I bought a copy of the 1978 edition as soon as it was available (paid about $60). Here is what the dust cover looks like, and the author's autograph.
My best guess, is that the book which is posted within this post by yvesmontreal, with a dust cover and a machined autograph, meaning not individually signed by the author, is a "first" edition of the 1978 updated edition of the original work that was published earlier.
There are several ways that publisher's indicate "first" edition of an item: "First Edition," the series of numbers "0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9," and the lack of imprint of any edition information meaning the second edition would say second edition or printing or would show dates: 1963, 1965, 1978 etc.
I guess, I actually have three copies of this book, the 1978 edition I found this a.m. is a third edition without a machined or individually signed autograph, but it does have some personal correspondence in it between Luigi Fusi and Pat. This is the copy that Pat used most and still has his tabbed pages in it with post it notes and additional notes.
I have two copies of the 1963 Second Edition which has the bluish/grey cover, one of which is personally signed by Cav. Fusi. The 1963 editions didn't come signed, so if anyone has a signed copy then you have something special. I also have a copy of the red/white 1978 3rd edition. The 1978 first editions were a short run, but I don't know how many that would have been. I personally have never seen a 2nd edition. Most of the ones that are available are 3rd editions. I had at one time a first edition, but it slipped out of my hands so to speak. My red/white has a printed signature on the front page and on the opposite page has a glued in sticker with a real signature with the initials L.D.A. I am not sure what that means, maybe Cheryl can clarify.
Cheryl, clarify anything, certainly you must be kidding? You ought to know by now I confuse issues by digging up conflicting information and citing it.
As far as the older edition of Fusi's work with the 1910 title, my actual book cover is plain bluish/grey w/o graphics or words; it has a bluish/grey dust cover with the graphics and wording on it similar to that of the later edition red/white book shown in an earlier post. My book is copyrighted October (in Italian) 1965, shows Milan as the city, and does not show an edition number. So if they were originally published in 1963, mine is not a first edition. My book has an original gold embossed sticker in the inside of the back cover that has the word price in Italian and shows 8.000 preceded with an L or something that looks similar, but not the British pound sign. On the title page in edition to Pat's embossed library stamp there is an embossed stamp in Italian that has the initials ISIA in the middle, as I recall, and has the representative words spelled out in Italian around it. If you want to see the stamp or words I can either scan them or post them.
This copy is not autographed but has some Bugatti information in Italian in it that Pat put there apparently for safe keeping.
The third copy of the book is the one that I could not locate this a.m., the autographed one. I'm going to guess, it is like the 1978 edition posted with the machined autograph, unless I have another bluish/grey one that is autographed, which is my recollection, which could be wrong. It's hard for me to remember every detail of every book in Pat's library, especially with some duplicate titles that were purchased for different reasons.
Is there any source that can tell how many copies of a book have been printed other than the printer?
Certainly, the author would know. Pat always got a statement of when a book was going back on the presses and how many copies were printed. You could also get a rough estimate if you had access to the number of books that royalties were paid on; however, you have to take into account from that figure, damaged and returned books, discards, and misprints etc.
Someone got a real deal on a Fusi book!
I agree, collectible book prices are very high especially for out-of-print items and escalated even more by condition, who owned the copy previously, subject to documentation, and if they are "individually" autographed; and further depending on the buyer, a personalized inscription can either add or detract from the value. In my case as a collector, it normally adds rather than detracts from the value because of the story it tells based on documentation of who the person was and any connection to the author.