Martin Lyon entered a hobby store for diecast cars four years ago and saw all of his favorite models on the wall.
It was the first time he had visited a store like that, and it sparked the start of more than just a hobby for Lyon.
“I was with a guy working for me, and he said, ‘Hey, let’s check out this new hot wheels store,’” I said, ‘what is that?’ And it’s like we walked in, and I said, ‘I want every Corvette color you got from 1953 until now,'” said Lyon, co-manager of House of Cars Myrtle Beach.
Several thousands of dollars later, Lyons had gone around to local hobby stores and bought every Corvette model car they had. Next it was Mustangs. Then he went after Lamborghinis.
Sooner than he realized, he was buying up countless diecast models of exotics cars that he was passionate about as a child.
House of Cars is a chain of stores that started in California for fans of diecast cars, a toy or collectible model of a vehicle made using molded materials to produce an exact replica of a favored wheeled machine.
Lyon first ran a franchise store in Lexington, North Carolina, a year ago with his wife Erica Lyon when they decided to branch out into a more touristy location for a second store.
“My husband was a collector when we got married,” Erica Lyon said. “And then we started a business making the plastic covers that go over the cars to protect them. That’s how I got into diecast was making the protectors and then once we ran into the location to ship our protectors we were approached by House of Cars about opening a store.”
House of Cars Myrtle Beach, at 512 8th Ave. North, opened in late March, allowing Martin Lyon to bring his passion for cars to the Grand Strand to spread his new favorite hobby to both longtime and new car fanatics.
“We offer diecast cars, both collectibles and toys for kids. But more centered towards the collector,” Erica Lyon said. “Grown men and women both collect them. Some people take them and make custom cars out of them. They’ll take a $1 car, strip it down, repaint it, put new tires on it, it becomes a $100 car. So between the kids and then the adult collectors, its kind of a hobby for all ages.”