Trackside Auction

Specializing in Antique Advertising

  Robert P. Smith, III

Robert P. Smith, III

It all started when...

At the young age of 12, while rooting in my parent’s basement, I discovered a 1950’s porcelain six-color Sherwin Williams “Cover the Earth” sign. This became the first sign I ever picked and still hangs in my home today.

During my early years, I spent many summers on the Atlantic Coast at my grandparents' home and Studebaker dealership. My dear grandparents, eager to share with me the fun of “picking” and delighted to teach me the history of pieces we found, spawned a thrill for things old – things that could tell a story themselves.

Stories of wars, flying airplanes, amazing athletes and wild musicians filled my youthful head. I began to collect all sorts of things from baseball cards to advertising signs. There was something important in each of them, a story that needed to be told.

Sunny summer days slipped away from my youth and I began to chase bigger dreams. I played college basketball and graduated magna cum laude from Lees-McRae College with a B.S. in Business Administration in 1992. Shortly thereafter, I became a PGA golf professional and had a career as a General Manager in several resorts, opening four golf courses and consulting for various golf facilities in the South East.

But something kept calling me back to the Grand Strand where I first “picked” as a youngster. So, I began to start picking again. For more than 20 years, I chased down collectables from all over the world. I invested blood, sweat, and tears to create a reputable business while educating myself along the way. I have had the pleasure and honor to get to know and do business with collectors and experts from around the world. These experiences have helped me cultivate a viable network throughout the antique industry.

Throughout the last 15 years, I have operated my own auction company and have been able to narrow my specialty to my first pick – vintage advertising signs. Today, I pick antique advertising from all over the world for private collections and for auction.

When I reflect back to those summers, I am so grateful for the time my loving grandparents invested in me. They sparked a curiosity and a respect for the history stored up in each treasure. I want to preserve and pass the stories and fun on to my family and for future generations.

Trackside Co.'s mission is to offer a variety of antique and collectable advertising and country store pieces. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, we're sure to be able to serve you in some way.


Tryon, North Carolina    (828) 329-4547