Friday, March 10, 2017

Old-Timey & Non-Sporty

I posted yesterday about picking up three cards from the T206 set, but that isn't all that I picked up over the weekend.  On Friday I also picked up four vintage non-sports cards.  I'm not THAT into non-sports, but I do peruse the Network 54 board sometimes just to read about cool, old cards that I don't know much about.

The first card that I picked up was from a set that I'd read about on the boards.  I can't say that I have too much of an interest in them, but I do like them.  I like that when you read the back, they are at least somewhat educational.

West Virginia 1953 Topps License Plates #68

West Virginia 1953 Topps License Plates #68 (back)
I didn't do the most detailed research on these for information.  However, I found a couple of posts on "The Topps Archives" blog that has a little bit of info on them.

I grew up in West Virginia and my degree is from THE West Virginia University.  I haven't lived there in about 15 years, but it will always be where I grew up.

The other three cards I picked up were from the Topps World Of Wheels set.  I don't know what exact year they are, but I've seen 1953, 1954 and 1953-54.  I'm going to use the last one.  The cards I picked up were chosen for a particular reason.

Cummins Diesel 1953-54 Topps World of Wheels #2 
Cummins Diesel 1953-54 Topps World of Wheels #2 (back)

Mercer Raceabout 1953-54 Topps World of Wheels #5

Mercer Raceabout 1953-54 Topps World of Wheels #5 (back)

Maserati 1953-54 Topps World of Wheels #11 

Maserati 1953-54 Topps World of Wheels #11 (back)
Did you figure out the theme?  All of them are related to the Indianapolis 500.  All of the cars pictured looked similar to ones I've seen and a quick glance at the back of each confirmed my suspicions.

I collect vintage trading cards related to the race and the men that drove in it.  These were a definite buy for me, at the price.

Per the "Cummins History at the Indianapolis 500," the Cummins Diesel is the only diesel to win the pole at Indianapolis.  It was also the first Indy car tested in a wind tunnel.  Fred Agabashian finished 27th in the race after only completing 71 laps.

Hughie Hughes and Charles Bigelow drove Mercers in the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911.  Per wikipedia (always there, sometimes accurate), neither Mercer entry finished in the money in the race.  However, Mercers won the five other races that they ran in 1911.

Hughes did finish third, and in the money, in the 1912 Indianapolis 500.  Spencer Wishart finished second in the 1913 race.  Mercer ended their auto racing program in 1914 after Wishart was killed in a race incident.

I can't recite all of the Indianapolis 500 winners or anything, but I have a pretty solid knowledge of race history.  I was pretty sure that nobody named Wilbur Hatch had won the race, as the back of the last card stated.  I assumed that it was supposed to be Wilbur Shaw and some quick research verified my hypothesis.  Shaw won three times and drove a Maserati to victory in the 1939 and 1940 races.

I didn't dig too deeply into researching the set, but I found posts on this set as well over at "The Topps Archives."  I will probably head over to Duane's Sportscards this weekend.  Another of the sellers at his weekly show has some of these cards and I will look to see if there are any other Indy 500 related ones.


  1. The World on Wheels set was issued in 1953, and then a second series in 1954. The high numbers are pretty rare, I have been unable to track down a single one of them. I'm about 80% complete on the first series. The entire gallery of every card front and back is on the Trading Card Database. It's one of my favorite 50s sets and part of a larger trifecta of vehicular sets that includes 1952's Wings and 1955's Rails & Sails.

    1. Thanks for the info, Billy! I didn't dig too deeply into it. Had no idea about the high numbers but that explains the different year listings.

  2. Topps produced cards of license plates? Okay... gotta track down a California and a Hawaii for my collection.

    1. If I remember correctly, I saw that there were three different years. Also, there are some that are tougher to come by. Best of luck!

  3. Cool cards. Now get in your Delorian and go back to 1953 so you can warn Topps about their error. :)

    1. If I can go back in time, I'm thinking there will be hundreds of things higher on the priority list. :-)

  4. Great cards...really love that Maserati!

  5. I was listening to the May 20, 2016 episode of "The Talk of Gasoline Alley" with IMS Historian Donald Davidson and he mentioned a couple of things related to cards in this post.

    The Maserati that Shaw drove to the two Indianapolis 500 victories had one of, if not THE, longest life at the track. Shaw drove it in 1939-41, Ted Horne drove it to third place finished in 1946 and 1947 and a fourth in 1948. Lee Wallard drove it in 1949. Bill Vukovich tested it in 1950 and McDowell drove it in 1951.

    He mentioned something about the Cummins diesel as well but I have forgotten what it was. Looks like I will need to go back, listen again and update.