2017 Women's Transportation Hall of Fame

How a car made in Buffalo inspired the 'Playboy' name

"Jim Sandoro" - Hemmings Classic Car, November, 2011

Framed paintings. Thousands of mounted and stacked vintage posters, arranged by subject matter. Toys, including both cars and electric trains. Thousands and thousands of automotive postcards. Indescribably vast numbers of automobile-related signs--glass, metal and porcelain--numbering in the thousands and very likely the largest such collection in the world. Most people would need a dedicated building to hold all this stuff. Jim's got 13 of them, all of them lovely old brick industrial structures, clustered near the Lake Erie port area.

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"The WRIGHT Way" - The Buffalo Current, 2006

The man behind Frank Lloyd Wright’s soon-to-be-realized filling station recently received a pledge of $3 million from New York State and he’s optimistic that construction and renovations to the museum — including a greasing station with balconies and banquet facilities to view the filling station — will begin this spring.

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James T. Sandoro Receives Lee Iacocca Award


James T. Sandoro, of Buffalo, NY, historian, collector, appraiser of automobile values, and expert witness received the renowned Lee Iacocca Award for lifetime achievement in the world of antique cars.  The award, named in honor of the legendary auto executive, is sponsored by National Parts Depot, and presented by Hemmings Motor News at the Concours d’Elegance in Saratoga Springs, NY.  The award recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary strides in the world of collector cars.

Jim was recognized, in part, for his expertise in navigating one of the hobby’s touchiest areas, the practice of determining an antique car’s true value.  He has earned a global reputation as an appraiser of high-dollar classic cars and as an expert trial witness in disputes such as taxation, divorce and insurance litigation.  His professional reputation is such that in many cases where his services are retained, the disagreeing parties agree to settle rather than face trial with Jim as a witness.

Jim's role in the world of collecting goes beyond professional credentials.  He has amassed one of the world’s largest private collections of automobilia of more than a quarter-million items including published materials  postcards, artwork, blueprints, more than 80 classic cars, antique bicycles and much more.

 The vast collection has enhanced Jim’s standing as one of Buffalo’s foremost civic boosters, particularly when it comes to preserving the heritage of the city’s once-vibrant automotive history, which saw more than 70 makes of vehicles produced.  Jim is a walking encyclopedia on Buffalo-built vehicles including Pierce-Arrow and Thomas Flyer.  He founded the Buffalo Transportation Museum, which houses remnants of the city’s automotive past.  A recent expansion that features a re-creation of the Buffalo Filling Station by Frank Lloyd Wright designed for Buffalo but never built.  The museum focuses on the automotive output of Western New York.