Ask Cool Daddy Gets Carded
Dear Cool Daddy: My mother threw out all my baseball cards…well, I had pasted down her entire stamp collection on a manila envelope and it went around the world 4 times before we caught up with it…so fair enough. But I was cleaning out the attic and found my old car cards…worth anything? And what’s the dang story on these, anyhow? …from Parnelli, in Jonesboro, Arkansas
Dear Parnelli: On the backs, at the bottom left, it says “©T.C.G.”…that stands for Topps Chewing Gum, the premiere (but by no means only) maker of “trading cards” from the 1950s on…monopoly on baseball for years, but countless other sets, too. This set, as can be seen from the wrapper below, was called “Wheels”…altho thanx to the caption on the backs, collectors today call it “World on Wheels.” 160 cards, issued in 1953…the “1954” on the wrapper refers to the 1954 model year. They were reasonably successful, altho the 2nd series in 1955 consisted of just 20 cards…the reason why is lost in the those myriad mists of time.
The set is best known for the unusual variety of cars, including foreign cars seldom heard of in the US, and a generous range of of “dream cars,” some real, some merely drawings. There were also a lot of older cars, antique types…and strangely, a pictorial feature on the backs that only occasionally had anything to do with “wheels,” which I remember thinking odd. If you wanna complete your collection…in mint condition, they can cost up to 10 dollars a card today on Ebay…if you don’t mind a bit used, as low as a buck or 2 each. Selling them, you’ll get less obviously…but you will get something because they’re reasonably popular today.
Count Alexis Sakhnoffsky…Russian-born American industrial designer…cars, trucks, boats, bicycles, furniture, kitchen and bath…and technical editor of Esquire magazine from the 1930 thru 1960s. Of course, my question is: “Count” of what…still a mystery…watch this space…
see the shameless plugs on wheels…
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