Sale of McLellan's Automotive History


1. Storage

Since 1986, the literature has been stored in a 2000 sq.ft. two story warehouse, 40 feet by 26 feet, climate controlled
and with no windows. It is dust and bug free and was built specifically to preserve the literature as perfect as possible.
Inventoried Literature
Below is the left side of row of sales literature, press kits, press photos, etc., B1001 through B15987.
Literature is stacked in a row that are three shelves high and three boxes across.
Right side of same row. Work station in front of row.
Upper view of same row
A look down the right side of the same 33 feet long row showing programs (C items), magazines (E items) and memorabilia (F items) on the
bottom row, books (A items) on the three rows above with more memorabilia (F items) plus posters on top of the row. Books include general
interest, specific make, manual, parts books, owners manuals, etc. There are multiples of many items. All magazines (E items) shown are stacked
three wide. Most memorabilia is stacked two wide. All items shown here are on the web site. The posters have not been inventoried.
Views of second row of sales literature, press kits and press photos, B15989 through B39186.
Stacked 3 boxes wide three high.

All H literature (dealer paint and upholstery books, merchandizing books, salesmen's books, dealer bulletins, paint chips, etc.,
H1001 through H4225. They are all on the web site with the exception on some 1970s Buick, Chrysler, Mercury, Lincoln, Oldsmobile
and AMC/Jeep dealer albums that are ready to put on web site. Note that the stacks are three wide from top to bottom.

In-house dealer albums (J items) shown here are on the web site. There are 75 bankers boxes each filled with several dealer albums.
Each box is coded as to the contents so as items sell their location is always known and easy to pull.
Not-yet-inventoried literature
A total of 270 bankers boxes and each box has 150 to 400 items in it.

The boxes shown above go back three boxes deep
and the charts below show their content.


Row 1


Row 1


Row 1
Photos show 9 banker's boxes of 1980s and 1990s Cadillac dealer literature, mostly paint, upholstery and salesman's books,
23 banker's boxes of 1980s and 1990s Cadillac sales literature, press kits, etc. 8 showroom large displays of paint, upholstery
and information that were mounted on stands by the cars. It has all been checked for quality. 42 boxes total plus the showroom displays.

The upper and lower section show literature that I had sorted and quality checked in preparation on placing on the web site.
Much of it is in files in order andrange from the 1930s through the 1970s, foreign and domestic. In addition, there are two large boxes
of oversize literature from the 1930s through the 1970s, books, memorabilia and magazine. More 1970s Buick, Chrysler, Mercury,
Lincoln, Oldsmobile and AMC/Jeep dealer albums and other in-house literature.
Shipping supplies
Boxes including postal boxes and several sizes or plain boxes, custom made boxes, mailing tubes,
acid free plastic literature files and plastic envelopes of several sizes for packing are included. These supplies will last for years.

2. Discussion

Years: Literature that is on the web site and in the literature that is yet to be inventoried is almost exclusively pre 1980. There is very little 1980s or 1990s with the exception of literature on exceptional cars and trucks. This includes sales literature on exotic, expensive, luxurious and sporty cars. Popular makes like Corvette, Cadillac, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Lamborghini are always collectable no matter what year. Press kits of most makes are always collectable. All literature prior or 1980 is collectable and has value. It is a matter of nostalgia and pre 1980s car bring back memories.

Makes: Prior to 1980 all makes are collectable so all pre 1980 literature has and should go on the web site. With some exceptions, I have always throw into the trash 1980s + literature like Ford, Chevrolet, Honda, Buick, Dodge, Toyota, etc. It will be of value some day but not now.

Quality: All the literature on the web site and most of the literature to be inventoried has been quality checked. It is all sold as original and in like new condition. At the beginning of my 54 years of running this business, I learned that literature, no matter how old it is must be in beautiful condition in order to be collectable. And to keep it in the same condition that it was when it is shipped from me to them, it must be properly packed in a very protective box.

Alpha 5 database: To run a successful business, a custom data base is imperative. We use Alpha 5 database to manage the literature inventory, customer information, billing, sales and shipping. With this database, it is easy to add new items, quickly locate items with complete descriptions, find out the number of copies available, apply discounts if any and perform dozens of other functions. The data base is updated daily and as items sell these are taken off the website immediately.

Not-yet-inventoried literature: If all the literature that has not been inventoried, as show and outlined above, is inventoried there will be enough work to keep your business going for years and you could almost double the current inventory. Although I state a very modest retail value of over $200,000 for the not-yet-inventoried literature, it is closer to a million dollars based on the bulk size of it, but since it is not-yet-inventoried literature, I cannot prove that amount. Over the 54 years of business, I have become a beacon for literature collectors who want to sell their collections. Consequently, I will be happy to forward their email on to the new owner.

3. Personal Statement

I started the business in 1960 as a part time hobby business. In 1985 I left my full time job as a petroleum geologist and became a full time literature dealer. My wife became very involved in computerizing the business and handling the sales while I was in charge of purchasing literature and preparing the inventory. Sales increased dramatically and in 1998 we switched from mailing catalogs to internet website. We became the number one literature dealer in the world. After 2000 most of the literature dealers switched from websites to selling the literature on eBay. Our major competitor has been eBay resulting in decreased sales. Our advantage has always been to give our customers the opportunity to buy many items at one time as opposed to eBay's one item at a time. In 2005 my wife, Sharon began to lose her interest in the business and did less inventorying. At the beginning of 2008 she announced she wanted a divorce and inventory ceased. We separated in June 2009. No new inventorying has been done since 2008. That hurt sales. I however, continued to buy inventory with the expectation of turning the business around. However, with heart surgery in 2007, cancer in 2008, another heart surgery pending and my new wife, I have decided to sell the business enjoying my life with my wife and finish restoring my 1925 Bentley.

4. Business financial statement

Sales since 1997 when Alpha 5 data base was created
1997 152,625
1998 127,693
1999 151,337
2000 212,450
2001 143,905
2002 123,676
2003 150,761
2004 137,325
2005 156,821
2006 133,720
2007 141,651
2008 122,348
2009 91,308
2010 74,953
2011 61,991
2012 47,245
2013 37,299
2014 29,763 thru 6/30/14
                                                                               Click here to view all invoices from Jan 1, 2013 to Jul 15, 2014
                                                                               Click here to view Sales Summary by Month (Jan 2012 to present)
                                                                               Click here to view Sales Summary by Year (2000 to 2013)


E-mail Robert McLellan
McLellan's Automotive History, 9111 Longstaff Drive, Houston, TX 77031-2711
Phone: (713) 772-3285
Copyright © 1997-2016