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History What do you guys do with old car books and manuals"

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by GearheadsQCE, Jan 10, 2022.

  1. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,978


    Me too, I just got a copy about a month ago after looking for the last 10 years. There's always some on eBay but very rarely cheap. I re-read it after not touching it since grade school and I remembered it so well, it was really ingrained in my mind.

    I've got a huge collection of books but I need to get them on a proper shelf so I can get at them when I need them. The parts books with part numbers are really helpful when trying to identify stuff, the Haynes manuals are virtually worthless (Step 1 remove battery cables Step 2 unscrew gas cap Step 3 remove X part, reassembly in reverse order, for every part of every car!)

    The books are not worth much for resale though. I have amassed a staggeringly large collection, buying them in very big lots at auctions for next to nothing. Would be great to find them a home, unlikely to sell them for much of anything unless you have a few specifically good ones.
    41 GMC K-18 likes this.
  2. Manuals used to be easy sellers on Ebay a few years ago, but by now, just about every manual has been scanned and downloaded, so they are harder to get rid of, unless they are especially rare. Libraries generally don't want them, for some of the reasons given above, and about half of my collection came from library sales. If you find someone who would be interested in buying the whole lot (dealer), you won't get rich, but at least you could shift the headache. Or give them away to the owner of that particular car, if you can find one.
  3. Airborne34
    Joined: Dec 4, 2007
    Posts: 576


    I’ve donated hundreds to various car clubs in the area. They were very appreciative. I’ve found the the Antique Automobile Club of American has a large variety of cars and seem to be the most eager to take them off my hands.
  4. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 5,090


    Yep. I made the mistake of Googling "hot rod" once.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2022
    41 GMC K-18 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  5. hotrodjack33
    Joined: Aug 19, 2019
    Posts: 3,560


    That's a great idea. My bother-in-law has stocked his garage rather nicely with my "borrowed" tools.:mad:
  6. By the way, I learned that since manuals do not contain advertisements then you can ship them with the Post Office under "Media Mail" which is considerably cheaper than regular mail rates.
  7. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 3,092

    from Alabama

    I was trying to explain the by-pass port on a master cylinder.
    Do you realize how hard that would be without this?
    [​IMG]Untitled by Travis Brown, on Flickr

    In the master there's this little hole...well there's the big port and the little by-pass port. The big port empties into the cylinder...blah...blah...blah...
  8. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 3,168

    from Minnesota

    I still collect them. Mostly I save them for parts numbers. Saves me from asking the dreaded " what is this part" when I can spend time researching it myself.
  9. RT468
    Joined: Apr 7, 2019
    Posts: 72


    I've saved a few from ending up as bullet backstop from a buddy that wanted to attempt to recover a specialty .44 defense round to see what it looked like. Had a hell of a time giving them away and the were clean and crisp spines. Ranged anywhere from the late 50s up in to the cheaper paper backed 80s version. Came up with a few more from the 60s that I've taken to a few local shows just as table filler. Sold 1 last spring and offered to give the guy the remaining included in the price of the one he bought. He declined. Had a kid probably not quite old enough to drive thought they were awesome but his father declined my offer to take the rest free of charge to peruse later. So they get shuffled from a shelf to another with crap getting piled on an until they get too beat up and I get a wild hair and toss em out. Or maybe take 5 or 6 in the woods and see if I can recover a fired slug out of them like my buddy intended to do with the 1st batch.
    41 GMC K-18 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  10. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,146

    from PNW

    Through the years I found mine made wonderful fire starters.
  11. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 2,035

    from kansas

    Thanks guys for the links but those are a little high for me. If it was a tech manual that's one thing but it's just a book for youngsters lol! I've missed a few copies on ebay that went for 20 bucks or so, I just wasn't fast enough..
  12. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,913


    They're just tracking your typical search path :eek:
    Internet Search function has really gone downhill, it's almost solely based on sales.
    Type in "how to un-f*ck a bad situation" and they'll try to sell you an anti-f*ck powder and a book on on positive thinking
  13. SR100
    Joined: Nov 26, 2013
    Posts: 1,021


    Post a pic of the spines.
    I'm not much for manuals, but always looking for books. Chances are good that someone will want most of them.
  14. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 4,069

    from illinois

    It was always based on profit !
  15. Hey GearheadQCE,
    I have sold piles of magazines, manuals and other car books
    right here in "The Antiquated For Sale" section,as well
    as Cl and the like.
    Take a picture of all of them laying flat and one piled up.
    Scratch your head and come up with a reasonable price for all.
    No pickers, must take all!
    It takes about 5 minutes!
    Alternatively, as stated do the same thing in the "Pay it forward" section.
    The stuff will go either way!
    41 GMC K-18 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  16. Lone Star Mopar
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 3,320

    Lone Star Mopar

    Go to a local show or cruise and set them out with a free sign and some other sicko will come and take all of them.. Thats what we do.
    john worden, 41 GMC K-18 and loudbang like this.
  17. connielu
    Joined: Apr 21, 2019
    Posts: 167

    1. A-D Truckers

    I have several Motor Manuals from the 40's and 50's and a Carter Carb manual that where being disposed of at a former job. I have used them but not a lot. The Old Car Manual Project has an extensive library online, I have used it more than any manuals I own.
  18. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 7,015



    I once had a stash of magazines and a few hardbound automotive manuals. The magazines were obviously helpful in more ways than one. Teenagers love looking at all old magazines, if they are in good condition.

    But, the manuals are a hard sell, as they mostly, do not go with the current teenage thinking. It is an unusual thing to see a teenager get interested in an old Chevy or Ford technical manual of any kind. My brother somehow got his hands on several, thinking we would use them down the line. But, they sat in the den/trophy room bookshelves until we realized either one of us cracked open those fat manuals. They did look nice hardbound among the hardbound books.

    So, as we moved, they got stored in boxes with the thinking that someday, I will look at them and make them useful… good luck. They became heavy moving objects and just gathered dust over time.


    So, twenty years later, in one of our frantic garage attic clean out days, the box of old magazines came down and so did the hardbound books. I decided to give some of the magazines to the neighborhood kids and they gobbled them up, despite the age. The books/manuals had to be gone over as I decided the rest of the magazines and the hard bound books would be given to the local high school auto shop.

    As I thought of myself as a teenager, twenty years later, would I be reading those old manuals? They did not interest me back then and now they just gathered dust. So, I looked at what was there and kept a Chevrolet manual, an old Ford manual and threw away the rest. Even though there could have been a current teenager interested (one in a hundred chance) it was not part of the give away package.

    When I went to the local high school, the teacher was happy and the teenagers instantly took to the magazines, but those fat automotive manuals just sat there… gathering dust. The teacher smiled, thanked me and we both knew what was going to happen to those hardbound automotive manuals…

    With your experience, you will have to filter out what would be used in those H.S. Autoshop classes and what would not, then recycle the rest. Or, the next time you have a garage sale, set those aside at the entrance of your driveway and display them with a "free" sign on them. Some people just cannot get away from getting something for free.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2022
    john worden and 41 GMC K-18 like this.
  19. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 8,245


    I prefer manuals to online versions,like others have said they do not get used much but very valuable when needed. Next car show/cruise in season give them to someone who has that vehicle.
    41 GMC K-18 likes this.
  20. TrailerTrashToo
    Joined: Jun 20, 2018
    Posts: 1,155


    Back in the early 1962's, I bought a couple of Dyke’s Automobile and Gasoline Engine Encyclopedias. I never got "into" restoring pre-WWII cars, but, I hauled them cross country and kept them during a divorce inspired "downsizing".

    Last year, I met a guy that was having electrical charging issues with a 1933 Pierce Arrow. I gave him both books, with one condition: "Don't bring them back!".

    41 GMC K-18 likes this.
  21. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 1,434


    That 's my problem. Either "no match found" or "1,952.351 matches found".
    41 GMC K-18 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  22. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 8,245


    I have a feeling all my manuals will get trashed when I exit this life,might have to put everything gets auctioned in my will.
    41 GMC K-18 likes this.
  23. proartguy
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 552

    from Sparks, NV

    I have used mine several times to answer questions posted on this site.

    My manuals, books and magazines may not be of much worth to others but are to me. Each winter I like to go back and read my old magazines. Lasy year it was R&C and Car Craft, this year Special Interest Autos. When you get old enough it is almost like reading all new material!
    302GMC, 41 GMC K-18 and loudbang like this.
  24. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,315


    I have been collecting carburetor books for 60 years.

    Currently have over 200 linear shelf feet in my library of hardbacks. And then there is everything else (brochures, records, filmstrips, movies, posters, etc.).

    Guess will let the kids figure it out.

    Still looking for old ones (pre-1920).

  25. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 2,655

    from Brooks Ky

    Post a List of any manuals that anyone wants to get rid of on this thread. Maybe some pictures, and see if anyone is looking for what you have. I have a couple shelves in the basement that I keep magazines on and i reference them all the time when I'm looking for info. The more useful articles, I scan and save them on my computer in folders. Then I bought an external Hard Drive thats about 3"x4"x1/2". You can hold it in the palm of your hand. It will store more information than I'll ever need.......probably 100 times over. Bout $80. (2 Terrabyte) I use it as a backup to my computer and leave it unhooked when I don't want to add something. If (when) my computer finally goes bonkers, I still have everything safely stored on it. I also bought some of those old "amoire" TV centers that people paid big bucks for. Now no one wants them for their new modern TVs and nice ones sell dirt cheap......$50/$100. I added shelves inside for about $20. They look nice sitting in an extra bedroom or basement and I put all my newer "how to" manuals in them. Really makes a nice way to store books and yet have them out of sight. Go to Facebook or Craigslist and type in "Armoire"...........
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2022
    41 GMC K-18 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  26. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,465

    seb fontana
    from ct

    Last manual I gave away cost me postage. I have plans for a heavy duty paper shredder for the rest; I'll let the wife make fireplace logs.

  27. Or... if you don't want to go through the hassle of onesy-twosey-ing them out the door, take them to a used-book seller and take whatever offer he has for them. Better to keep them in circulation than make compost out of them.
    john worden likes this.
  28. SR100
    Joined: Nov 26, 2013
    Posts: 1,021


    Took a big box of books & manuals I bought at an auction to the used-book place. They cherry-picked the books & ignored the manuals.
  29. 41 GMC K-18
    Joined: Jun 27, 2019
    Posts: 2,278

    41 GMC K-18

    This has been a really interesting thread to read.

    The Egyptians didn'
    t leave any easy to read or decipher, operating instructional manuals on how the pyramids worked or how they were built, what happened to the library at Alexandria, oh it got burned !

    Hell, even the famous author Ray Bradbury, wrote a book, " Fahrenheit 451 " about the future where books were banned, and only a radical faction of humans, were the only ones, that had committed a single book to memory , etc, etc, etc !

    The card catalog at the library's, gone, that is all digital now, that is if you know exactly what you are looking for.

    When is the last time that you saw a silver dollar ? When is the last time that you saw or used a .50 cent piece, they don't fit any vending machine.

    I have been retired since 2019, I cant remember the last time I paid for anything at a store, using cash.

    When is the last time that you went to a fast food restaurant, and dug in your wallet to fish out a $20.00 bill to give to the kid behind the counter, and they struggled to make change, because they couldn't count change backward, the way all of us geezers did when there was a time that we actually had our first job working at a gas station ?

    Now granted, if and when we do get a chance to go to a swapmeet, to look for old stuff, indeed, we have cash, that is just a given, but even the coolness of a swapmeet, only a matter of time, till it will be a thing of the past, sad to say !

    Information is always relative, knowledge is power, and some of the greatest sources of information and tried and true knowledge is in those old books and magazines that this thread is talking about.

    There are no easy answers as to what to do, with the older publications, which is sad, because the older books, are true works of art in my opinion, and the way things were illustrated and explained, very simple, and very concise !

    But again to illustrate a point, there are very few people left, that would know how to fix or repair a broken wooden wheel, on an original Studebaker horse drawn wagon !

    I know its very hard to get the younger generations, interested in the older publications such as Chilton's, or Motors manuals, or Audel's repair books, or parts interchange books, etc, etc, etc !

    These books and the information in them is priceless, yet as mentioned in this thread by many, they don't bring very much money at a swapmeet, cant give them away, fix a wobbly table leg, turn the pages into a collage, donate them to a high school that has a metal shop or an autoshop class, we know what happened to those classes, all gone due to budget cuts !

    I say keep them for as long as you can, or have the basement space, or space on a book shelf, to give them a home, till hopefully, some younger kid that is in love with history and the rich past of hot rodding and metal fabrication, will discover them, and will take all of them, to possibly have them as a cool reference source.

    I know that is wishful thinking, but I am confident, that there are a few of us older geezers, that will agree with me, even if its a futile gesture !

    POPULAR MECHANICS.JPG motors manual 1.jpg motors manual 2.jpg motors manual 3.jpg motors manual 4.jpg motors manual 5.jpg
    Dodge shop manual 1.JPG dodge shop manual 2.JPG IMG_2620 (2).JPG IMG_2623 (3).JPG IMG_2622 (2).JPG
  30. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 7,213

    from Idaho

    I bought my first "rod book'' August 1958. I still have it, & I have a plan in place so that all this will go to a friend for preservation with access to anyone needing it. Included is every small issue of every rod or custom related magazine printed in the US, except regionals such as "Cars & Clubs'' from the mid-west. Regionals are so difficult to find that I gave up on them years ago. I was able to find all 4 issues of "Northwest Rods''; 2 issues in 1959, 1 in 1997, & the first issue in 2009. HPIM0024.JPG HPIM0025.JPG
    54EARL, stanlow69, mgtstumpy and 2 others like this.

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