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Car Ads from magazines

I listen to your radio programs on the weekends on MPR. I just realized I had a car problem, just not with a car. My husband, who past away 6 years ago, collected magazine ads of cars. He did most of his collection in the 70’s and has over 22,000. Now I have them and would like to know if there is a market for these ads and how to find a value. I have an inventory by make, year, color and if it is an illustration I can send in an Excel format. Each of the ads have been placed in a plastic cover and are collect as books base on the make. I would love your help in leading me to a source that could help me figure out how to sale this art.

Your best bet to give these car ads exposure to see if anyone would be interested in what you have is to post them on craigslist, ebay, or take them to swap meets. But to be honest, the only people I know who buy old car ads from magazines is if they drive the vehicle advertised in the ad.


Do you have any for

1961 VW Beetke
1964 Ford Fairlane
1972 Chevy Vega
1976 Toyota Corolla
1979 Toyota Pickup
1982 Honda Civic
1986 Toyota Van
1989 Toyota Pickup
1991 Toyota Camry

I might be interested in these. I’ve had other vehicles too, but these are the only ones I’d be interested in.

I use this to illustrate the point that you may need to be willing to offer these “piecemeal” over EBay or similar.

There is definitely a market for these, so take your time on this. Go to Ebay and do some searches for car-related literature. I know of several folks that sell brochures, etc, on Ebay frequently. You could package these by brand, by year, any number of ways, and I bet you’ll find a number of interested buyers. Craigslist would be another option.

Thank you for your interest, the cars you are asking about are too new. I am not interested in making this a business by having to sale them one by one. This was my husband’s interest,even though I enjoy looking through them, I don’t know their value to sale them. So what I hear you saying is there are no collector looking for old car ads.

Sounds like a inquiry to those TV guys “Pawn Stars” is in order. Give them a call they are in LV NV.

Most people today have not even heard of these cars. This collection is for someone interested in the history of cars or the art. A lot of the ads were created by illustrators, not photographs. Thank you for your opinion of what to do, I was afraid these ads were too old for peoples taste today.


“So what I hear you saying is there are no collector looking for old car ads.”

ABSOLUTELY NOT! There are many old car hobbyists that would love to get these. That’s not to say they’re worth a fortune, but, depending on condition and organization, they’re worth something. Take your time, do some research.

Go browse through some local antique “malls” (ones that are big spaces filled up with lots of different vendors). You’ll probably find some vendors that sell this kind of stuff. Talk to them, ask if they’d be interested in seeing the collection. Maybe you can get someone to make an offer or take them on a consignment basis.

Even if you don’t find someone browsing antique vendors is a fun way to spend a few hours anyway.

Even better - see if there are any old car shows in your area that have vendor space, you’ll find folks you can ask there.

And if you don’t want to go to that trouble, buy a Hemmings Motor News, the classified ‘bible’ for old car hobbyists. I bet you’ll find ads from companies that sell old car literature, you could call them to ask if they want to buy your collection.

Auction on E-Bay for what they will bring. Set up a booth at the July old car show at Iola, WI, post an ad in Hemmings Motor News; just a few suggestions for you. Scan each, assemble into a CD and sell copies on E-Bay.

Don’t expect a lot of money for this old stuff. It is good for entertainment but people can easily go on without it.

Claudette, the fact that they are so well organized makes this a ‘collection’, as opposed to ‘boxes of clippings’, and should make them easier to sell (not at a high price, mind you). So you’re saying there are notebooks by brand, right? I just gotta think a Chevy fan, for example, would like to get hold of the related ads. I know I would!

If all else fails, there may be an auto museum that would like these and can give you an appraisal and tax deduction for donating them.

Over the last 6 years I have done different things to figure out what to do with these ads. I gave a sample to the local Ebay store and a few sold. This was a box of duplicates that had price tags on them from about 15 years ago. That was easy because there was a starting point, the prices my husband placed on them years ago. If, I go and ask what is left I figure half. Oh and this was over two years ago.

I contacted the local Action and they were not interested.

I have looked up the values on websites. Half the ads I have they don’t. I know some of the ads I have are worth 25 to 50 dollars and others 1 dollar. I know I can’t sale them for there full value, that would mean I am creating a business with them, and I don’t want that.

This paper is old, not one piece is less than 40 years. I have placed the books in boxes some in the basement and some in the garage. It is a great collection because it is in books. But it is sitting getting older and I think there got to be someone who would appreciate more than me.

The reason I am telling you all this is because you have tried to help me. I like the suggest of the Pawn Shop because they would give me a value they were willing to paid. This is kind of arrangement I was hoping to find. I don’t want to sound like a cry baby, but Las Vegas is a full day drive from my house and even though I have a 4Runner, I don’t think all the boxes would fit. Best case is to contact interested parties, that would come to look at the ads, if not I can take the ads to interested parties.

Thanks for your help.


Here’s a company that specializes is selling old car (and other) advertisements. I have no experience with them, but it’d worth a call:

I have looked at their web site. They state on one of their pages that they are not buying ads. I think I contacted them years ago and they said then that the collection was too big for them. That is another problem with this collection is the size. If I piece it out I will be left with some of it. It might make me more money that way, and I may have to do it that way in the end. Right now I am looking for ideas that I can follow up on. I will take my time. I like the ads and will miss them, but I don’t think it is fair to keep them. It wouldn’t be fair to give them away either. Well that is my opinion.

Thanks again.


I like your idea and looked them up on the web. This is the kind of arrangement I would like to make. I will follow up on this. Have to figure out the next step, now that I know about this place.

Thanks for the help.


I agree with you, but what is a good price?

Thanks for your suggests?


Click on the link to eBay. You not only get an idea of the worth of the ads, but the sellers could be your customers. I agree with you that the collection should be sold as is. It can have more value that way, and it definitely will if you count your time in the cost to sell.

You might be right, but it might also, be a needle in a haystack. I think there is a difference in the person selling ads and the person wanting to collect the ads. I believe the sellers are looking for fillers and a collection like mine, has too many duplicates ads they already have and can’t sell. It become a mismatch between seller and buyer. I have more than they want to buy. This is why I have turned to asking others for ideas and thanks for your help.