Collecting Automobilia - A satisfying Hobby!
Automobilia refers to all kind of collectibles related to cars and motorbikes. In fact automobilia includes everything from collectible advertising brochures, vintage car parts, and collectible classic cars to collectible road signs and collectible bumper stickers. This broad category is not limited to these sub-types and with the constant evolution of cars, both in terms of technology and style; collecting automobilia can be safely termed as a constantly growing hobby.
While collecting automobilia, keep in mind that all collectibles that belong to the period before the First World War are called 'classics'. Since automobiles have been around for almost 100 years now, you can come across automobilia that are practically antiques in their own right. Falling under this category are collectible classic motorcycles and collectible classic cars. Even older items, such as vintage license plates and vintage car parts, are even more valuable due to their age.
As a collector of automobilia, you could also specialize in collectible advertising brochures or posters. Posters and collectible advertising brochures of specific companies such as Esso or British Petroleum, or even those by famous graphic artists like Rene Vincent, are highly sought after as automobilia.
Collectible hood ornaments are another category that are an automobilia collector's delight and are generally of two types: factory ornaments and accessory ornaments. The most well-known example of such automobilia is the 'Spirit of Ecstasy', which was designed in 1911 by Charles Sykes for Rolls Royce. The most famous glass ornaments were those designed by the French designer, Rene Lalique in the form of glass radiator caps.
For all these forms of collectibles, it is very essential that you do your research well, as only then will you be able to spot the difference between a fake and an authentic piece. Since many of these items involve a lot of money, there is an abundance of fakes available in the market, so be sure you are knowledgeable enough about your category, to avoid being conned. Use the internet extensively, as it is a rich resource, complete with collector groups, and dedicated websites about all forms of automobilia.
Like all collectibles, be sure that you are ready to take on the responsibility of maintenance and care of your automobilia collection. In some cases, extensive restoration might also be required, and if you are not capable of handling it, an expert might be your best bet. Once you are ready to put in the kind of commitment that this hobby requires, you will find that collecting automobilia is quite a satisfying hobby.