Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Daryle Lambert: Antique and Collectible Automobile Memorabilia

Daryle Lambert: Antique and Collectible Automobile Memorabilia

What could be better for us as dealers and collectors than to have the “Big Three” auto manufacturers headline the news each day if automobiles are our passion? Everyone is talking about what the government should or shouldn't do. To bail or not to bail! This will definitely cause collectibles from auto industry to appreciate. It looks as if many models produced by the major companies Ford, General Motors and Chrysler will cease to be made. You should be aware that when any model of car is discontinues or deleted from a company’s assembly line, that car’s advertising, manuals and anything else pertaining to that model becomes collectible. I personally believe that coming years may be the best of the automobile years for the collector since the muscle car mania.

So the question is; how do we take advantage of this period of time when the automobile is the subject of every discussion? My answer is to buy, buy, and then buy some more. This is one of the few areas where paper items can command nice returns on your investment. Old magazines with car ads can bring more than you would think, dealership cardboard cutout ads can bring hundreds of dollars and the owner manuals from rare and unusual models find eager collectors just waiting for these items to come into your possession.

If you recall, I recently did a blog on license plates with the values that can exceed a thousand dollars for certain ones. There are so many other items to be collected from the automobile industry. Tin Dealer signs can bring out of this world prices while hood ornaments seem to be the cream of the crop for collectors (the right one can often bring tens of thousands). I received an email recently from a lady that has an entire collection of some fabulous hood ornaments for sale. She had them all mounted for presentation. I am waiting to hear back from her because I believe this collection could be quite valuable and I would like to represent her in finding a buyer.

Model cars, toy cars, paddle cars, and even small scale cars are out in the marketplace just waiting to be found by the members of the 31 Club. With all the publicity surrounding the automobile industry today, this should be one of your centers of focus while you are searching for treasure.

I will share a short story with you and I hope I haven’t shared this before. I was in a home with various antiques but after spending several hours there, I found nothing of interest to me so as I was leaving through the garage, I noticed a small wheel under a pile of other things. Asking the gentleman what was there, he told me it was his son’s race car. I immediately uncovered a quarter midget racer from the 50's. Thinking this would be a great thing for my son, I asked what he would take for the racer. The gentleman said $300 and I said "sold." Getting the car home and doing my research, it soon became apparent to me that this was quite a collectible and not a “go-cart” for a child. I ended up selling the racer for about $2,500. I have to confess - I hated to part with it more than my son did.

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