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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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May 2004 Issue
 
LITERATURE INVESTMENTS
 
Unanticipated Investment
By Robert McLellan
 
 
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"When my older brother bought an old '40 Ford in the Summer of 1953 he let me help him fix it up. He was 18 and I was 13. His bedroom was filled with pictures cut out of "Hot Rod" and "Motor Trend" magazines. Although partial to '32 Ford roadsters with Cadillac V-8's, when the '40 coupe became available from a neighbor, it was an easy second choice. The nice old lady sold it to him for a song since he had been the elderly couple's yard boy. It was low mileage and in beautiful original condition. Within a couple of months it was Candy Apple red with a rolled and pleated Nagahyde red and white interior, moon caps and a Hollywood muffler. With some engine chroming and a J. C. Whitney cut-out it must have shocked that sweet old lady the first time it passed by her house. And to think she paid for it with all the work he did for her!"

"I loved that car! When Ted went off to Korea I washed and waxed it for three years, but never got to drive it because I didn't have my license yet. Unfortuantely, soon after he got his Army discharge, Ted got married and sold the car. My parents wouldn't let me have it because of college. Don't know what happened to the car, but I think about it often."

John's brother died a few years ago and he inherited his books and magazines from the 1950s and 1960s. John began collecting sales literature in the 1950s and never quit. By the 1970s he realized that new car literature, in general, was not as impressive as the earlier literature and he began searching swapmeets and contacting literature dealers for brochures going all the way back to the teens. The 30s and 50s were his favorite periods. He had one room of the house dedicated to sales literature. Now, in preparing for retirement, John sold his collection to McLellan's Automotive History.

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"I guess I didn't think a lot about saving money. And Social Security and my pension will only go so far. I sold my 1959 Corvette and was planning on getting rid of the 1962 Austin Healey, too. Then I talked with Rob and Sharon McLellan about selling my literature collection. Now I can keep the '62 Healey and I have added years of security to my retirement. In most cases I got about 10 times what I paid for the brochures at swapmeets and from literature dealers back in the 70s."

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John did invest for the future. He just didn't realize that was what he was doing. Literature can be a money machine. The older it gets, the more valuable it becomes.

John did keep the '40 Ford brochure and he still goes to Hershey to look at the cars. He didn't say it, but if that '40 Ford coupe appears I would bet he would swap the Healey for it.

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