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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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July 2004 Issue
 
LITERATURE INVESTMENTS
 
Profitable Portfolio!
By Robert McLellan
 

Feeling good about yourself? You should be! Whether you have been collecting auto literature for just a couple of years, or over half a century, literature has increased in value. Old literature just sits there and gains in value as long as it is kept in good condition. You do not have to monitor your investment as you do with stock or real estate. No worry about whether prices are going up or down, or outside forces such as recessions, war or inflation. There is always a decreasing number of sales brochures and an increase number of collectors. There is no broker or agent to charge you fees. And the older literature gets the more desirable, rarer, collectible and valuable it becomes.

Over the last 50 years stocks, bonds, real estate and gold have at times been excellent investments but not always. While they have had their ups and downs, old car brochures have continuously increased in value. Investment advisers always lecture clients to have a well balanced, diverse investment portfolio. If they could figure out how to make a commission on it there would be a literature mutual fund.

So what would a literature mutual fund consist of? The same criteria that make a collector car desirable.

Historic literature - The "blue chip" brochures that have weathered the value test of time. Although expensive now, they will be more expensive in the future simply because they are the rarest and most desirable. They are the "Classic" period and (designated by the Classic Car Club of America as the years from 1925 through 1948) and the "Brass Era" (just prior to World War I). Rolls-Royce, Packard, Lincoln, Cadillac, Pierce-Arrow and Chrysler are all examples. Name recognition is important because fewer collectors remember the orphans such as Doble or Itala. For examples:

 
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Nostalgia literature - The makes of our youth that we saw but could not afford. The lust for the cars carries to brochures. Performance and styling are critical. Consisting mostly of the mid-1950s to 1974 models like the Corvette, Chrysler letter cars, Ferrari, Firebird, Barracuda, Cadillac and Mustang. Here the selection is plentiful and diverse. For examples:

 
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Future collectibles - In the last 30 years there have been, and still are, cars built that became collectible soon after they were built and which will not be forgotten in the future DeLorean, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Viper, Rolls-Royce, and all of the other low production, expensive and exotic cars which will become nostalgia for the current generation.

 
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Should you decide to expand your collection beyond your personal interests into a collection for investment? That is really up to you, but the potential is there and it comes as close to a sure thing as you can get. Just think about it and whether or not it makes sense to you. You will be in good company as thousands have done it and, come retirement time, it will pay off. Meanwhile, what a phenomenal amount of fun you will have building this "portfolio"!

 
 
 
LITERATURE INVESTMENTS
 
Literature Life
Looking Both Ways
Golden Eras
Good Investment? - Yes!
Buying For Tomorrow
Good Investment?
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, July 2004
 
 
 
 
 
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