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Opinions: Life Magzines


Drew Dowdell

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I have 3 to 4 decades worth of Life magazine in excellent condition. Do you think these are more valuable whole or ripped apart for the advertisements?

Dates range from as early as mid-1939 and up into the 70s. It's not a complete set, but it's fairly close.

anyone have any valuation ideas?

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None are scanned but here are some sample ads:

1964 VW Bus: Somebody Actually Stole One

1964 Mercury Park Lane

1964 Plymouth Fury

an illustrated 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix convertible being driven through the french alps.

An ad announcing that on January 17th, 1964 the US gets a new little foreign car... the Opel Kadett

A beautiful two page ad with the 1964 Buick Wildcats

Two page ad talking about the entire Chevy Truck/Van lineup

Lots of Hunts Ketchup, Gulf Oil, Zenith, every cigarette manufacturer in business at the time

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>>"an illustrated 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix convertible"<<

'I don't think so, Tim.'

-- -- -- -- --

Frankly, the answer to your question is a toss-up.

While I've see people asking $6-10 for an issue of Life, I don't see them selling much.

Some of the historically-significant issues, maybe, but not the vast bulk of them.

Problem is, they are large, heavy, and have a high survival rate. The few folk seriously looking for them have decent selection available.

You could potentially get more gutting an issue, but there's the time to gut them, storing/cataloging them, and the time to market them.

I would be tempted, with such a large collection, to sell an issue based on a handful of the best advertisements (yes- the auto ads are the biggest draw IMO), leave it whole, and get what you can get.

Or, you can give them all to me. ;)

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I gutted about 18 years of Nat'l Geo for the ads last year, and while the magazines are smaller and the ads are grouped at the front & rear, due to NG's binding, I cut/pulled the 2 staples and it took forever to get thru all those.

In my case, I cannot store that physical volume of magazines for the ads. With about 6000 ads on hand as it is, I'd have to dedicate a room to them if they were all still in magazines. Plus, that volume still bound-- it would be horrifically difficult to access a particular ad.

All mine are cataloged by year/make.

I have about a 2' stack of (I forget what titles) from the '20s & '30s, uncut- otherwise everything is strip-mined.

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I imagine that as more magazines are strip mines for advertisements, the survivors WILL eventually be worth a bit more.

Of course, its a matter of situation and condition, IMHO.

I keep my old magazines for my own review.. unfortunately, many are damaged... but they are all automotive or science related, I hope they will be a little rarer than the typical Life/Time/NatGeo that people collect... but I doubt it.

BTW, are people really buying the ads for enough money to make it worth it? Some of the places I see selling them have them for years on end... so they don't seem quick moving to me. I have a pile of old '70s Good Housekeeping magazines I'd like to see disappear.

Edited by SAmadei
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ah, it was just the way it was drawn that made it look like a convertible at a glance, it's looking at the front through the windshield, there is a guy on the outside talking to a female passenger and it looks like he's looking down at her through an open roof.

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I imagine that as more magazines are strip mines for advertisements, the survivors WILL eventually be worth a bit more.

Of course, its a matter of situation and condition, IMHO.

I keep my old magazines for my own review.. unfortunately, many are damaged... but they are all automotive or science related, I hope they will be a little rarer than the typical Life/Time/NatGeo that people collect... but I doubt it.

BTW, are people really buying the ads for enough money to make it worth it? I have a pile of old '70s Good Housekeeping magazines I'd like to see disappear.

I'm seeing between $3 to $7 an ad for the Life ones that are similar to what I have.

All of these magazines I have are in excellent condition.

I have National Geo going back into late mid-20s with some FABULOUS Cadillac ads

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Oldsmoboi ~ >>"ah, it was just the way it was drawn that made it look like a convertible at a glance..."<< ;)

>>"I have National Geo going back into late mid-20s with some FABULOUS Cadillac ads"<<

I have a number of those V-63 ads. The crown jewel, of course, is the early '30s ads- multicylinders AND color.

Edited by balthazar
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  • 3 weeks later...

Hmmm....

Any Monte Carlo, Caprice Classic ads in those?

What about Weber (grills)?

Cort | 37.m.IL.pigValve.pacemaker | 5 Monte Carlos + 1 Caprice Classic | * RT_06.2011_us66+NW USA

MCs.CC + CHD.models.HO.legos.RadioShows + RoadTrips.us66 = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort

"Look at everything that's come and gone" __ Bryan Adams __ 'Summer of 69'

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