After years of highs and lows, struggles
and rewards, Jim was ready for a change
and change he did. He became intensely
interested in the spiritual aspects of life. He
had always been a reader of books and he
immersed himself in a self-directed study of various religious, spiritual and occultism practices. He grew his hair out and in general went in search of himself. This was not unusual for that time given the cultural of the late sixties and early seventies; he was just coming at it a little later than some folks had.
Jim spent about two years away from the work a day world with a slight return in the summer of 1972 to manage a company in Santa Cruz, California that built attachments for camper shells out of fiberglass. After exposure to some of the counter culture in Santa Cruz, he came to the decision to go into the used book business. He had established a good size library over the years and would use it as the starting inventory for his new store. He opened his first store on Madison Avenue in North Sacramento and named it Affinity Books. He stayed at that location for about two years and decided a move to downtown Sacramento would afford more room for expansion, more foot traffic and added exposure. In 1974 he moved the store to 12th street in an older brick building that seemed custom made for a used bookstore.
The book business proved to be quite different from the fiberglass business. It required hardly any help to run and Jim could talk, one of his favorite pastimes, with who ever came in. It was by all accounts a very laid back environment. However it did not really turn much of a profit nor generate the same sense of accomplishment that the car business had. After about five years of working in the book business Jim was again ready for a change.
It was during this time that Jim came in contact with an individual who knew of his reputation as a car builder and entrepreneur and who was interested in developing a Cobra replica to sell into the sports car market. They entered into an arrangement, Jim would put together the manufacturing plant along with everything that was required to build and sell the car and the individual would put up the finances needed to start and maintain the business.
The manufacturing plant was set up in Lincoln, where Jim still lived, in a building right next to the one of the fiberglass business that he had originally started. It was still in operation manufacturing fiberglass shower stalls for the mobile home and home building market. The original business arrangement to manufacture the cobra replicas did not last. Jim made the decision to modify the original Cobra body, to widen and lengthen it and add more structure to the frame. Under the umbrella name of Silver Classic Coach Craft and with the changes to the car in place he brought the car to market under the name Red Stallion LTD.
Finances for this venture were always a problem as it took a good many qualified craftsman to built an entire car and sell it into the marketplace. Outside financing seemed to be the answer; however it came with a price. Jim had to give up controlling interest in the company. Over time disputes arouse and those who had controlling interest decided to move the company to Los Angles. After three years of work and stress back in the car business Jim was again ready, and as it turned out for the last time, to get out of the car business.
Jim featured in the Sacramento Bee in an article about his book store, Affinity Books, June 14th, 1974
The first Stallion prototype built in 1978 by Jim's company, Red Stallion, LTD.
The sales brochure for the Stallion featured Jim's personal silver Stallion shown below in three quarter profile.
©Jim Kellison 2016