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Salesman Accessory Brochure "Not for Public Viewing" - 1920s, 1930s, 1940s - Fact or fiction?


41Highlander
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So, here's the story. My grandfather, who is 91 years young and has been in the classic car hobby for 65 years working with accessories only, tells me stories of the dealer's version of the accessory brochure from the late 1920s and through the 1930s into the 1940s, BUT primarily in and through the 1930s. Some of the knowledgeable few here might be familiar with the customer accessory brochure showing the many accessories available for our favorite cars; radio, heater, spotlight, cigar lighter, fog and driving lights, backup lights, etc. This is NOT the car brochure with only a worded list of accessories in the back of the book, I mean the ACCESSORY brochure listing ONLY accessories with FULL PICTURES. HOWEVER, there was a brochure kept by the dealer with 'NOT FOR PUBLIC VIEWING' right on the front cover. It contained a list of accessories with wholesale prices that the dealer could buy from the supplier. It was not to be viewed by the public because it was intended to instruct the salesmen with guidelines and rules, so obviously you didn't want the public in on the trade secrets. During the depression not many cars were selling, so the salesmen had to sell something else to make a profit. In this dealer accessory brochure are some accessories not shown in the customer copy. For example, grandfather tells me that Packard had a dealer licensed flashlight and holder with the 'Packard' script that was ONLY shown in the dealer copy. You might ask "Well, how can the customer buy something they don't know about?". The dealer would push it on them and offer it. Ask any vintage Packard owner today about the flashlight and they might say "I don't see it in my brochure," but it was! In the dealer copy!

Grandfather says he has seen these dealer accessory brochures, but has never managed to get a copy of one, original or otherwise. Has anyone else ever heard of one, or might even have pictures? Any year (1920s through 1940s), any make of car! Did they exist and have any survived?

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Yes, he is mostly correct. There is quite a bit of such factory literature. Some companies had more of it than others. I wouldn't call them secret. They often were printed with blanks next to the item. The dealer then could put in his own mark up. I also have seen them printed. The expensive cars had lots of custom offerings as far as after market items. Lap robes with initials, foot rests, smoking sets, custom cabinets with liquor, holsters built into the uhpolstery for a 45. The list is endless. As far as the flashlight, yes they were available. I had a Cadillac LaSalle flash light with a bracket to attach to the steering column and had only known of three in exsistance. I sold it in 1991 for 2250.00. It went to Saudi Aribia. I have lots of examples of these items in my collection. They are very rare and almost never change hands. Umbrellas, battery chargers, tire chains, air pumps to inflate tires. I find this part of the history of the cars as interesting as the cars themselves. I didn't keep a photo of the light I sold years ago, I wish I did. I also have business cards from salesmen, factory jewelry given as sales awards, ect. One of my favorite things to collect are auto show only items from New York and other cities. Most of my stuff is filed away, but if you want some photos of examples, just ask. Ed.

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You can look at some of my completed listings on ebay. I recently bought a bunch of stuff from a local estate of a Ford salesman. He brought everything home, including complete unopened dealer mailings from Ford. Though they are from the early 60's for the most part. There were more than a few items stamped Salesman confidential. The items are getting buried pretty far back now and will time off shortly. I had alot more I sold over the summer.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1960-Ford-Falcon-Accessories-Monthly-Payment-Calculator-Wheel-cool-Display-/381124995344?rd=1

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1968-Lincoln-Mercury-Pocket-Facts-Book-Booklet-Salesman-Original-Nice-Old-FOMOCO-/311256542494?rd=1

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