Sunday, August 18, 2013

Listia Loot: 1937 John Player & Sons Motor Cars

This was one of the most exciting items I've ever gotten on Listia.

For 13,500 credits I got 38 out of the 50 cards from the second series of John Player & Sons 1937 Motor Cars.

They are the same size as most cigarette cards from back then.

They are the first cigarette cards I have ever owned.

This same company made sets for hundreds of topics to be inserted into pack of cigarettes.

They were made with adhesive on the back so you could collect them in  an album which you would have bought for them.

I LOVE these cards.

Here's one of them, front and back:

14 horsepower!

Now that's enough to power an ipod.

Sweet ride though, especially 76 years ago.

The backs are pretty informative:

Click on the images for better reading. You might just want to view the images in gallery mode for bigger size.

It gives you the top speed, type of engine, car length and how many pounds the car sold for.

It even tells you the annual tax of the car. I don't even know what that annual tax was for back then.

The only mark against this set of cards is the seller. They are apparently chain smokers and failed to mention that in the listing.

At the top of the back on each card it reads:

"This surface is adhesive. Ask your tobacconist for the attractive album (price one penny) specially prepared to hold the complete series".

I had know idea they were called tobacconists.

Apparently most of the topic sets were reprinted in the 1990's but it is quite clear that these are original. They have pieces of tobacco stuck to the adhesive.

The reprints did not come in packs of cigarettes.

I did apply moisture to the back of one of the cards and the adhesive still works!

Well, if you want to see them all then you're in luck. I'm going to post them!

Check them out:

Kind of an ugly duckling here:

Looks like a sweet ride for 195 pounds:

Some tobacco stuck to the back of the above back.

The backs are very shiny as well.

The fronts have a wavy pattern rolled into them. Kind of like dimples of a golf ball.

Look at this car. It cost over 1,000 pounds and looks the part:

Compare the last car to this little jalopy. 120 pounds and it's yours:

I like this next car and it was only 295 pounds:

This Daimler was 1,200 pounds new:

This is one of my favorites. 1,550 pounds, 100 MPH and seats seven:

Classic looking in the classic sense, if that makes sense:



2,720 pounds new. I imagine it touches seven figures nowadays:

Reminds me of a locomotive:

Growing up I lived a few doors down from a guy who restored two of these Cords. They were beautiful in person:

A beast of a car:

222 pounds seems a steal for this little go getter:

What is this, a trunk for ants?:

Looks like Volkswagen borrowed an idea from the past for the Beetle:

A really clean design with front wheels which seem to too far forward:

Another car which probably hits seven digits in the pocketbook. It also goes 140 MPH:

If Superman drove a car this is the one, because it is built entirely of steel:

100+ MPH for this robust rocket:

And last, but not least, we have an oddly named car:

Well, if you're still here I hope you liked the cards as much as I do.

The credits I spent were worth it to me.

These tobaccy cards are sweet!


  1. Great set. I'm a big fan of pre WWII tobacco cards of all subjects. BTW I think the backs are shiny because they have some sort of glue coating. They could be stuck in corresponding albums. Since you like the cars you might want to check out a set like Will's "Speed", also from the 1930's. Thanks for the great post!

  2. Thanks for reading!

    I'll check that out.

    It would be pretty cool to get more of these, no matter the subject.


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