Journal: Do You Collect Authentic Automobilia?

Do You Collect Authentic Automobilia?

By Alex Sobran
January 9, 2018

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.

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Alex Antunes
Alex Antunes(@alx007)
1 year ago

M3 CSL, the last nice BMW…

Paul Casarona
Paul Casarona(@paul_casarona)
2 years ago

Can anyone shed light on the history of this trophy. It was a gift from my brother in thanks of a restoration project I did for him. I don’t know where he found it and I don’t believe any history or documentation came with it. It is cut glass with a silver band around the top that reads:

“Gesellschaftsfarht des Automobil-Clubs Niedersachsen 1914
Dem Besten Fahrer Auf Continental – Pneumatik
Gestiftet von der Continental-Caoutchouc & Gutta Percha Compagnie Hannover”

“Society of Automobile Clubs Lower Saxony 1914
The Best Driver on Continental – Pneumatics
Presented by the Continental Caoutchouc & Gutta Percha Company Hannover”

3 years ago

Oh my god, I would have gone broke. How lucky!

4 years ago

I’m a massive Goodwood fan and living in Indonesia didn’t help, but I had collect most of the programme and I had bought some GRRC yearly pack, I recently start browsing for their pin and badges, which is plenty. Next would be completing GGRC yearly pack and acquire more specific Goodwood merchandise. Anyone living in UK that wants to help me is very welcome. I can treat you pint if you want.

4 years ago

I too love collecting old brochures and magazines. Anything i can find on cars I own (e34 M5’s in particular) or cars i want to own. Brochures for different markets, magazine road tests and comparisons. Waiting on the Performance Car of the Year 1992 magazine to come from the UK currently. Love the pics here in this article, nicely presented in the Daytona M5T. (i have one in a slightly darker Madeira-Schwarz)

4 years ago

Great timing to this subject. About a month ago I visited the home of a retired BMW exec and had the chance to visit “the attic” and pick through an collection of amazing 1980-90’s stuff. NOS clothing, leather goods, die cast, posters, etc. I spent 3 hours up there and more money than I care to admit. I put some other pics up at my IG @ap_ike

Simon Sullivan
Simon Sullivan
4 years ago

Our BMW Memorabilia group is growing and we hope you will join us to enjoy the incredibly varied BMW Memorabilia our members post for sale and just to share. or just search for @BMWMemorabilia

4 years ago

Collecting automobilia it´s not coming closer to an obsession – it is an obsession Alex 😉 It is the unique mixture of diversity (diecast models, brochures, clothing, stickers, hubcaps, etc.) that makes this obsession charming. On the one hand the hunt for rare pieces or bargains and on the other the very special automobilia world. I collect classic steering wheels – you can find more photos @blechkiste on instagram. Best wishes to all of you guys and collect tastefully 😉

Simon Sullivan
Simon Sullivan
4 years ago
Reply to  Chris

Our BMW Memorabilia group is growing and we hope you will join us to enjoy the incredibly varied BMW Memorabilia our members post for sale and just to share. or just search for @BMWMemorabilia

4 years ago

Who doesn’t love collecting automobilia? I have been collecting vintage race posters for years to decorate my garage. I enjoy the artwork used to promote the races and the associated racing history. Check out @sjautomobilia on instagram for some posters from my collection along with several I am selling.