In 1940 a gallon of gas cost 18¢, the average car cost $800, minimum wage was 30¢ per hour, and Peck’s was there.
Back in early 1940, in Klamath Falls, Oregon, titling a vehicle was just as complicated and confusing as it can be today. Virgil Peck saw the need for a manual to assist those dealing with sales and lending on motor vehicles. He was convinced that the rapidly growing and rapidly shifting population made the “foreign” car business a considerable one for dealers willing to take the trouble to accept it. By “foreign” car business, Peck was not referring to the import car, but the owner with the car registered in another state, who wants to deal for a new or used car while in another state.
Upon moving to Reno, Nevada, Virgil entered into research with Jack Stephens, a car dealer, who was knowledgeable about titling and registering vehicles. After many months of investigation and collaboration with the various DMVs throughout the United States, Peck’s Title Book became a reality and was published for the first time. Later, Stephens-Peck, Inc. was permanently relocated to Utah.
Peck’s Title Book is now 80 years old and has been woman-owned and operated since 1978. Peck’s Title Book has gained a reputation among dealers and lending institutions and has helped state vehicle administrators to revise their codes. There have been several facsimile publications over the years; however, the Original Peck’s Title Book has become The Essential Reference and was designed as an easy, quick, accurate source of information.