Colleen Moore
Special to the Bonanza

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July 12, 2012
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Meet Your Merchant: Classic British memorabilia and more available at Sir Jamesand#8217; place

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Looking for royal treasure on this side of the pond? Sir James Collectibles may have just what you are looking for.

James Coray has everything from signed albums to car parts to electronics, all for sale. He has collections of historical artifacts, including newspapers and Royal Family memorabilia, which he has placed on his website for sale.

Originally from England, Coray moved to the United States 32 years ago. After a little more than a decade in Los Angeles, he moved to Incline Village in 1998, and has never looked back. Like many others, the breathtaking beauty of the Tahoe region was irresistible.

“As soon as I came up over the hill from the airport, I fell in love (with Tahoe),” Coray said.

Coray spent much of his life working on cars, restoring classic automobiles and race cars. After being retired the past four years, Coray has started a new project with his business. It wasn’t until recently that he decided to turn his collectibles into cash.

“I started cleaning out closets and my storage unit and realized I have all this stuff,” Coray explained. “I asked myself, ‘What am I going to do with it?’”

Coray has a lot of stuff. Stepping into his apartment, one is taken back in time, surrounded by Beatles posters, Pink Floyd memorabilia and vintage newspapers. One wall is lined with a collection of hundreds of DVDs and records. One room has several Marilyn Monroe posters, while another boasts signed automobile posters and electronics. And if you’re searching for vintage auto parts, he has those as well.

“I haven’t actually gone out to try and collect stuff,” Coray said. “It’s stuff I’ve accumulated from England. When my mother and father died I retained some of their stuff. A lot of (the items) date back to my childhood.”

While Coray has been living in America for the past three decades, he still travels back to England, most recently about a month ago. When his parents died a few years ago, he went back to England to help clean out their house. It was then that he found many of his collectibles, including Royal Family memorabilia and historical newspapers.

“(A lot of the items) my mother kept for history,” Coray explained. Some of the treasures Coray found at his parents’ home include newspapers dating back to 1937, outlining important events in British history, as well as royal coronation items, pens, postcards and much more.

Coray added that he never set out to start a business with his collectibles — rather it was just something he continued to do as a hobby.

“I think (collecting items) is something I just did,” Coray said, adding that he’s gathered items through travel, work, friends, family, and sometimes bought items just out of habit.

“I used to have DVD Tuesday,” Coray added. Every Tuesday while shopping for the week in Reno, Coray would pick up 2 or 3 DVDs to bring home and watch. Soon, his collection grew to more than 2,000, at which point Coray decided it was time to sell some of his movies.

Often times, Coray has memorabilia that is signed or authentic, including signed records and posters. Among his signed items are a Santana record (valued at more than $700), automobile posters, and other assorted items. For most of his goods, Coray consults online with websites, including eBay, to put a price on his treasures.

When asked what some of the items are that he wouldn’t sell, Coray replied that he would have a hard time parting with his Pink Floyd collection of records, posters, tapestries and more, with many of the items signed. Coray noted a personal connection to these items, as well as the band, as he is friends with two of its members.

Now retired, Coray has found the time to sort through his treasures, start up a website, and place items for sale. While the website is just a few months old, Coray hopes to see his business grow, as well as to learn from his business and work with his customers to add a buying and trading portion of his business.

“I’ll learn as I go along,” Coray said of wanting to expand the business to buying other’s goods or trading memorabilia.

He has already sold hundreds of records, car parts and is close to selling a classic English sports car. He’s had inquiries about his goods from as far away as New Zealand, and hopes to continue his success with more sales in the future.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jul 12, 2012 10:39AM Published Jul 12, 2012 10:38AM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.