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The Automotive Chronicles

Monthly newsletter published by McLellan's Automotive History. Dedicated to literature collectors, restorers, museums, publishers, manufacturers and investors who collect and preserve automotive literature
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December 2004 Issue
 
LITERATURE INVESTMENTS
 
Buying For Tomorrow
By Robert McLellan
 
 

The conclusion to last month's article, "Good Investment?", was that the answer is "Yes". Auto literature has been a good investment and indications are that it will continue to be. So what should a person buy? Are there good and bad literature investments? From the article, which covered a wide range of makes and years, it appears that all automotive brochures are good and some are really good. All beat the DOW Jones Industrial Average. And we can use common sense to pick out some of the best ones for the future.

First, purchase literature on makes and subjects that you like. Buying literature just because you think it is going to be valuable in the future may be smart and worth doing, but the most important thing in this hobby is to enjoy the literature and the cars. If you enjoy certain makes, the odds are that other collectors do, too. Consequently, the literature will be sought after for a long time. When a model year ends so does the printing of its' brochures. Collectors who did not get the literature during that time will then have to pay for it later. Naturally prices will increase as demand increases and, with time, your investment value will increase. It is that simple, but few think about it in those terms.

So what do you look for in order to find the most impressive investments?
Literature on some makes of cars is simply more common. Corvettes are nice, but the literature can be obtained at most Chevrolet dealerships and nearly every town has a dealership. Porsche dealers are more reluctant to pass out literature and their dealerships are usually only in large cities. Consequently, Porsche literature is more valuable even though both cars are very well admired and desirable. Using this logic, you would think that Aston Martin, Lotus, Lamborghini and Ferrari ought to be even better investments. You would be correct.


Nostalgia plays a big part in investment potential. What auto enthusiasts loved yesterday and today are keys to a profitable collection in the future. Good buys can be found in literature produced over the last 10 or 20 years. It will soon have nostalgic value and greatly increase in price. Although it does not appreciate much in the first 10 years, after 20 years the demand increases and is difficult to find. It is then very collectible. Now is the time to buy recent brochures while they are still plentiful and can be found in excellent condition.

Popular makes over the last 10-20 years, with great potential, are the sporty or luxury makes/models — Mustang, Camaro, Firebird, Cadillac, etc. Don't overlook the press kits and special Anniversary or Limited Edition models. SVT Mustang and F-150 Lightning brochures are already increasing in value. Add Hurst or Shelby to the name and again you have a winner. Upscale makes like Alfa Romeo, Viper, Rolls-Royce and Bentley are all investment winners.


 


In the last twenty years collectors have discovered press kits. They are rarer, even more interesting than brochures and contains lots of information. Individual model press kits do better than full line press kits, in
general. Concept press kits can be of particular interest and are often packaged in unique forms that make them very desirable to collectors. GM, Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Corporation each present three or more concept models every year at the Detroit Auto Show. European makes display their concepts at the Paris or Frankfurt Motor Shows. These cars generate intense excitement as journalists decipher them for clues to future models. The press kits can be difficult to find, but the memory of these concepts will linger in the minds of enthusiasts for years and become gold in the future. If the cars goes into production, like the new Mustang has, then the concept press kit becomes even more valuable as collectors fight over the ones that still exist.
 
 
 
LITERATURE INVESTMENTS
 
Literature Life
Looking Both Ways
Golden Eras
Good Investment? - Yes!
Good Investment?
Profitable Portfolio!
Unanticipated Investment
Today's Bargain Can Be Tomorrow's Treasure
What Is It Worth?
 
 
 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the "Automotive Chronicles" are those of the writers' exclusively. Information contained in the articles has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness. When considering literature as an investment keep in mind that past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Some literature will not increase in value, and other literature varies in potential and results. Condition and desirability are important factors in considering any literature for investment.

 
 
 
The Automotive Chronicles, December 2004
 
 
 
 
 
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