OFF THE WALL

BY ANDREW FRANCIS,

DIRECTOR, THE SIGNATURE STORE

If there’s one area of collectibles that’s as accessible as it is interesting, then it’s posters. They’re generally easy to find, easy to buy, great to display and fun to collect… plus some are interesting and incredibly rare. There are so many different sorts too: event, commemorative, movie, marque, driver… you name it, there’s something for everyone.

 

Formula 1 posters really start in 1950s Monaco. Each year the Principality would commission an artist led promotional poster for motoring events like F1 or the Monte Carlo Rally. One famous artist was Michael Turner, he would visit the race, creating a poster featuring the winner of the previous years’ race (for example the 1965 poster depicts the 1964 winning Ferrari). Original posters are incredibly hard to find as they were so disposable, they only printed a few and most were stapled to trees or glued to fences, but some do survive and change hands for thousands of pounds.

 

Monaco also allowed reprints of official posters, and those usually feature an edition source or a faint red line on the rear, which is often used in authentication. They can command good money too, as they were produced by the original printer, using the same plates and paper, expect to pay £500 to £1500 for these.

 

Then there are posters that have more than one collectors market, such as racing movie posters. Something like original Steve McQueen ‘Le Mans’ or James Garner ‘Grand Prix’ poster are both craved by film buffs and motoring enthusiasts alike, which pushes up the value. Buyer-beware here though, there are many reproductions and it is extremely hard to spot the rare originals.

 

Likewise, there is a good collectors market for factory-issued posters, such as the ones Porsche would release after a sporting triumph and distribute to dealers to display, often referred to as ‘dealer editions’.

 

Condition is king. If a poster is folded, it’s basically irreparable as it’s already cracked the fibres of the paper and the ink. Posters are always best stored flat. Framing seals the paper away from damp and surface damage, but can cover the rear identification marks; be careful to display or store away from direct sunlight to avoid fading.

 

A good tip if you’re tempted to start collecting is to start with Goodwood. The Festival of Speed has had themed posters almost from the start of the modern era, and they are attractive and mostly readily available, we’ve already seen values increasing of the rarer ones, especially if signed.

 

The great part is, posters are fun to collect, and easy to appreciate on or off the wall.

MM Poster 2005.jpg

Original poster for the modern Mille Miglia

BY ANDREW FRANCIS,

DIRECTOR, THE SIGNATURE STORE

ARTICLE FIRST PUBLISHED, JANUARY 2022, MOTORSPORT MAGAZINE