Early Car Makers Desired Hit Song to Boost Sales
By Dave Bausch
In the field of Automobilia, the one subject most collected is advertising. Advertising took many forms: posters, prints, toys, magazine ads, postcards just to name a few. But the one that most of the automobile makers yearned for was to have their specific model of car depicted on sheet music.
If the tune was catchy, and the words embellished the car and the effect the owner/driver had on the young ladies, it would be a sure winner for the automobile manufacturer. Many examples of early songs can still be found at antique paper shows and even at garage sales, and still at an affordable price. The rarer the featured automobile, the more pricey the sheet music.
The most common sheet music would be “In My Merry Oldsmobile,” a tune which was used over and over again for many years. A more scarce piece of music would be “In My Mercer Racing Car,” or “Packard and the Ford,” from 1913 and 1915, respectively.
Condition, like for most collectables, is important. If the featured car in the music is rare enough, though, condition may be less important. But surely the price will certainly be higher for those in better condition.
Graphics on the cover of the sheet music will also contribute greatly to the value. There were more then 100 different song sheets picturing early automobiles. The range for automobile sheet music is anywhere from $5 to $125. You just might be lucky and find a rare copy at a good price. That, after all, is the fun of collecting.