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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 2010 Issue
 
ARTICLE
 
Prestige, Status and Works of Art, Selling The Luxury Car 1888 - 1942, Thomas T. Solley, 2008
Book review by Robert McLellan
 

There are few good books on collecting automotive literature and they are little more than reference material. Tom Solley's extraordinary work is as entertaining as a good novel and his personal insights into literature collecting will generate enthusiasm for literature collecting among all automotive enthusiasts.

The first impression is overwhelming. It is large, heavy, has a finely crafted binding and has soft-to-the-touch cloth covers. But it gets better. You will be surprised with the beautiful photographs and detailed descriptions. Tom wanted to share his collection with others and you will find he has put a lot of love into doing just that. Presented here are all the great brochures printed prior to World War II, laid out before you in a format that you cannot view at a museum or library. Caution, you will not find these exotic treasures at Hershey, Carlisle or on eBay. Even at McLellan's Automotive History, we have had only about 20% of the contents of this book in our 50 years in business. And those were bought by Tom Solley.

Over the 30 years that Tom and I were friends, we discussed the development of this book. He leaves us with a great legacy. Enjoy it. Thanks Tom.

 
CONTENTS

Prestige, Status and Works of Art, Selling The Luxury Car 1888 - 1942
Thomas T. Solley, 2008


Chapter One: 1888-1900

Cars and sales catalogues as icons and status symbols
Automobile Catalogues

Chapter Two: 1901-1915
Certain body types: Mark of prestige and motoring as a leisure pursuit
Automobile Catalogues
Coachwork Catalogues

Chapter Three: 1916-1926
Coachbuilder as promoter: Interesting makes and models known only to connoisseurs
Automobile Catalogues
Coachwork Catalogues

Chapter Four: 1927-1932
Fleeting, beauties; exotic makes, and coachbuilding
Automobile Catalogues
Coachwork Catalogues

Chapter Five: 1933-1972
Car as Sculpture: The catalogue remains a status symbol as only the strong survive
Automobile Catalogues
Coachwork Catalogues

Readers of The Automotive Chronicles are entitled to a 30% discount, courtesy the publishers 'Racemaker Press' for orders placed up to June 30, 2010. Shipping and handling is extra -- $8.00 Media Mail; $12.00 Priority Mail domestic US.

To invoke the discount, please call the office 617 723-6533 and mention the 'Automotive Chronicle' discount. You may also order via regular mail. Write to Racemaker Press, 39 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116, and don't forget to mention the 'Automotive Chronicle' discount.

If you have any questions, please contact the publishers here.
 

Thomas T. Solley - A short biography
Thomas T. Solley [1924-2006] had four passions from early childhood - cars, catalogues, archaeology and photography. His professional life began in architecture, which he pursued as a project engineer in his family's pharmaceutical company and then in private practice. At mid-life, his interest in ancient art and museums led to an M.A. in Art History and eighteen years as Director of the Indiana University Art Museum. During this period a new museum building, designed by I.M. Pei, was built and the collections greatly enlarged to become a major cultural resource in the Middle West.

In retirement, he compiled Rolls-Royce and Bentley (1931) Sales Literature 1905-1965 published in 1991 and was working on "Yves Tanguy: the Pre-Surrealist Years", an incomplete manuscript researched some years ago, but delayed the demands of the Museum's development.

Epilogue
Tom compiled this book, as a follow-on the above referenced Rolls-Royce and Bentley bibliography, during the latter years of his life. Sadly, he did not live to see its publication -- although it was in final layout at the time of his death. He would have been pleased to see his passion reach fruition.

 
 
 
 
The Automotive Chronicles, April 2010
 
 
 
 
 
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