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Car Collectors, Restorers Indebted to Hollander Interchange Creator

If it hadn’t been for the Great Depression and talking pictures, today’s car collectors, restorers and repairers might be displaying their classic cars on wooden blocks instead of scenic roadways.

The double force of the economic Depression and the decline in live entertainment triggered by “talkies” forced Twin Cities singers Roy and Hildur Hollander off the stage and into the garage. There they created what’s become the largest interchangeable auto parts system in the world, known in the industry as the “Hollander Interchange.”

The Birth of an Idea
Roy Hollander came upon the interchangeable parts idea while working as a car salesman at the start of the Depression. He’d offered a customer $75 in trade credit for 1919 Diamond Truck that had little more than an engine, gears and wheels. After several unsuccessful attempts to sell the relic, Hollander approached an auto wrecker with the hope of recouping a portion of his investment. The man handed him $100 for the remains, explaining that the salvageable components would be sold for reuse on other vehicles at a handsome profit.

A few years later, with their music careers still on hold and jobs scarce, Hollander and his wife began a year-long study on which parts from which vehicles were interchangeable. Their plan was to sell their findings to “auto wreckers, mechanics, garages and anyone else who was interested” in the reuse of auto parts. Their concept of “recycling” used auto parts was decades ahead of their time.

Information proved difficult to access. Automobile manufacturers were reluctant to admit that some of their parts would work equally well in other models. Hollander persisted, and in 1934 published the first edition of the Hollander Interchange Manual.

Hollander Interchange Manuals have been a staple of auto recycling operations for more than 70 years. In recent years, they’ve also become a trusted reference among individual car enthusiasts, particularly classic car collectors, restorers and parts suppliers. They are considered the world’s most complete and accurate index on auto parts for classic or restored automobiles.

Hollander Interchange Simplifies Parts Search
The Hollander Interchange enables automotive recyclers, enthusiasts and parts suppliers to find the parts they need to keep their vehicles running and in original condition. The manuals index millions of auto parts and their interchangeable equivalents from other vehicles. The easy-to-use system allows anyone interested in restoring or repairing an automobile to broaden and simplify the search for hard-to-find replacements parts, and save money in the process.