Autographed Items  For collectors of Signed books and automobilia- all the relevant catalogue items are collected here.

A Word About Signed Books and Memorabilia

A book that is signed by the author or someone significant to the content, immediately becomes unique and therefore more valuable than if the title page remained unsigned and unsullied.  I rate good signatures highly and I stand by all the signed items I offer on this website catalogue, but in the big world outside it is very much a matter of caveat emptor - let the buyer beware. 
 Be extra wary of recent driver autographs unless you are certain of the provenance.  The only way you can really guarantee that a modern driver's signature is authentic is to have him perform the act in front of you.  This will confirm that it was indeed his signature, but you will almost certainly be disappointed at the wiggly line that purports to be an autograph.  If you do not see him sign, the chances are that the signature (sorry, the squiggle) could have been performed by a secretary in the confines of the team motorhome.

 In what I consider to be the "Good Old Days" of the 1960s, a driver's signature was a work of art, something instantly recognisable and a mirror of the man.   Thus Graham Hill's signature was done with a swashbuckling flourish (see Catalogue #449) and Jim Clark's signature was almost that of a shy schoolboy, both of which fitted the men with the pen.  Jackie Stewart's original signature was probably much like Jim's, but he felt that if someone granted him the honour of asking for his autograph, it should be worthwhile, and he practised his copperplate autograph.  No disinterested squiggle, looking away, talking to someone else, here.
 You could glance at an item with a number of signatures of drivers in the 1950s or 1960s and immediately identify most, if not all.  Try doing that today.  Probably easier to identify the modern grid-full by their fingerprints.
 Autographs tend to depend on the fame of the person concerned.  Nigel Mansell was undoubtedly famous, but it was only a year or two ago that Chaters were offering signed copies of his autobiography at remainder prices! 

When Enzo Ferrari died, Mario Acquati, who runs the wonderful bookshop at Monza (Is it still standing?  Rumour had it that my favourite bookshop was being demolished to make way for more motorhomes in the paddock.) told me that there were books and items signed by Enzo coming out of the woodwork, offered for sale.  I told them all that I couldn't buy them because there were so many fake signatures about.  So what happened?  They dropped the ridiculous prices they were asking, and I bought a lot of them.
 Enzo Ferrari's classic signature is a case in point.  He always signed in a distinctive violet ink, said to have originated from his early days when he wrote with an Italian lead pencil that, when licked, became violet in colour and indelible.  Italian journalist, Pino Allievi, can still do a perfect Enzo Ferrari signature, which is both amusing and a vague worry in case his artform gets into the wrong hands.  You can date Ferrari signatures because as he got older, his hand became less firm and the signature in recent years was very shaky.

 I have a favourite photograph, framed in my collection.  It was taken after a Ferrari press conference when I had asked Enzo to sign a mint copy of his autobiography in English, 'My Terrible Joys'.  Someone took a photograph of me standing behind him, watching over his shoulder as he signed the book - so I sent the photograph to his personal assistant, Franco Gozzi, who arranged for Mr Ferrari to sign the photograph of him signing my book. And it's certainly not for sale!

1171.    ROLLS ROYCE.  THE MAGIC OF A NAME. Harold Nockolds. with illustrations by Roy Nockolds.  1966  revised edition of this RR Classic, first published in 1938. History of the company from the first car in 1904 to the legendary automotive and aeronautical organisation it became. This edition also covers WW2 aero engines in detail.  Terrific Roy Nockolds paintings are reproduced in colour. Hardback  5.5in x 9in  pp.283  Two editions offered here:
1171a. (left)   1966 edition as described above. Dustwrapper slightly rubbed at corners. Signed by Roy Nockolds.   £35
886.    MASERATI 250F / ROB WALKER. Sideview art with Santa Claus pouring champagne into the perol tank. Christmas card from Rob Walker and signed by him. 8x5 in. £50
542.    MERCEDES 300SL / ROB WALKER.  Christmas card with Brockbank cartoon of Rob Walker in speeding 300SL. SIGNED:  ROB WALKER.  Mike Hawthorn crashed fatally just after passing Walker in his 300SL on the Guildford Bypass in 1959.  9 x 4in.  £65
536.    INDIANAPOLIS / LOU MEYER.  1934.  Sepia photograph of three Indy 500 driver portraits:  1932 winner Fred Frame, 1933 winner Lou Meyer and Rex Mays. SIGNED BY LOU MEYER who won the 500 mile race three times.  8 x 5in.  £75
294.    RICHARD NOBLE.  Colour magazine published to celebrate Project Thrust taking the World Land Speed Record in 1983.  8x12in.  pp.24  SIGNED ON COVER BY RICHARD NOBLE.  £45

While regularly updated, this list may not include the very latest items in the catalogue.
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