Do You Collect Authentic Automobilia?
So the holidays are over and the fruit cakes have been either eaten or thrown away by now (do people even make those anymore?), but if that’s all you got this year and you’re looking to do a little self-gifting to make up for those mealy pieces of pineapple, what do you look for? Though I’m sure our automotive wish lists run longer than even a spoiled brat’s Christmas version of such, we can’t all be so lucky to collect full-size cars. This is where the collectibles come in, the knick-knacks, the scale models, the faded pamphlets and the dog-eared posters. eBay and the like are chock-full of more affordable offerings like these that still carry some car cachet, and in some cases you end up spending a few thousand bucks once the hobby becomes something closer to an obsession.
The great thing about automobilia—I’m not talking about signs you get at Hobby Lobby that say something like “Dad’s Garage,” or “Mopar Parking ONLY!”—is the fact that it possesses a lot of the same qualities as the vehicles and racing teams they match up with. Sure, I’d love to find an E30 M3 for a reasonable (read: not current) price, but a factory catalog of the car’s ’91 DTM season can still do a lot of the same lifting in terms of nostalgia fulfillment for a decade I barely remember, if not more so in a certain sense. I’m not sure if it lies in the authenticity of garbled English translations you’ll find in Nissan GT-R brochures, the film photography of Porsche Turbos parked in fields full of horses, or reading through a price list for BBS-branded polo shirts listed in Deutschmarks, but somehow these types of things feel more cemented in their time. Probably because at any given Cars & Coffee you’re likely to stumble on any number of vintage icons, but you won’t likely see anyone wearing a set of coveralls with a wheel manufacturer’s patch ironed into the breast pocket.
I’m smitten with anything connected to BMW Motorsport produced before the year 2000, but I have a few other pieces in my horde of die-casts and look-books. I’ll try to snatch up everything from M1 ProCar turbofans to tiny plastic 2002s meant to be glued down next to train sets, and I had a lot of fun gingerly carrying a good chunk of it outside for a little frigid photoshoot, but I know there are plenty of you out there who have some stuff worth sharing too. So if you’re of the same persuasion that has you on Google Translate and sites that don’t end in “.com,” please, share some of your photos with us! We’d love to see it all, from a handful of curated Hot Wheels to the complete set of Erich Strenger’s Porsche posters.