New book Auto Erotica delves into the titillating world of car brochures

From a racy flick book for the Ford Cortina Mark III to a poster promoting the ‘sheer logic’ of the Reliant Robin, Jonny Trunk’s latest ephemera-themed project draws on his childhood love of collecting British car brochures

Jonny Trunk has spent the last three decades digging through his past. His record company Trunk Records specialises in esoteric, strange and lost music, while his infatuation with historic graphic design and packaging has led him to publish books on everything from Sainsbury’s Own Label archives to 20th century sweet wrappers.

It was the often overlooked art form of car brochure design, however, that first piqued Trunk’s interest in collecting ephemera as a young boy growing up in the 70s.

“I used to pester all the local garages, go to motor shows, write off to car companies to get more brochures. I would even stand for hours on busy road sides watching out for rare cars – known as ‘car spotting’,” he says.

While Trunk’s fascination with car brochures died away as more conventional teen interests took hold, he recently returned to his first love while in the process of buying a vintage car.

“I realised I still remembered the name of every old car I’d see. Not just the name, but also the engine size and the model, and so started looking back at the old car brochures,” he says.

“At the same time I was on the look out for a new book to follow up on the Own Label Sainsbury’s book and Wrappers Delight that I had done with Fuel. The follow up book had to be an area of graphics and design that had not really been catalogued. I realised that my car brochure collection (which had started growing again) was the way ahead,” Trunk adds.

Launched on Kickstarter last month, Auto Erotica takes readers on grand tour through British car brochure history – from a poster for the three wheeler Bond Bug to a particularly intriguing flick book for the Ford Cortina Mark III.

The book is also intended to be a time capsule for some of the more weird and wonderful graphic ideas from the period, as is explored in the foreword written by former car brochure collector, pop star, writer and cultural commentator, Bob Stanley.

“The brochures I have, made between the 1960s and the 1980s, offer up extraordinary forgotten graphics, photography and brilliant creative ideas,” says Trunk. “They give the reader an extraordinary nostalgic ride back in time.”

Auto Erotica is expected to ship in April 2021; trunkrecords.com

JUNIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Milton Keynes