Prior to the 1960s
reprint literature was very rare because prewar literature
collecting was not widespread and communication among
those hobbyists was limited. In the 1960s growth in
the hobby and the formation of clubs such as the "Auto
Enthusiasts International" exposed old brochures
to new collectors. Previously most collections began
with the current new cars literature and a few old ones
from parents or older friends. Now young collectors
corresponded with old collectors and were envious of
their old brochures. But these elderly collectors were
not interested in parting with their precious gems.
Reprints were born. No one attempted to pass them off
as originals and most were clearly marked as "Reprint".
Auto Enthusiasts International
Formerly "Auto Maniacs" of the 1940s and 50s,
this club was a major supplier of brochures to its members.
In 1961, along with their name change, came the "Charter
Reprint Club". The initial reprint of a 1929 Durant
"65" brochure was not marked as a reprint,
but the group quickly began an identification and numbering
system. There were unofficial reprints, which were not
marked as reprints, as early as 1951, but they were
of such poor quality that they were not considered to
be actual reprints. Their later, higher quality, reprints
are very obviously copies but, thankfully, an effort
was made for clarity.
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In 1961, when the
first reprints appeared, an "AE1-61" on the
back cover indicated that the print was made in 1961.
In 1970 the full name "1970 Autoenthusiasts"
appears. Later they use "Autoenthusiasts OCP-1971".
The OCP denotes "Offset Camera/Press Print".
Their last reprint was done in 1976.
At no time during
their reprint history did"Auto Enthusiasts International"
try to make exact reproductions, but the quality is
Rolls-Royce Owners Club
Between 1961 and 1997 the Rolls-Royce Owners Club produced
over fifty different reprints of Rolls-Royce and Bentley
literature. Most are clearly marked with the club name
and reprint date. They were normally included with issues
of "The Flying Lady", the club's newsletter
as a bonuses to members. The quality varies but, in
general, is good but obviously not an original printing.
Since most club members are car owners and not literature
collectors this was a way to introduce them to factory
literature and promote the importance of the publications.
In current issues of "The Flying Lady" some
members offer the reprints for sale, sometimes for prices
that match or exceed the price of an original, while
admitting that they are reprints!
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Throughout the 1970s this top notch new book dealer
in Minnesota published catalogs of automotive books
from all over the world which included reprinted brochures,
repair manuals, parts books, owners manuals, service
bulletins, etc. The broad selection covered most makes
throughout the world for all popular years. The hundreds
of reprints provided car owners and literature collectors
with the best source in the world. If you had not yet
found an Owner's Manual for your 1929 Chevrolet, a reprint
for $2.95 was a good deal. Although each item was described
as a reprint in their catalogs, many of the actual items
were not marked as reprints. Still, most of them were
obviously reprints and at the same time are quality
These are just three examples of sources for "honest"
reprints. Many clubs, publishers and automobile companies
have, and still do, produce reprints. The objective
here is to introduce you to the opportunity of acquiring
them when you cannot find an original and to make you
aware that what you find may not be original.