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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 2007 Issue
 
ARTICLE
 
Dealer Stamps
By Robert McLellan
 

Is that dealer stamp on the cover of a brochure bothering you? If it is a Ferrari brochure with the name "Chinette" stamped on the cover you will pay a premium for it. Or Fergus on a Jaguar brochure, Max Hoffman or Inskip on a Rolls-Royce or Bentley brochure, and so on. Some dealers are important enough to give the brochure a "bloodline". Unfortunately, these are so rare that we do not have any instock right now to show you a sample.

How about a well placed and attractive dealer stamp on a rare brochure? The dealer stamp confirms its' originality, not that very many reproductions (fakes) exist, but now there is no doubt of its' authenticity. The following are a few examples of dealership stamps that were neatly and appropriately applied:

     
     
     

Most collectors could not care less about inconspicuous or neat dealer stamps, while others find them upsetting to the point that they lose sleep over one until they can obtain an unblemished replacement. We understand this and try to point out those brochures that do have stamps and often reduce the price. Brochures with downright ugly stamps are simply not listed for sale unless the brochure is in scarce supply. Those upside down, smeared, multiples, or on the side or hood of the car are recognized as unattractive, but when the brochure is in otherwise excellent condition, and difficult to find, it is still worth having at a reduced price such as the examples below:

     
     
     
 
 
 

Reader Pete Kraus writes:

Robert, your article on dealer stamps was balanced on the whole. As I have observed previously, automotive sales brochures are working documents. Multiple or carelessly placed stamps may compromise the aesthetics of a piece and thereby justify a reduction in price. But could it not be argued that a brochure so pristine that it looks as though it were just removed from its shipping box somehow fails to convey part of the point of its existence?

On a related note, there is periodic discussion among my friends who collect current sales literature regarding the attachment of business cards to the covers of brochures. Most collectors seem to regard this as some sort of scourge or desecration. While I understand their point of view, I think maybe they protest too much. A brochure with a card is doing its job and is therefore not without its charms. Perhaps a card might even add interest to a 50-year-old brochure?

I always enjoy the Chronicles.

Nov 28, 2007

 
 
 
The Automotive Chronicles, December 2007
 
 
 
 
 
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