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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 2005 Issue
 
ARTICLE
 
Posters & Transparencies as Automotive Art
By Sharon McLellan
 
1931 Cadillac Fleetwood Transformable Town Cabriolet

Some of the most beautiful and most collectible literature is frequently neglected because it does not come under the category of "brochures". Dealerships often distributed or displayed promotional posters and art renderings and these items can be exciting additions to a collection.

At the turn-of-the century coachbuilders would commission artists to do renderings of cars which could be built to a customer's specifications. Coachbuilders gave them to manufacturers who would approve the designs. Renderings would then be sent to dealerships where salesmen would show them to customers who would order a car built to the drawing's specifications. Upon receipt of a deposit a framed rendering was frequently presented to the customer.

The following are excellent examples of this art:

 
Click on thumbnail for larger view & description
 
1930 Cadillac Fleetwood Fleetmere Collapsible Imperial Cabriolet 1930 Cadillac Fleetwood Fleetwick Transformable Town Car 1930 Cadillac Fleetwood Fleetmere Sedan-Cabriolet
     
1916 Crane-Simplex Fleetwood
Inside-Drive Cabriolet
1916 Packard Fleetwood Limousine 1916 Packard Fleetwood Cabriolet
     

In the late 1960s and early 1970s General Motors gave large poster style sheets to customers who visited their dealerships. These sheets, such as the following, are beautiful when mounted. The reverse side of each sheet has information such as lists of standard and optional features and paint colors available.

Click on thumbnail for larger view & description
 
1969 Chevrolet Camaro 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle 1971 Chevrolet Caprice 1972 Chevrolet Vega
       
1973 Chevrolet Corvette 1973 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1973 Chevrolet Nova 1973 Chevrolet Wagons
       
1971 Oldsmobile Delta 88 1973 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight 1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass 1973 Oldsmobile Omega
       
1971 Pontiac Catalina and Laurentian (Canadian) 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix (Canadian) 1973 Pontiac LeMans and GrandAm (Canadian) 1973 Pontiac Parisienne, Catalina and Laurentian (Canadian)
       

Transparencies of photographs and photo renderings which were used in shadow boxes in dealerships to display the new models are also very desirable for collectors. Here are a few good examples:

Click on thumbnail for larger view & description
 
1967 Cadillac Fleetwood 1967 Cadillac DeVille 1967 Cadillac Calais
     
1976 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow 1976 Rolls-Royce Corniche 1976 Rolls-Royce Corniche
     

For additional examples of poster and transparency art collectibles go to www.mclellansautomotive.com/lit/bytype/memorabilia/ and explore our Memorabilia section.

 
 
The Automotive Chronicles, July 2005
 
 
 
 
 
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