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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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April 2009 Issue
 
ARTICLE
 
Pre-World War II Brochures
By Robert McLellan
 

As a kid in the late forties and early fifties, I was more impressed with the few pre-war cars on the streets, parked at the back of service stations and owned by collectors, than a new 1949 Ford or 1951 Cadillac (may be a couple hot rods here and there and the weekend jalopy, stock and midget races at the local track.). There was a neighbor with a 1937 supercharged Cord and another with a 1940 Ford. And there was my grandmother's 1933 Plymouth Coupe. That was the car I dreamed about owning.

As the pre-war cars left the roads, collectors retrieved them from farms, backyards, junk yards and barns. Clubs were formed, swap meets were established and the search for literature began. To know your car and how to restore it, collecting sales literature, manuals, handbooks, dealer albums, paint chips, etc. was essential. Magazines like 'Motor Trend' and 'Road & Track' showcased restorations as well as many popular books at that time.

Pre-war cars have not been forgotten. Many collectors who have grown up in the 1970s and 1980s are now questioning the wisdom of restoring the cars of their youth. Restoration of a 1920s or 1930s car can be more fun than a 1979 Cadillac with all of its deteriorating plastic parts and complicated electrical components. In the long run, a 1924 Dodge or 1939 Hudson can be cheaper and easier to work on and more fun to drive. They will also gather a lot more attention.

So are pre-war cars back? They never went way. The historical aspect of the hobby is as strong as the nostalgia. Researching these cars is easy and the literature is available. Clubs abound and basic mechanical knowledge and inexpensive tools are sufficient to work on these cars. Save the cost of a restorer and have some fun and the satisfaction of doing the work yourself. Most of these older restorations just need some loving care and maintenance. Go to club meets and enjoy taking tours. You are going to meet thousands of vintage and classic car enthusiasts in a growing hobby.

Now let me give you a few ideas of what might interest you.

 
 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
   
     
 
 
 
The Automotive Chronicles, April 2009
 
 
 
 
 
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