Spin-offs are a way of life. Throughout the 1950’s to the 1980’s, it wasn’t uncommon for one television show to "spin-off" another. Such is the way of life, especially when collecting vintage automobiles. One of the most popular spin-offs from this hobby is the wide-reaching area of automobilia, or the hobby of collecting items related to cars.
There are hundreds of sub-venues, including motorsports where one may fancy a particular driver, team leader, or a specific marque, with specialists cutting down to individual models. Other areas deal with literature which can range from sales brochures to operating manuals, or maybe the wonderful world of books.
For those who appreciate the fine arts, original paintings, prints, sculptures or even posters can not only decorate an office or garage, but also can appreciate in value if well maintained. For others, the most popular items fall under the category of objects which can include toy or model cars, in various sizes and in varying degrees of detailing, motor-club and event badges, or watches, pens, fobs, hood ornaments or other related items produced for promoting and advertising specific brands or models.
A leader in this industry for over 30 years, l’art et l’automobile Gallery is located on a ranch in the Hill Country of Texas near the community of Harper. Founded by Jacques Vaucher, an admitted incurable collector, this little oasis of automobilia has become famous around the world for the incredible selection of items that have been offered to customers in direct sales or through a series of auctions where just about anything can be found.
A new facet to l’art et l’automobile has been added with what is believed to be the first blog-site dedicated to collectors, and to take part in this forum is done at no cost to those taking part. Launched in January 2009, www.arteautoblog.com you never know what you will be reading about as contributors have ranged from artists to collectors to other dealers.
"We thought it would be a good way to bring people to our regular website," Vaucher said, "but what we are finding is that people who are collectors of specific items and hoping to maybe find their desired treasure or teach people about their interests have been flocking to our blog."
While the gallery is open by appointment, it is still conducting daily sales through its website and with it semi-annual major catalog auctions plus a number of mini-on-line auctions, the blog is becoming a major part of the company. They are also displaying their collectibles at Vintage Car Auctions, historic races, and Concours d'elegance.
"I see what people are talking about," Vaucher said, "and it gives me an appreciation of what they likes plus lets me know what to keep my eyes open for so we can offer the best to those who come to l’art et l'automobile on a regular basis."
Vaucher invites all interested collectors to visit his blog, and if they wish to contribute, all that is required is to join up, a simple and plain on-line registration form, the cost of joining is free. Suggestions and articles are welcomed.