Auto World, a name known to the hobby industry for more than 50 years, opened a highly anticipated retail location in Mishawaka, Ind., this week. The location is a one-stop-shop for hobby and collectible enthusiasts, featuring slot cars, die-cast cars, model kits, collectibles and much more.
“The Auto World name and logo are instantly recognizable to long-time hobbyists,” said Auto World owner Thomas Lowe. “We wanted to provide a place for both expert and new hobbyists to find everything they could want, and we’re able to do that locally in our retail store and nationally on our website.”
In 1958, Oscar Kowalski founded the Auto World brand in Scranton, Pa. The company originally had a well-known mail order catalog packed with all the supplies a hobbyist could want, and a retail store as well. Lowe is the owner of Round 2, a hobby and collectibles company based in South Bend, Ind. Round 2 purchased the Auto World name from Kowalski, and Lowe is once again making the Auto World name synonymous with the best hobby products available.
The store shelves are packed with automotive, sci-fi and popular culture model kits, die-cast collectibles in many sizes, hundreds of slot cars, slot car tracks and accessories, and many limited edition and one-of-a-kind products from Lowe’s personal collection. Customers can see finished build-ups of model kits in display cases around the store, from muscle cars to starships. An electric HO-scale slot car racetrack is also in the store, and customers can take their newly purchased cars for a spin around the track.
Customers are excited with what they are finding at the store. Mishawaka local Jerry Bennet was Auto World’s first retail store customer, and he picked up an AMT Ford Galaxie Styline model kit and a recent new release, AMT’s M&H Dragmaster Slicks Parts Pack. “I’ve been wanting this,” he said, “and I was glad to see you had it!”
The store is located at 6502 N. Grape Road in Mishawaka, Ind. It is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 8 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The online component is located at wwww.autoworldstore.com.