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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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February 2006 Issue
 
ARTICLE
 
Personal Insights
By Robert McLellan
 

In 1975 I purchased a 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4, Mark I. I had been looking for the earlier DB2 model, but this car looked too good to pass up so I bought it. Shortly afterwards a restorer working on my 1939 SS Jaguar pointed out that one of his customers had a 1952 DB2 he might sell. Sure enough, it was exactly what I wanted and cheaper! Nothing wrong with having a spare, so I purchased it also. By 1989 I had more interest in my 1925 Bentley and 1937 Cord so the Astons were sold to a German dealer, both for $100,000, who quickly sold them for a profit. I had less than $5,000 in the two cars after 14 years of ownership. A $95,000 profit! Judging by ads in "Classic & Sports Car" magazine, they have obviously continued to appreciate in price.

How's that for an investment? Sure, your house and stocks have gone up tremendously, but not that much. What other investments have gone up that much?

Just prior to purchasing the Aston Martins, I began collecting Aston Martin literature. Soon I had brochures going back to the first 1924 production model. I believe that at the time it was possibly the best and most complete collection in the world. Most of the brochures were acquired from collectors and some from dealers. In 1979 I got very lucky and found a Texas collector who had been filling his garage with file cabinets full of brochures since 1947! I bought all of his Aston Martin, Lagonda, Ferrari, Maserati, Jaguar, Rolls-Royce and Bentley literature for $5,000. Boxes and boxes full of literature in great condition. Unbelievable! But at the time he saw it as literature he had gotten for free. At the most it cost him stamps to send requests to Enzo Ferrari, William Lyons, David Brown, etc., or a drive to the local auto dealership. In 1990 I sold my Aston Martin collection for $36,000 and the Ferrari collection for $50,000. I had less than $10,000 invested in both. Later I sold the other collections, doing just as well or better.

 
     
     

Ever since 1947, when I picked up a Pontiac sales brochure as a child, I have been collecting literature. By 1960 I had started selling it as a hobbyist and just never stopped. The point is, money can be made collecting literature and selling it later. It just keeps growing in value while sitting there. I continue to buy and build collections, plus buy for re-sale. Meanwhile, I enjoy the literature. It adds to my knowledge and is helpful in buying and restoring old cars. With over 125,000 items on our web site, you can easily find something of interest and for investment. We will continue to buy literature and add it to the existing inventory, so there will always be something new.

Other articles of similar content are:

 
 
LITERATURE INVESTMENTS
 
Literature Life
Looking Both Ways
Golden Eras
Good Investment? - Yes!
Buying For Tomorrow
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, February 2006
 
 
 
 
 
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