Who We Are
McLellan's Automotive History (MAH) is a 55-year-old
independent supplier of original automotive literature
(brochures, dealer albums, out-of-print books, magazines
and memorabilia) for individuals and businesses who
need or want information on antique and classic automobiles,
trucks, ambulances, hearses, limousines, coachbuilders,
sports and recreational vehicles, industrial vehicles,
police cars and taxi cabs.
What We Do
MAH purchases collections of original automotive literature
from individuals who obtained the literature when it
was new. Currently 150,000+ items of inventory make
for a veritable treasure hunt for enthusiasts and growing,
as hundreds of new hand-picked items are added each
month. Thousands of collectors have found their lucky
"pot-o'-gold" at MAH through the years.
There are a number of steps that go into selecting literature
that is offered for sale. First and foremost, we require
it to be in pristine condition. That means we carefully
examine each and every item to make sure that it is
complete and relatively unblemished (for its age, rarity,
etc.). If it is very old and rare, but has a minor imperfection,
we make a statement to that effect in the description.
After an item passes inspection, it is cataloged and
filed numerically in a clear archival quality protective
envelope. It is preserved at a constant temperature,
housed in our two-story, 2,000 sq. ft. truss system,
climate-controlled storage facility a bug-free,
dust-free and moisture-free environment with no windows.
With our advanced computer system and innovative filing,
we can tell a customer in seconds if an item is in stock,
and discuss it with them in a matter of minutes.
All of our orders are shipped in boxes even an
order consisting of a single sheet of paper (which usually
means it's rare) is packed in one of these boxes to
protect against damage during shipment. (Have you ever
seen what the postal service can do to a padded envelope?)
In addition, the literature is first put into a plastic
bag to protect it from water damage if the box is left
outside on a rainy day and the customer's credit card
receipt is taped to your invoice so that the
staple doesn't scratch the literature.
We purchase additional inventory on an on-going basis
and at the present time have over 100,000 items, with
detailed descriptions, photographs and prices, on our
web site. The 1,000+ pages of cataloged offerings that
can be browsed at our site represent only a small percentage
of our inventory.
Where Is Our Literature Sold?
All a person has to do is look at the magazine section
of any major bookstore to realize that collectible old
cars are a viable marketplace in the U.S. Our experience
is that the international market for old cars is just
as strong and at the present time, with international
currency strong against the U.S. Dollar, foreign sales
Our sales are strictly mail order and walk-in. We do
not buy or sell at swap meets because condition is important
to us. Really old items may be hard to find without
some light wear or aging, but the value is reflected
in the quality of the items. Poor condition decreases
the value rapidly. Missing pages or water damage can
make literature worthless. Literature obtained at swap
meets deteriorates quickly from handling and the weather.
The fellow who just looking at a brochure was handling
a crankshaft a few minutes earlier. McLellans buys only
from collectors who obtained the literature when it
was new and preserved it properly.
Why Would Anyone Be Interested?
There are many different types of individuals and businesses
who need or want the literature that we have to offer.
These include collectors, restoration shops, museums,
owners and hobbyists. Each category has specific needs
which we are set up to cater to. Collectors, museums
and hobbyists are looking for rare and/or unusual items
of literature to add to their collections. Our company
sends e-mail notifications to them each month to let
them know what we have found that is new and may be
an exciting addition to their collection.
Restoration shops and car owners need paint and upholstery
albums to use in restoring vehicles to their original
condition. If the individual intends to exhibit a car
at shows authenticity is critical and the only way to
get exact matches is to have original samples.
About 95% of our customers are male; however, we have
also developed a good relationship with women who call
to find gifts for their husbands, boyfriends, fathers,
brothers, bosses, etc.
The staff of McLellan's Automotive History are always
available to answer your questions and assist you in
any way we can to make writing articles about our company
and our product as quick and easy as possible. The preceding
is intended as general answers to frequently answered
questions. We know that you often need filler. It's
here. Writing articles about automotive literature and
our company is easy. All you have to do is cut-and-paste
or import. We provide all the written information and
photographs that you need. And, if you are in the Houston
area, we will be happy to roll out the red carpet for
a personalized tour of our facilities.
Please feel free to e-mail or call us for answers to
your specific questions.
Mona Nath, Editor-in-Chief, "The Automotive Chronicles"
Robert McLellan, Technical Editor, "The Automotive