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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 2010 Issue
 
ARTICLE
 
My Auto Literature Collection
By Keith Jones
 

As long as I can remember I have had a fascination for most things car related, although over the years the focus has altered to take on new aspects. I suppose from the age of about two I was well and truly hooked and had no real problems identifying cars then. Probably due to my newness to the world in general I was intrigued by all the little details which made the cars so identifiable from one another and I particularly liked some of the overly-styled touches on the 1970s Japanese cars — wheel trims resembling the foil cases from Mr Kipling apple pies seemed to be standard issue with Datsun 120Ys.

From the age when I realised there were such things as car magazines to spend my pocket money on I have done so and now have complete runs of Autocar and Car going back for over 25 years. Only for the past 10 years has motorsport also been a passion, so magazines such as Autosport and F1 Racing now allow me to get a fix of Formula 1 and CART more regularly than every other Sunday.

I think I was about 12 when the idea suddenly came to me that perhaps if I wrote letters to the manufacturers and importers I might get sent a few brochures in the post. Up until this point I'd only gathered a tiny handful of brochures, probably less than 20, and most of those seemed to be Volvo ones from the old dealer in Lincoln. I wrote to about 20 firms the first time and got brochures from at least two thirds of them. This sort of thing went on until I was about 18 — I didn't really want to go into car dealerships because I knew as much as they would, I didn't look like a potential customer for a Lada never mind a Jaguar. But overall I wasn't getting very far — perhaps only 250 new ones a year. It was around this point I decided to change my method of attack and started going into dealerships telling them the truth — I'm not looking to buy, I just collect brochures, and to my amazement it worked. Still does in the majority of cases. Now and again I'll come across the odd salesman or woman who doesn't want to have their time wasted (usually at a Dixons showroom I'm sad to say) but by and large it works well. Plus, going to autojumbles now allows me to fill in 'holes' to the point I now feel if I haven't got 1000 'new to me' brochures in a year I've not done very well. At the time if writing I've now got over 12,000 in my personal collection.

 
 
 
The Automotive Chronicles, February 2010
 
 
 
 
 
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