the first of more than 180 cars they'd buy together.
"That's what started all this," Davis said, motioning to a vast warehouse filled with cars spanning much of the 20th century.
Finally the owners of a flashy antique car, Davis, 67, and her late husband John Davis, were content with just the Thunderbird for 17 years. Then, in1987, they bought another at an auction in Reno and never stopped.
Gradually the menagerie grew with the addition of cars from auctions and shows around the country while
the couple ran the truck line they started.
Some grabbed the Davises' attention with their looks alone, while others carried rich history: John D. Rockefeller's red-and-cream 1931 Cadillac; Al
Capone's black 1933 Lincoln; Roy Orbison's flame-covered 1948 Ford.
"If we saw something we really liked, we'd go out of our minds," Davis said. "We'd go on a whim and buy it."
They outgrew their yard quickly and moved the collection to a warehouse in Forest Grove, where the cars are drained of fluids and kept spotlessly on display.
Named "Papa's Toys" by the couple's grandchildren, the
car collection grew by the year.
Of the 180-car collection, Davis bought each car with her husband except once, when he gave her a green 1965 Mustang as a birthday surprise.
"My husband and I were born in the era when hot rods were cool," Davis said. "They were something we grew up wanting and wishing for. It's who we were, and if he were still alive, it's who we both would be."
About 15 years ago, the pair began holding an annual open house to raise money for Doernbecher Children's Hospital, where a grandson underwent successful cancer treatment at 11 years ago.
In the last decade, the Davises have donated more than $250,000 to the hospital.
The cars also carry memories of Davis's husband, friends and family who have passed away and moments shared with those still living.
A 1949 Dodge truck, now restored and painted a shiny purple, was Davis's parent's farm truck and served as the birth place of litters of kittens when she
was a child.
A 1940 International Woody reminds her of sitting with her children to watch the Roy Rogers movies the wagon appeared in long before she owned it.
A strawberry-red van painted with the likeness of the couple reminds Davis of what she and her husband built together.
"Each one is different," she said, "and every single vehicle in here has its own story."