Ever since the first car was made manufacturers and tuners have been producing literature to promote their products.
One of the most interesting aspects of collecting auto brochures is that they provide a unique social history of the time they were produced.
For example if you have a brochure for a Volkswagen Beetle from the 1960’s you will find information about the time in which it was produced like hairstyles, clothing and popular decor of the time.
Add to this, the fact that most brochures can be bought inexpensively and take up little space to store (unless you get obsessed!) you have the basis for a popular and rewarding hobby.
However, as with all collecting there are many ways (especially as a beginner) that you can come “unstuck” and end up spending your hard earned money on inferior, fake or incomplete brochures.
Over the coming weeks, amongst other things I will cover the purchase, safe-keeping and suggested themes for brochure collections and provide an analysis of a number of my favourite brochures both expensive and in one case commonly available for less than £4 or $8!
Before starting your brochure collection, in my view it is best to have a very clear idea about what you want to achieve.
The reason for collecting is not important, but knowing the reason is. Are you interested in a particular period in history, a particular car, type of car or brochures from a particular country, for example?
Once you have decided what the purpose of your collection is, write it down or print it out and keep it with all the items you collect.
Why should you do this, you may ask? The reason is that this will keep you focused on what you are trying to achieve and stop you going off at tangents or pursuing avenues that are fruitless.
With the advent of the Internet, it is so easy to see an item on eBay or a website such as mine and buy on a whim. This will detract from your overall collection as there will be no theme to it and therefore it will be worth less both as a source of reference and value wise.
Also, there are very few people who do not have a budget and every “off topic” brochure you buy will reduce the amount of money you could spend on building and completing your collection.
If you adopt this approach, very soon you will find yourself becoming expert at valuing and sourcing the brochures that interest you. This will help you avoid paying more than necessary for that “so-called” rare brochure and allow you to spot undervalued bargains. With a subject as broad as brochure collecting, it is impossible to be an expert on the whole market and probably even on, for example, all Ford brochures. If you will excuse the pun, Focus!
By using this method you will also build a network of dealers or friends with a common interest who will become invaluable in helping you fill gaps in your collection by way of swaps or trade…a benefit that cannot be underestimated and as someone once said, “it is not what you know, but who you know”.