Q: I was told I have a near-mint one-of-a-kind police car by Appleman marked "1978." Is it valuable?
A: Appleman Autoworks, Inc., was located in Union City, New Jersey. It was founded by Glenn Applebaum in about 1970. At first he made pottery sculptures of political leaders, including Richard Nixon and Mao Tse-Tung, and of various animals. Applebaum began making pottery containers in exaggerated cartoon-like vehicle shapes in 1977. Vintage cars, taxi cabs, and trucks were made. They had removable lids and were finished with "food-safe" glazes. Although they weren't made as cookie jars, they appealed to cookie jar collectors and are usually advertised as cookie jars today. Each was handmade and signed. Some of Appleman’s vehicles were made in limited editions and some were made as special orders in various colors and with different details. Your police car, called the "Humperbump Police Car," was first made in green and white and later in black and white. According to the "The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Cookie Jars" by Fred Roerig and Joyce Herndon Roerig, it had a New York Police Department decal on the door that appears be different from the decal on your police car. You may have a version that was specially made. Appleman Autoworks closed in 1987. Appleman cars sold for $75 and trucks for $100 in 1983. Value today: $200-$700.