Vintage Automobilia: 3 Popular Items to Collect

If you’re an avid motoring enthusiast, building a vintage automobilia collection can be a great way to bring your passion to life. Collecting vintage items associated with motoring and motorsport will submerse you into the exciting world of speed and design.

Here are 3 popular collectors’ fields:

Vintage Die-cast Models

Vintage die-cast models are incredibly popular when it comes to collecting automobilia. Many collectors dedicate their entire collection to these toys of the past, something that can span hundreds of models worth many thousands of pounds. Prices are largely dependent on the age, rarity and condition of the model, and whether the original box is present. The original box is often worth more than the model it contains because fewer now remain in existence. Back in the day children would deem the cardboard packaging surplus and would usually discarded it.
Though prices fluctuate enormously, you don’t necessarily need to spend big to start collecting. Even if your budget is relatively small, there are many lower value items out there that will progressively increase in value. Corgi, Dinky and Matchbox are household names when it comes to collecting vintage die-casts, with some examples known to have achieved prices in excess of £10,000.
If you plan to start collecting die-cast vehicles make sure you research the item you are purchasing – look at other realised prices to get an idea what it is worth. Also, remember that originality is key – check that both the toy and box are in original unrestored condition – there are some very deceptive reproductions out there (boxes in particular).

Petrol Pumps

This may seem like an unusual item to add to your collection. However, the petrol pump is an iconic symbol of automotive memorabilia. Going back through the years, petrol pumps had uniquely stylistic designs that make modern day counterparts seem rather dull. Pumps originally came with a light fitting situated on top which illuminated in order to draw motorists’ attention to the petrol station. Later on, a trend of fitting a branded globe over the bulb became an increasingly popular way of enhancing the aesthetics. These branded globes, often manufactured by Hailware or Webb’s, are now collectable in themselves. Made of opaline glass, petrol pump globes were incredibly brittle and prone to damage (around the rim, neck and shoulders in particular), so few intact examples have survived.
The pricing of vintage petrol pumps is vast, ranging from a few hundred pounds to tens of thousands of pounds. Ultimately, rarity and originality are decisive factors.

Vintage Automobilia Posters

Art and automotive design go hand in hand. In order to capture the original thoughts of the architect of the vehicle, the artist needs to understand what makes the car aesthetically pleasing. This could be the curves, the shape or even the colour.
Automotive-themed posters have widespread appeal when it comes to collecting wall art. If you’re lucky enough to own a classic car, decorating the garage with vintage posters featuring performance cars and motorsport will add to the petrol-head decor you’re looking for.


PM Antiques & Collectables have a vast range of vintage automobilia available including die-cast models, petrol pump globes, posters and mascots. Please feel free to check out our current stock. Or contact us to see how we can help you find the ideal antique or collectable.

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