Everything begin somewhere and Clarke Storys original Backyard Conversions started in Wood River, IL in the late 90's, creating convertibles from hardtop diecast cars for retail and diecast dealers all over the country. Over some 16 years Clarke and his company created almost 12,000 convertibles for the diecast hobby industry. If it had a roof, it would be a convertible he felt.
What really put him on the map though was when he did 96, Yellow, 1971 Cudas for diecast dealer, Campbell Collectibles, of . Clarkes company would do limited edition runs from 6 to 300 of a model when ordered.
Over those 16 years Clarke changed his authentication many ways. If you own an original BYC convertible it may have a box sticker or a Certificate of Authenticity. Even with a COA these changed in the latter years as his writing got worse and his wife would sign his name. There were also many released with no sticker or COA.
If you have a convertible conversion and are not sure if its a BYC please feel free to email me pictures of the boot and I should be able to tell you for sure. Clarke and I always had different boot designs and its easy for me to tell them and others who dabbled in this apart.
My story in this part of the industry starts in the year 2000 when my company CDR (Custom Diecast Replicas) purchased 300 roof damaged Ertl,1970 Buick GS's. I took 50 of these, cut the roofs, made a master boot which I had resin cast professionally (look how horribly big it is) and resold these with a complete white repaint. Note sure if any survived but this was my start. If you have one please email about it.
Over the years my companies, CDR and YCID have done both individual convertible conversions and small runs of conversions, from 12-48, for various diecast retailers in the US. While it was never my specialty I can say my companies produced over 2000 convertible conversions since the year 2000.
While Clarkes original BYC will be remembered as the leader in the convertible conversion market my original company CDR was also creating convertibles. Because of this it was a natural fit for my current company, YCID,LLC to purchase BYC from Clarke in 2017 and create the new BYC.
Because of the mark he left on the hobby I will continue to use his signature with mine on all COA's moving forward.