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Guest BJM

Hemmings Motor News

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Guest BJM

I discovered Hemmings Motor News in the early 1990's. By 1995 it truly was my bible. Connecting me to the old car hobby, making virtually every car available to me sometime in a year, at all prices, and parts for enything I needed.

Now, I only buy Hemmings about once per year and it's just not part of my 'mindset' regarding the old car hobby, replaced by ebay, even this forum.

My question: how many others are like me? When is the last time you purchased a Hemmings and why?

I buy it about 1 - 2 times per year in order to get parts sources, and browse the auction news and cars for sale, but it's not my standby the way it used to be.

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I used to subscribe to Hemmings. I started a subscripton back in the mid-60's. I was even getting my copy each month by Air Mail, then by First Class Mail to get the bargains. I knew when it was scheduled to arrive and once in hand, I would read it cover to cover the rest of the evening. I made some excellent buys from this publication, but in the mid to late 90's the quality, or lack of finding early car parts started to wane. I let my subscription expire several years ago because I just didn't see the value....lacking enough ads for early car parts verses the cost.

I do buy a copy a couple of times a year, just to see if things have changed....in my opinion, they haven't. I'm sure it has value for many of today's collectors, but not for me.

My latest collector car is a 1958 FI Corvette, and my earliest is a 1913 Lozier. I enjoy Hershey, searching Ebay, this forum, the HCCA website and reading both the Gazette,and the Antique Automobile publications.

Just sharing my $.02.

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Me? I quit subscribing years ago, because it failed to deliver any value. The internet, for better or worse, has replaced it. I do read each issue at Barnes and Noble when it comes out- curiosity I guess. I haven't seen anything I wanted or needed in all those trips to B and N. (I go for other reasons- stop by the car mags while in the store.)

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I can't say that it does me any real good, but I still subscribe. I can't wait to get it in my hand and check out the categories that I follow.

It is like the newspaperman's response to the guy who said that TV would replace the newspaper. Every try to swat a fly with a TV?

I sometimes visit their website and it is fairly easy to let the computer do all of the work of searching, but I still like the feel of turning the pages. Call me stupid, but I don't care.

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Bill dropped his subscription years ago. He just was not finding anything for the two cars that we had at time, and still have. Only now we have three cars.

I am sure that there must still be people finding parts there, otherwise Hemmings would have gone out of business, it just isn't us.

Reading <span style="font-style: italic"><span style="font-weight: bold">Antique Automobile </span></span>is a better use of my car magazine reading time. Great job West. smile.gif

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I had a subscription for close to 20 years. I found some good stuff thru HMN, but like others of you, the internet produced quicker and better results without playing phone tag.

Then I got busy with work and maintaining two houses, as well as caring for an ill Mama and Grandma, and simply didn't have time to read it anymore.

When I found six of them in the den still in the plastic wrap, I decided it was time to let it go.

I DO maintain a Hemmings Classic Car subscription though, and their Muscle Car mag comes in handy for Christmas and birthday gifts for young gearhead friends.

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I was a subscriber for twenty two years before I let it lapse this year. I don't blame the magazine at all. After it was revamped a few years ago it was almost worth the high price. I paid for first class which you know is over a hundred bucks a year. During all those years of waiting for the postman to bring the magazine every month, I never bought a car from it and I think in 1987 I bought some parts.

Now it wasn't the magazine's fault, it was and still is the people who place the ads and the people who buy the magazine. Believe me when I say that over that twenty two year period, I found lots of cars that I would have liked to buy but didn't for two reasons. Either they were grossly overpriced or they were priced right and already sold before I opened the front door to get the mail. If the car was a good buy and by some miracle I was the first caller, there would be someone else right behind me dangling his bank account in front of the seller. The "topper" to this scenario was that I would see that "good buy" for sale at twice the price the next month or on the net. One car that I wanted was sold to a dealer for $35K and he is asking $150K for it.

I have heard people refer to Hemmings as the "wish book" mainly for the ridiculous prices on mostly everything inside. I don't have to pay to read the criminal activity that is going on in the car hobby. I can look on ebay for free and see how dealers and sellers with dollar signs dancing in their heads are holding the hobby hostage. So I guess you could say that the net allowed me to "live" without Hemmings but then again, Hemmings is on the net so if I want to get a laugh, I can always look at it.

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Guest BJM

Interesting comments. Because after I purchased a car or two out of there - and I did purchase maybe 10 cars over 12-15 years ut of Hemmings - my focus was on parts.

For parts, typically 1- 2 issues a year will do, although I may miss a car being parted out from time to time in between.

And then the focus on Hemming sjust - stopped. I hope it never goes away and I am glad they expanded to have a current events/news/auction/profiles addition to it.

Now they are kind of high on the "dealers". With all due respect to them, I don't understand the pricing and we will never know how much those overpriced cars really sell for. It's the 2000 pound gorilla under the bed.

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I agree with most of the comments. 20 years ago, you could open Hemmings and have a shot at fairly priced cars. Now, the only cars that make it to Hemmings are the ones that are so overpriced no one locally will buy it, or already in the hands of a dealer, and more overpriced. Imagine the size of Hemmings with every dealer advertisement removed. Use to be 85% individuals selling cars. Now it is the other way. I read it for entertainment, but the chances of buying a fairly priced car out of Hemmings are slim.

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I stopped subscribing about ten years ago. As with others, it was too depressing to read the overpriced ads. Anything that was a decent buy was long gone (I never sprang for first class delivery). Hemmings blew it by not joining up with ebay from the very beginning.

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I still subscribe but more habit than anything. The market dictates what is in there but I think a lot of pages are now dealer oriented and tilt towards the 60s stuff. I personally could do without the "mini magazine" content which is largely cars I don't follow, and see a lower subscription cost. There have already been suggestions to split out post war & pre war; although I can see where it may not make sense for them to do that.

Have found this forum to be a really a great free service to members and non members alike. Have bought parts, books and made contacts including one that lead to my latest collector car thanks to the AACA forum. I think internet is replacing the periodicals for cars and parts, but it is still fun to get HMN in the mail.

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I used to subscribe, but, it got to expensive. And if you are not in the market why suscribe? I have a Hemmings Classic Car subscription, the magazine is all color and glossy and it is fantastic and I got a special deal for a 4 year subscription and it was cheaper than one year of hemmings!

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BJM</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I discovered Hemmings Motor News in the early 1990's. </div></div>

I think I stoped buying Hemmings before you started. I still have the first issue I was given from around 1963. Back then you got a copy from a friend in the hobby, it was a big deal an adult thought a 12 year old was ready to get into this hobby. If your First Class copy wasn't in the mailbox on the 22nd of every month you were sure that all the good stuff was sold. It just got filled with commercial adds, WAY too many late model parts & cars for me to continue. It was GREAT back in the Golden Years of the hobby and served its purpose well. eBay is the new leader in parts and car sales.

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.

My most recent autos were purchased directly from a dealer or from the Internet. The parts that I've needed over the past couple of years have been found at swap meets or on the Internet. I'm not currently looking for a new project, or any parts. In fact, it's been years since I've purchased a car or parts from Hemmings. Through all of this, however, I've maintained my long time subscription to Hemmings.

Maybe it's because I like to look at the cars - it's kind of like enjoying a car show when there are none. Or perhaps Hemmings helps me to track current asking prices and trends (though frequently high). I appreciate learning about different autos in the front "magazine type" section. Possibly Hemmings helps me to maintain a part of my youth, a time when the Internet was unheard of, and cars/parts could only be located at swap meets or within magazines. Maybe it's because I can experience a small part of what it feels like to locate a barn find - even though that barn find is sombody else's car - still, I've just found it in Hemmings.

Whatever the reasons, I sill subscribe, and enjoy flipping through the pages of each issue.

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I, like Bob, stopped getting Hemmings in the mid 80's. The price of the subscription kept going up and up, too many late model cars. It would make my blood boil to pay the high rates and then go to a flea market and see a diesel conversion bus and collector cars with their name plastered all over it. It was like they were throwing their success right in your face. After my run in with the editor about a trade where he reneged, but kept the stuff I gave him, that was it for me...

Frank

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When I bought my last car to restore, in 2005 I found Hemmings very helpful in finding individuals and suppliers of what I needed. I had found the car in Hemmings in fact. I made some excellent contacts both private and commercial. When I wanted to buy another car in 2008 Icould not find one in Hemmings, and instead found it on the Internet. Flea markets (called swap meets out west) have been made worthless by eBay, even at Hershey. Times are changing that will end my 45 year subscription to Hemmings, my trips to meets for the flea market. eBay has increased the cost of parts too. For example, a NOS glove box lock assembly with its plastic collar that would sell for $25 at Hershey, sold this morning on eBay for $65. Cars that would sell for $1200 in Hemmings, $4000 at Hershey now sell for $12000 on the Internet. As the man said, "nothing is forever"; but as the Internet prices most hobbyists out of the hobby, it won't be a good thing. Finally, though, that will bring down the hobby and prices with it.

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I find the Internet quite helpful for finding parts.

I will gladly spent $35.00 more than its worth to save a day of tramping through the mud or hot sun at a swap meet.

In retrospect, it is probably cheaper when you add up the entry fee, $4.00 hot dogs and gas. (both kinds)

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Here's a Hemmings story: A "lawyer" from out west phoned me last spring. He had a just the car I was advertising for in Hemmings, amd it is a rare one, too: a '20s Peugeot Quadrilette he'd purchased in a big Nevada collection. Not only that, it was cheap: $2500. As the conversation continued, he said he had not one, but TWO Quadrilettes for sale. As he continued to talk, it became obvious he didn't really know what a Quadrilette was. No photos available, 'you must buy it now', etc. I told him to call me when the car could be inspected, but never heard from him again. Last month, I got a call from the Iowa State Police. They found my number on the guy's phone records. Seems he "sold" quite a few cars to other collectors using Hemmings wanted ads to find victims. At least they caught the guy, there are a few bargain hunters out some money.

Phil

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Guest BJM

Paul,

I agree with many of your points. It's that rush of finding a car listed for sale that you had not seen elsewhere - a personal "barn find" even though someone else has it.

Back in the day, the cars I wanted would always pop up when I was without funds or had another car (that's what led to purchasing so many over so many years)

So I would often communicate with sellers by phone and ask for pictures - that gave me an address. Now, this might sound bad to some, but I would then respond with what my wife called a "sob story" abou how this or that car was my "holy grail" and sometimes gain a degree of friendship with the seller. More then once I took possession of vehicles (meaning: purchased) after starting a dialogue in Hemmings - of course these may have been cars nobody else wanted but I did.

Other things are that I would see cars listed over and over again for months. It might be a car I had interest in, so I would set money aside and when I had enough, I would make the phone call. You can't do that with an ebay auction.

For those cars I could not afford, I enjoyed reading about them. It's one thing to see a car in a coffee table book - it was quite another to see it being offered for sale in Hemmings.

In some ways, Hemmings brought the old car community together. ebay seperates it.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BJM</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> In some ways, Hemmings brought the old car community together. ebay seperates it. </div></div>

Never were truer words written. In the years to come there will never be a jar of ebay mud for sale from back in the good ole'days. grin.gif

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I used to subscribe to both Hemmings and OCW back in the pre-internet days but cancelled them both for most of the same reasons mentioned above. When I bought my Pierce I re-subscribed to both for information and sources since my prewar experience was non-existent. Now I'm pretty sure I will cancel OCW again but I'll keep getting Hemmings. I like all kinds of cars so I like the articles and auction coverage. I have found many sources for services and information. I do not expect to buy cars or parts there but it is a good read.

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It may be a sense of nostalgia, but I still prefer looking at Hemmings rather than on the website. Same with newspapers, it's great to read them in the morning with a cup of coffee. I have subscribed to Hemmings for well over thirty years and will continue to do so. I like the changes with articles and auction reports with pictures and descriptions of the cars.

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I'm with you Woody! I still eagerly await my next issue just hoping to find that something special that "I just have to have". I like the editorial changes as well. To top it off, we now get a special deal as AACA members.

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Guest BJM

I used to get Hemmings, get the coffee going on a Saturday morning and considered it no different then any other form of entertainment- like a movie or a ball game on TV. I would have no time limit, have my highlighters set in a row then highlight on one run through.

Then I would seperate - cars I want and ads for parts, then those go on an 8 1/2 x 11 papers and I would go down the line calling on them.

That was several years ago... but a lot of fun

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