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September 2014 Issue

Our new newsletter — Auto Maniacs
If you liked the Automotive Chronicles, you will love Auto Maniacs. Why the change of title and format? It is our effort to continue the first auto literature publication begun in the 1940s when a group of literature collectors decided not only to preserve and promote prewar and current literature but to collect and sell literature throughout the world. Read about it in this first issue.

The Story of a Book: How three enthusiasts pooled resources to write about Ford’s ultimate musclecar

"Did you ever wonder how car books come to be? Of course, it would be ideal if publishers would reach out to writers and say 'Would you like to write a book on such-and-such?' but that doesn’t always happen. Then there’s the self-starter category. Sometimes the book author or authors are so enamored by a subject they begin doing the research themselves and then become so enthusiastic about what they’ve discovered that they publish the book themselves. That’s what happened to me with a book I co-authored nine years ago entitled Ford GT40 and the New Ford GT." - Wallace Wyss [More]

The Missing Corvette XP-700: Was it really swallowed up by the Shark?

"Most car writers, writing about something from a half century ago, have to go on what historians said previously. So when Karl Ludvigsen, arguably one of the best auto historians, said in his new revised history Corvette: America's Star Spangled Sports Car that the GM show car, the Shark, was designed on a 1961 Corvette chassis, I went along with it. But then I remembered back when visiting GM sometime between 1962 and ’66, Bill Mitchell himself took me for a ride in the Shark and mentioned that they built it atop a former show car so they could re-use the handmade bubble top and windshield. 'It would be a shame to waste that handbuilt brass frame' he said." - Wallace Wyss [More]

Incredible Barn Finds

As sellers and collectors of books and auto literature, we occasionally try to comment on trends in automotive book publishing. In this article we talked to Wallace Wyss, a Detroit native who is presently finishing his third book in a barn-find series. We talk about the genre in general and his two entries for the species so far. - Auto Maniacs. [More]

This Month's Super Deal — Jeep

Buy everything Jeep on McLellansAutomotive.com and get a 75% discount. The total retail price for all Jeep items would be over $20,000. I am offering my entire Jeep inventory of 1046 items for $5000. If you like Jeep, this is the offer of a lifetime. [More]

Leslie Wise

L.A. Wise [Leslie] was born in Windsor, London in 1921. He joined the Rootes Advertising agency in 1937 as an artist illustrating car catalogues and manuals. During WW11 he served in the Fire Brigade and at the end of hostilities in 1945 he re-joined Rootes. He left Rootes in 1947 to start up on his own as a freelance artist specialising in car work. Then in 1951 he returned once more to Rootes now doing all their catalogues.

The Z. Taylor Vinson Collection

For over 60 years, Zachary Taylor Vinson (1933-2009) amassed a large and comprehensive collection of printed material documenting the history of transportation, particularly automobiles. At the age of four, Vinson was introduced to automobile literature when he was given a 1938 Ford trade catalog. Vinson began attending automobile shows to actively collect by the time he turned seven. [More]

Buy Literature at Impressive Discounts

Load up on literature and receive a discount that increases in size (30% to 70%) with the size of the order. You can buy our entire inventory, or go ahead and buy the business itself! Millions of dollars of literature has been sold throughout the world, but at 70 years of age, I am ready to sell the business to someone younger who enjoys automotive literature and wants a profitable business. [More]

Press Kits

Press kits are as old as the brochures themselves. These were primarily produced for newspapers to enable them to create articles for the initial presentation of the cars to the public. Once used, they were discarded because they contained printer's materials. I have come across only a few that predate the 1940s so when early ones become available it worth pointing them out. [More]

54 Years at McLellan's Automotive and More to Go

Having a consistent customer base is comforting and we have been working at it for many years. We are up to the job and we hope you will notice all the web site changes that have been recently made. [More]

Nostalgia or History?

Literature collectors of the past would collect everything they could lay their hands on. Going from dealership to dealership and attending new auto shows, they would fill closets with boxes of brochures for every make. [More]

Good News for Customers Outside of the USA

The news is spreading that shipping from the USA is now cheaper than in the recent past. First Class Mail with a tracking number has become the best and cheapest way to receive your package and has now proven to be no different from Priority Mail in terms of delivery time and quality of service. [More]

Hemmings Motor News

Congratulations to Hemmings Motor News (HMN) on their 60th anniversary celebrations. The current issue — February 2014 — has dedicated a few articles of history to what I think is the best magazine of its kind. [More]

Porsche Literature

Swap meets became popular in the 1960s and were all the rage in the 70s through the 90s. But in the 1990s the internet emptied the fields of auto treasures that we could explore with our friends. Now Google takes us to exactly what we want while we are isolated in our homes and without wasting our time with social interaction and having to go from stall to stall of a vendor's auto memorabilia, cars, parts and literature... [More]

Times have changed

Times have changed and while the older car and literature collectors may love all things automotive, young and middle aged collectors tend to concentrate on one segment of motoring or even just one make or year. The tendency is to concentrate on a particular car and be devoted to it exclusively. That is not a bad thing, but it does show a lack of knowledge and experience since this approach precludes potentially more interesting makes that are available. [More]

Have you noticed the changes?

Over half of our out-of-prints books are on sale and many are being offered at up to 80% off. All Automobile Quarterly issues and all Annuals, Racing and General Interest books are included in this sale. This sale gives you the opportunity to own interesting literature at very cheap prices. In addition, note that if you buy multiple items, you can take advantage of our discount system for even greater savings. [More]

Visiting Max Hoffman

Max Hoffman, son of a Vienna Rolls-Royce dealer, formed Hoffman Motor Car company in 1947. He was an importer of foreign automobiles with well established overseas connections and was known to be a gentleman who could work deals with a handshake. European automakers depended on him to sell their cars, and American dealers depended on him to supply them with cars for their dealerships... Even as a child in 1959, I knew all about Max Hoffman and his famous sports and foreign car dealership. So when my parents planned a Christmas holiday trip to New York City, a visit to Hoffman's was at the top of my wish list... [More]

Tommy Saal's ABC of Auto Racing History
'Book A' For Little Boys & Girls and 'Book B' For Big Boys & Girls

When I read issues of Road & Track as a teenager in the 1950s, I hung on to every word and studied every picture to digest as much automotive and racing knowledge as I could, because I found it fascinating. For today's kids cars are for going to the mall, to school and to see their friends. Antique and historic race cars are of little interest to most of them. Unless we generate interest, our cars will end up in museums. In this book, Tom Saal shares his lifetime love for historic auto racing with today's youths. And I am betting a lot of adult racing enthusiasts will read the book from front to back before placing it in the hands of the intended reader. [More]

Ford First and still No. 1

Before the War, most towns had a Ford dealership and it was Fords that were the most popular cars, trucks and tractors in the nation, so naturally Ford literature was the most common and most collected. Hemmings Motor News began publication in the 1950s by dividing their magazine into "Ford" and "Other Makes" sections for their collectible cars, parts and literature. That format continued through the 1960s. Many collectors owned only Fords or collected Ford literature and memorabilia and did not want to waste time looking through the non-Ford items. There were museums and personal collections devoted entirely to Ford during that time... [More]

Automobile Quarterly Discount Special

L. Scott Bailey grew up in the 1930s as an avid automobile fanatic and began collecting car literature from auto dealerships in his hometown of Middleton, Ohio. Mr Bailey's interest in automobile history, led him to a job as director of public relations and executive vice president of the Antique Automobile Club of America, which he left in 1962 to found his magazine, Automobile Quarterly. The objective was to present four times a year, 100-plus pages in full color (without advertising), of lavishly illustrated articles of encyclopedic length and literary quality, all to reflect the grandeur, the majesty, the adventure that is the automobile. [More]

Rick Lenz, prominent member of the Auto Maniacs

In 1996 we had the opportunity to meet one of the greatest literature collectors the world has ever known - Rick Lenz. To say that we were overwhelmed at the sight of two warehouses full of automotive brochures (later estimated at over 1,000,000 items) is putting it mildly. Our visit with Rick was the beginning of a friendship which flourished through correspondence and phone calls as he related to us the story of his life and his involvement in the literature hobby. [More]

Coachbuilders Renderings

From the beginning of the last century to the end of the Great Depression in the 1930s, the rich purchased coachbuilt automobiles. While the average person drove a Model T Ford or some other mass assembled make, the manufacturers of the elegant brands created cars to the specifications of the purchaser that stood out as symbols of wealth. Automobiles were still new inventions and while a mansion would impress your neighbors, a luxurious car could be driven around to impress everyone. [More]

Auto Maniacs — The Preservation of Literature

Oliver E. Barthel, the first president of "Auto Maniacs", working in conjunction with leaders in the automotive industry, set about to make literature easily accessible to club members. This was illustrated in the September 1949 issue of their newsletter, in which literature items were offered to members — not for sale, but for the cost of postage! [More]

1960 Oldsmobile

When you are interested in a particular car and would like to own one, or better yet, already own the car, you will want to have all the information on that car that you can possibly find. A brochure is probably your first purchase. But brochures are limited to basic information. To expand your knowledge on that make and particular model, a dealer's album will be very helpful. [More]

Auto Maniacs — The History

Collecting auto literature began with the printing of the first sales brochure over 100 years ago. Collecting old cars and literature used to promote the sale of the cars went unnoticed by most automotive enthusiasts until the 1930's when it became apparent that the earliest cars and their history were disappearing. [More]

Back in stock

We are happy to announce that we have just acquired two books that have been requested in the last couple of years. Both are very rare volumes that are seldom seen. This Packard book is the original initial limited edition that now has been preprinted in standard binding and dust jacket. [More]


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Auto Maniacs — 2013