business, although he always makes some sales to collectors.

Violette enjoys the different designs and forms of all of his hubcaps, and finds that he is continuously learning about them. He is also always surprised at the different uses to which people will put them: mirrors, frisbees, bird feeders, and birdhouses are the most common.

In addition to his hubcap business, Violette repairs Humvees for the military, necessitating a two-hour drive each way, so those days he is not on-site at Hubcap Heaven. However, he has set up a self-service honor box system, and quickly answers email requests as well. In addition to the fences and piles of hubcaps, Violette also collects license plates and has covered a shed with samples from his collection.

The site is open most days and viewable from the street.

~Jo Farb Hernández

 



Map and site information

Route 1
Littleton, Maine, United States
Latitude/Longitude: 46.230992 / -67.840935

Visiting Information

The site is open most days and viewable from the street.

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