Mark Muller, president of Max Motors, recently showed us his "fanciest" gun-- a Colt 45 Single Action Army with real ivory grips.
It's a factory case-hardened engraved third-generation SAA with a 7.5-inch barrel. It was likely manufactured in 1978-79, and less than 500 were made. As it was produced before the sale of ivory was banned in the US in 1989, the grips were done at the factory.
Although it would be tricky to sell the gun today because of the ivory grips, it can be passed down as an heirloom and admired as a work of art. Along with its beautiful custom box, the gun has a value in the $5,000 to $7,000 price range.
"AS AMERICANA AS IT GETS"
Muller absolutely loves the gun. It's never been shot, and he has no plans to shoot it. "So, really what in the hell good is it?" he asks. "Except for, you gotta admit, it's pretty."
He believes that firearms are a unique and integral part of the American identity, and that's why he collects them. "This is as Americana as you're gonna get right here," he said.
THE WILD WEST
Living in Kansas, Muller has an affinity with the West. He wears cowboy boots, Resistol hat, and you won't catch him without his trusty Kimber at his hip. If he'd been born a century earlier, he'd likely have driven cattle on horseback across the wide-open plains. But instead, he had to settle for driving muscle cars and running a chain of successful car dealerships.
Holding the Colt in his hand, Muller's eyes twinkle almost as if he's transported to another space and time.
"Can you see John Wayne riding in a movie, pulling out his Colt, his single action, with his reigns in his mouth and shooting the bad guys? I mean, this was the gun they used. This is the gun that won the West," he said.