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Motor Racing book fairs or auctions?

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#1 MichaelJP

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Posted 23 September 2002 - 14:36

I was hoping to add to my collection of old motor racing books - does anyone know if there are any specialist book fairs that would be worth going to?

I'm based in Sheffield, UK by the way.


- MichaelJP


#2 petefenelon

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Posted 23 September 2002 - 16:07

Originally posted by MichaelJP
I was hoping to add to my collection of old motor racing books - does anyone know if there are any specialist book fairs that would be worth going to?

I'm based in Sheffield, UK by the way.


- MichaelJP

It's always worth looking on Ebay in Books->Non-Fiction->Motoring and Automotive->Automobilia->Other at least - I've had some cracking bargains that way.

I've found a few nice things at the National Book Fair in York but I think that's been and gone this year. I've been a few times and there's usually at least one or two dealers specialising in sporting, aviation or motoring titles who have interesting items.


#3 MichaelJP

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Posted 23 September 2002 - 20:38

Thanks Pete - I think Ebay can be very useful, but there's nothing like actually being able to look at the books in person.

- Michael

#4 Doug Nye

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Posted 23 September 2002 - 21:55

Michael - you've just missed the Beaulieu Autojumble which perhaps would have been the best opportunity of the year, but I would recommend a day trip to Hay-on-Wye for a browse around the many second-hand book shops there, several of which carry motoring and transport titles. They tend NOT to be inexpensive, however... There are several specialised dealers who issue regular postal book lists, and the Motor Books Postal Auction is very active and very good. The leading classic car auction companies - such as my outfit, Bonhams (nee Brooks) - also regularly feature motoring literature as part of the collectibles preamble to their car sales. Very often a Lot will be catalogued as, say, "The Bible plus ten others" and the ten others might be some real treasure which can still be obtained, if you're lucky, for peanuts...


#5 dretceterini

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Posted 23 September 2002 - 23:57

Not in England but in California (and a good excuse for some of you on the other side of the world to come over here) is the Society of Automotive Historians literature fair (about 150 booths) that takes place the last sunday of june, in the Los Angeles area.

#6 David McKinney

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Posted 24 September 2002 - 05:22

Established secondhand book traders also appear regularly at the bigger historic race meetings in the UK - the bigger the meeting the more stalls. Some (such as Chaters and Collectors Carbooks) bring stock from their shops, but there are many others who you won't see anywhere else. Again, the traders tend to know the value of what they're selling and bargains are rare

#7 Barry Lake

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Posted 24 September 2002 - 15:04


You mentioned Motor Book Postal Auctions. I bought many books from them over the years but dropped off the mailing list somehow a few years ago.

A friend (?) buys from them still, but won't tell me the address for fear I will outbid him!

Do you - or anyone - have a current address?


#8 Tepid shoe

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Posted 24 September 2002 - 15:26

The best forthcoming chance to browse a good selection will be at the International Classic Motor Show in November (9-10) which seems to attract most of the significant dealers to a pretty huge autojumble. It's less than a tenner to get in and it's in Birmingham (NEC) so not too far for you.
The lesson I learned (expensively) is that it is far better to go on the Sunday and start buying towards the end of the day as, even though you might miss the odd title, the dealers are far more prepared to haggle and knock a bit off when they have the prospect of loading up the van just a couple of hours off.
I always do my buying in the last hour of the show now and it saves me a fortune.

#9 Bumblyari

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Posted 24 September 2002 - 23:31

To me the www has taken a lot of the fun out of book collecting.

In my other life as an industrial archaeologist I would often spend months or sometimes years searching second hand bookshops for a particular book. But the pleasure you get when you eventually find what you're looking for, especially when it's priced at a couple of quid, is immense.

Now you just type the title into Google and up come half a dozen dealers offering it for sale. Efficient but not very exciting.

As Doug mentioned, Hay-on-Wye is certainly worth a visit but it's pretty well scoured and you probably won't find too many real bargains. However, the large number of bookshops in the town means that books are coming and going rapidly and you may strike lucky.

There is also one specialist motoring bookshop about a mile or so out of the town (I think it's called Pole Position), with some good stuff in it.

#10 Pete Stowe

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Posted 25 September 2002 - 07:37

A couple of specialist motoring bookshops nearer your part of the world are Vintage Motor Shop in Batley (www.vintagemotorshop.co.uk) and Pooks in Leicester (often have an advert in Motor Sport). They're both usually at the major shows & autojumbles so may not always be open at weekends.

#11 MichaelJP

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Posted 25 September 2002 - 09:57

Thanks for the tips, all.

Funny the way so many bookshops are in Hay-on-Wye, isn't it?

Looks like I'll be off to the NEC in November, at least.

- Michael