Denton, North Carolina – Walking with Giants


This Tip has been suggested by our North Carolina Explorer: Joncie Sarratt

North Carolina is a state known for its furniture manufacturing, craft beer, lighthouses, and perhaps most notably, a rabid passion for college basketball. Were you to visit, however, and ask a local to point to Denton, North Carolina on a map there is a good chance the response would be something along the lines of “I’m sorry…what?”

Denton is a small hamlet of rural country living where residents say the most impressive part of the town is the local Piggly Wiggly, a southern grocery institution long forgotten in most parts of the state. It is therefore all the more impressive that here, tucked away off Highway 49 South, is the largest collection of antique auto parts in the southeast.



Richards Antique Auto Sales & Salvage Yard is paradise lost for anyone with any interest in history, photography, automobiles, or frankly in just spending a day walking through some of the most visually and intellectually stimulating landscapes in the Southern United States.

The owner, Richard, is first and foremost a business man with one of the most spectacular knowledge bases for auto manufacturing one could ever have the pleasure of encountering. Richard learned about cars from his father, who used to carve stunning scale models of antiques by hand with details so precious you can see the stitching on the vinyl upholstery. His father’s passion for cars was not lost on Richard, who can proudly tell someone the inventory of his multi-acre business by memory at the drop of the hat.


Even for those who think of themselves as less than excitable when it comes to cars, Richards Auto Shop is a must. By taking a day to walk up and down the aisles and among the skeletons of some of the most prolific engineering accomplishments of our country’s history, it is possible for even the least enthusiastic car connoisseur to fall in love with this gem of American history that Richard has put together. With everything organized by make, model, and year, visitors can see the progression of the American auto and feel with their own hands how history has changed over the last two hundred years. His collection, both in scope and scale, would be the envy of any auto museum in the country, making it a real treat for those with the time to delve into the vibrant and colorful past of a true American passion.

Photos By: Joncie Sarratt

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