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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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January 2007 Issue
 
ARTICLE
 
Mitchel DeFrancis: Automobilia Enthusiast
By Mitchel DeFrancis
 

I just turned 35 years old and have been collecting literature since I was 12 years old. In fact I still have ALL the brochures I have collected over the years. My father, Paul, is a big car enthusiast. He inspired me and since is the reason for my collecting. Dad had a Triumph TR4, Lancia Aurelia, Mercedes 280, Ford Model A, Maserati Quattoporte and most recently a Ferrari Mondial Cabriolet. He always bought me Hot Wheels cars and Matchbox cars (which I still also have in the collection). My first brochure was a 1975 Rolls Royce press kit, and I liked that piece so much, I wanted more. MORE AND MORE!! It was an insatiable addiction, that has now taken up 90% of my basement at home.

 
 

My first car was a 1967 MG BGT, followed by a 1965 Ford Galaxie 500XL convertible. Through the years I bought and sold about 25 cars, including Ferraris, Maseratis, Porsches, BMWs, Triumphs, MGs, muscle cars, Jaguars. My present collection includes a Ferrari 308 GTS QV, a Porsche 944 Turbo S, a BMW 540i, a Triumph TR4 and 2 Formula Ford racing cars; a 1983 Royale RP33M and a 1984 Van Diemen RF84. The Ferrari and Porsche are also club concours winning cars, and thanks to McLellans, I have a complete set of brochures and catalogs for both cars for show.

 
   

As of today, I have about 5000 car sales brochures, mainly 1960s-2000s. I also have showroom posters, color charts, banners, flags, magazines, emblems (which I collected from junk yards), press kits, cloth patches, lapel pins. SO much stuff. In 1989 my parents took our family to Europe. I took home so many brochures it was fantastic. We also went to the Ferrari factory, where I met Piero Lardi Ferrari, less than 1 year after Enzo passed. He saw how excited I was about being at Ferrari and gave me some brochures. Of course I still have them. My fascination for Ferrari went far and beyond my imagination . I started collecting anything with a prancing horse on it. I was lucky enough to work for Gerald Roush and the Ferrari Market Letter, and I wrote five front page articles on Ferrari automobiles and history. Holy smokes, talk about an amazing collection of Ferrari memorabilia!! Mr. Roush's collection is one of the best in the world. I have a hand signed letter by Enzo Ferrari from 1949, it is one of the oldest existing Enzo signatures in private hands.

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Now, my fiancé and I are planning our wedding honey moon. We get married on March 18, 2007, and our honeymoon is taking us to the Porsche factory in Stuttgart and back to the Ferrari factory, where I have requested to meet with Piero Lardi again after 18 years! We are both very excited.

I have so much fun playing, trading and collecting sales literature, that I will do it forever. Many thanks to wonderful people like Rob and Sharon McLellan for keeping this hobby alive and well.

 
 
The Automotive Chronicles, January 2007
 
 
 
 
 
 
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