Grading Auto Literature
The Auto Literature collectibles field has developed a grading system that is similar to that used in other collectible fields. The most widely used system was developed by Tom Bonsall and Robert Tuthill decades ago; with a few modifications, this is the grading system we adhere to at Auto Memories Auto Literature when evaluating brochures, books and other vintage items.
Mint: Just as it was when it came off the press. Absolutely as new, and perfect in every way. No damage, taping, or inscriptions. The only deterioration that is permitted is that of normal aging: slight discoloration of the paper, minor off-setting, or original printing anomalies. Very few examples of mint condition pre-1950 literature exist.
Near Mint: Nearly mint condition, but with very, very slight wear at cover corners, edges, or spine. No tears, stains, moisture damage, or writing. Dealer stamp is the only inscription or marking allowed at this grade.
Excellent: Very light wear. No tears, stains, or moisture damage. Dealer stamp, salesman's name or minor unobtrusive inscription (year, prices, etc.) are permitted at this grade.
Very Good: Similar to Excellent, except for some signs of use: minor inscriptions, light folds, small dog-ears to page corners, very light cover soil. Spine is very good; a small seam split is permitted. 'Very Good' items are in every way presentable; too may signs of use, although minor in themselves, will relegate the item to the 'Good' classification.
Good: Complete, but with moderate wear and tear. Some minor moisture damage or an occasional light stain is permitted, as are small tears, inscriptions, light creases , and some soil. Missing or cut pages are not permitted at this grade.
Fair: The lowest presentable and collectible classification. Complete and readable, but with significant flaws and/or defacement. Large tears, significant stains, wear holes.
Auto literature in less than "Fair" condition is generally only collectible if very scarce.