Are you interested in owning a piece of automotive history? View our upcoming automobilia auctions or call Rockabilly Auction Company today at (770) 652-8075 to learn more.

Automobilia collectible items are some of the most sought-after and valuable antique pieces, ranging from Chevrolet ‘Chevy Boy’ neon signs selling for upwards of $69,000 to vintage speed shop clocks and more. At Rockabilly Auction Company in Hartwell, Georgia, we specialize in collecting the best automobilia items on the market so that vintage enthusiasts like you can add the perfect piece to your collection. Whether you’re ready to part with your collectible items or you want to buy your next piece, we can help.

What Is Automobilia?

Automobilia is a term for all collectible items relating to the automobile industry. The name combines the terms automobile and memorabilia, creating “automobilia.” Despite common confusion, automobilia does not include vintage automobiles, only memorabilia relating to the industry, like signs, advertising materials, accessories, and more.

  • Automobilia refers to collectibles and memorabilia associated with automobiles and the automotive industry, excluding actual vehicles, and includes items such as vintage advertisements, car parts, badges, and promotional materials.

  • The evolution of automobilia mirrors the development of the automobile industry, reflecting changes in taste, style, and technology from accessories of the early 20th century to modern day collectibles, with an increasing emphasis on items like radiator emblems.

  • The market for automobilia is experiencing growth and diversification, with traditional auction houses and online platforms facilitating trade, while emerging trends and technology hint at a future with digital automobilia and increased interest in electric vehicle memorabilia.

The world of automobilia offers an extraordinary glimpse into the history and culture of the automotive industry. But, what exactly is automobilia? It refers to collectibles and memorabilia related to automobiles and the automotive industry, excluding complete vehicles but encapsulating specific car parts. It is a realm where the past meets the present, where the roar of yesterday’s engines echoes in the meticulously preserved memorabilia. The essence of automobilia lies in the passion of collectors, their dedication to preserving automotive history, and the sheer joy of owning a piece of the past.

Automobilia not only celebrates the past but also encapsulates the evolution of vehicles, from their early iterations to the sleek, sophisticated cars today. Exploring the various facets of automobilia reveals the special characteristics of these collectibles, including:

  • Vintage car advertisements

  • Classic car brochures

  • Car badges and emblems

  • Model cars

  • Automotive artwork and photography

  • Vintage gas station memorabilia

  • Automotive literature and books

These collectibles continue to captivate enthusiasts worldwide.

A Brief Look Into Automobilia History

The word ‘automobilia’ is a blend of ‘automobile’ and ‘memorabilia’ and pertains to historical artifacts or collectibles linked with cars. The world of automobilia is vast and varied, including a plethora of objects related to automotive history. Some examples of automobilia include:

  • Vintage license plates

  • Neon signs

  • Radiator mascots

  • In-car tool kits

These items hold a unique appeal, far beyond their utilitarian purposes. They are cherished for their historical and sentimental value, each piece telling a unique story of the era it belongs to.

Beyond mere collection of objects, automobilia involves preserving history and keeping automotive stories alive. Collectors of automobilia are custodians of these tales, ensuring they continue to be shared and appreciated by future generations. They are the ones who keep the engine of automotive history running, one collectible at a time.

The Evolution of Automobilia

The evolution of automobilia is a journey through time, reflecting the changing tastes, styles, and technologies of the automotive industry. From motoring accessories to memorabilia linked to notable events like Formula One races, the collections of automobilia feature items from various historic periods, particularly those dated between the 1940s and the 1970s.

Traversing the timeline of automobilia reveals the evolution of these collectibles, mirroring changes in the automobile industry and society. The vintage gas pump globes of yesteryear tell the story of a time when gas stations were local businesses, while the sleek designs of modern automobilia reflect the advanced technology and aesthetics of the cars today. This evolution makes automobilia an ever-changing field, always offering something new for collectors to discover.

Automobilia Collectors Items

Automobilia encompasses a vast array of collectibles, reflecting the diverse interests of collectors. From vintage signs and clocks to unique license plates and flags, the field of automobilia offers a treasure trove of items for collectors to explore. Some collectors focus on specific themes, such as items associated with a famous motor racing driver or a certain type of object like radiator mascots.

The beauty of automobilia lies in its diversity. Whether you’re interested in:

There’s something to suit every collector’s taste. The following subsections detail some of the most popular types of automobilia.

Vintage Signs and Clocks

Among the most sought-after items in automobilia are vintage signs and clocks. These pieces are highly appreciated for their visual appeal and historical significance, often featuring automobile brand names like Buick, Cadillac, and Chevrolet, beautifully illuminated by neon lights.

These collectible vintage clocks date back to the mid-20th century, a time when they were prominently displayed in car dealerships and service stations. Every clock and sign captures a moment in history, freezing it in time forever. Their charm lies in their ability to transport us back to a different era, making us a part of the fascinating journey of the automobile industry.

License Plates and Flags

Vintage gas pumps in a general store

License plates and flags are another captivating category of automobilia. Collectors often focus on license plates from specific states, countries, certain historical periods, or those with personal significance. Each state’s license plate design is distinctive, featuring elements that might include state-specific sights, historical landmarks, or natural wildlife, reflecting the evolving nature of these collectible items.

Limited-edition plates and those commemorating special events are particularly prized for their uniqueness and scarcity, making them desirable collectibles. Some examples include:

  • Plates with unique numbers or letter combinations, such as low digit plates or ones with repeating characters

  • Plates from specific years or locations that hold historical significance

  • Plates featuring popular themes or designs

These types of plates have a special appeal and can be more valuable to collectors.

The value of these plates can sometimes surpass the worth of the vehicles they’re on or the property where these vehicles are stationed, evidencing the potential high value of these collectibles.

Clothing, Art, and Toys

Automobile-related clothing, art, and toys form another intriguing category of automobilia. This category reflects the culture and history of the automotive industry, and collectors seek a range of items, from vintage racing jackets to brand-centric t-shirts, all inspired by various vehicle models.

By collecting these items, enthusiasts help to preserve the historic and cultural narratives encapsulated in automotive attire. Each piece of clothing, each artwork, each toy is a testament to the passion and creativity that have shaped the automobile industry over the decades. They bring the world of vehicles to life, allowing collectors to wear their passion on their sleeves, literally and figuratively.

The Market for Automobilia: Buying and Selling

Navigating the market for automobilia can be as thrilling as a high-speed car chase. From auctions and events to online platforms, there are numerous avenues for collectors to explore. Whether you’re a novice collector or a seasoned veteran, it’s important to understand the dynamics of the market to make informed decisions.

The market for automobilia is growing, driven by the increasing demand for unique and historical items. For instance, radiator emblems have become highly coveted items, leading to increased service fees for buyers and sellers on online auction platforms. The following subsections provide insights into various aspects of the automobilia market, including:

  • Auctions

  • Events

  • Online platforms

  • Advice for new collectors

Auctions and Events

Specialized auctions and events play a pivotal role in the automobilia market. High-end auction houses like Rockabilly Auction Co. are known for higher sales prices for automobilia, with popular collectible items being vintage advertising signs, clocks, thermometers, and license plates.

Rockabilly Auction Co. is a full-service auction house in Georgia specializing in vintage Americana, Petroliana, and Automobilia, offering extensive services for collectors. We handle aspects like photography and marketing while attracting a targeted audience, making these platforms an excellent choice for collectors looking to sell large volumes of automobilia. Customer experiences at Rockabilly Auction Co., for instance, highlight the company’s outstanding service and high-quality auction items, fostering a positive environment for collectors.

We are Your Go-to Automobilia Source

At Rockabilly Auction Company, we’re passionate about all things automobilia. Whether you have an antique piece you wish to sell or want to add something new to your collection, we’re your go-to auction house. View our upcoming automobilia auctions, schedule a consignment appointment to sell items, visit our gallery in Hartwell, Georgia, or call us at Rockabilly Auction Company today at (770) 652-8075 to learn more.