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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 2006 Issue
 
ARTICLE
 
The Golden Age of Press Kits
By Robert McLellan
 

The mid-1980s, with cooling of inflation and decreasing gasoline prices followed 10 years of poor quality, poor performance and uninteresting cars. Slowly enthusiasm in automobiles and trucks revived. As vehicles improved press kits developed a character of their own. Many became very collectible as the companies tried to outdo each other with novel ways of getting the media's attention — model cars stuffed with press information, a Cheerios knock-off box (Durango's: The Sport-Utility of Champions!) with the press kit inside, a children's book with pop-up pictures (Buckle Up With Sesame Street) and Big Bird stuffed animal, etc.

 
1999 Chevrolet Silverado Press Kit
     
     


 
2003 Dodge Viper Press Kit
     
     
     

 
2006 Mini Press Kit
       
       


 
2004 Hummer press kit
   
   


 
1999 Cafe Acura Menu
   
   


 
1998 Dodge Dakota R/T Power Breakfast Placemat
 
 

Now, almost 20 years later, with Internet online press kits having replaced paper ones, usually the most that is handed out to journalists is a CD-ROM in a nice package. The mid-1980s ushered in cooling inflation and decreasing gasoline prices after 10 years of poor quality, pitiful performance and uninteresting cars. Since press kits are not created for collectors, we cannot expect a return to the time when press kits were deluxe and bulging with press photos and printed press releases.

Impressive press kits are actually becoming scarce and their value is increasing — yes, more collectible. It is time for reflection and contemplation. Time to buy while still reasonably priced? A review is in order with those now available at the Los Angeles and Detroit Auto Shows. The following are just a few to whet your appetite:

 
1997 Corvette Fifth Generation Press Kit
     
     
     
 
     


 
1993 Pontiac Firebird Press Kit
     
     


 
1993 Chevrolet Camaro Press Kit
       
       


 
2002 Lamborghini Press Kit
       
       


 
1991 Mercedes-Benz Press Kit
       
       


 
1999 Acura NSX Press Kit
       
       


 
Audi LeMans Quattro Press Kit
     
     

For a detailed listing of over 1000 "Golden Age" press kits that are available click on collage below.

 
 
The Automotive Chronicles, December 2006
 
 
 
 
 
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