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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

1953 Bowman Antique Auto collector cards are mini works of art | Hagerty Media

Years before automakers brought back once-popular-but-discontinued models to boost their lineup-the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Charger immediately leap to mind-the tug of nostalgia had been used the same way on a much smaller scale.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/automotive-history/1953-bowman-antique-auto-collector-cards-are-mini-w...
19 REPLIES 19
JonMiller
Intermediate Driver

Fascinating article! Thank you.
Each featured card depicts some type of action or motion, not unlike modern advertising.
Let's fill in the blank: The driver in the Packard-tourist is shooting at _____________.
Bmike
Detailer

Obviously, he is repulsing an attack from a tourist hating local. The presence of at least one crutch (?), and the absence (?) of one leg could indicate that the illustration represents an outing of a well-to-do amputee.
Jeff
Hagerty Employee

@JonMiller So true. And the Packard card caught my eye too. Are they target shooting? Hunting? Why would they do that from the seat of a car? We'll never know. Thanks a lot for reading! Glad you enjoyed the story.

dhomuth
Intermediate Driver

As a kid of 9-10 years old about the time these cards were coming out, I rather vividly recall seeing these around. But by and large the kids at the time passed these by. They were just Really Old Cars. There was another series out -- maybe Topps or some other cards -- that came out about the same time that featured the Dream Cars -- the sports and zoomy cars, the one-off show cars, the futuristic cars that were being featured in car shows. The one that comes most easily to memory is the Fiat Supersonic (?) -- even in 193, it just Looked like something from the future. Still does. The artwork of this Bowman series is reminiscent of some woodcuts I've seen over the years. But if someone still has a set of those dream car collector cards, I'd like revisit those.
oldkidchris
New Driver

I am the proud owner of the set you are speaking of. It was put out by Topps in 1954 thru 1955 and the set name was "World on Wheels". The base set put out in 1954 was 160 cards. They did a "update" to that set in 1955 adding 20 cards including the Corvette and the Thunderbird! It is a much more interesting set (in my opinion) than the Antique Auto set and it has all the old cars plus the "dream cars" as well. Very fun and informative backs as well.
Jeff
Hagerty Employee

@oldkidchris I know this set! Just haven't written about it yet. Thanks for confirming that there's interest in it. I'll put it on my story list.

Jeff
Hagerty Employee

@dhomuth Thank you for your comments and for sharing some of your memories. I'll be on the lookout for the "Dream Cars" cards for a future story. Are you referring to the "World on Wheels" set?

bhankinsonn
Intermediate Driver

Always an enjoyable use of time, these unusal offerings make my day!!
Jeff
Hagerty Employee

@bhankinsonn Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it. I love writing about this stuff, so there will be more to come.

Russ1963Pontiac
Intermediate Driver

If anyone collects postcards with old cars on them or photographs of cars taken by proud owners there is a website called icollect247.com .They do a good job of keeping new stuff and reproductions off their site. It's fun to just go on the site and look at all the different auto related items there.
Jeff
Hagerty Employee

@Russ1963Pontiac Thanks for the info. I'll check it out.

cbxjeff
New Driver

Interesting article. GM, and perhaps other mfgrs, had new model picture cards offered by their dealers every fall. I have a few from the '50's from Oldsmobile. I bet other GM cars had them too but my dad was an Olds guy.
Jeff
Hagerty Employee

@cbxjeff Thanks! There's so much out there to write about.

chrlsful
Instructor

I was hopin to see a Fuller in there. Same era, MidWest manufacturer. Iowa? Well...

Even if not - anyone know of that make, those models, or specific years?
egaudet
Pit Crew

Does anyone else remember collector "buttons" for lack of a better term, that consisted of a 1 to 1-1/2" round plastic "wheel" (the back was molded as a wire wheel and tire) and in front was inserted an image of an antique car along with its make and year. This would have been early to mid 60's and the vehicles ranged from the 1800's to 1940's or so. I had a collection of maybe 75 to 100. I have no recollection of what product they were associated with or how I acquired them, although I vaguely recall my older brothers giving me theirs.
RJ
Detailer

Maybe you are referring to the pokerchip-like discs issued by Jello? But the cars on the Jello pieces I've seen ran into the early 60's.
Jeff
Hagerty Employee

@egaudet Are you referring to the 1961 Jell-O discs? I wrote about them a couple of years ago: https://www.hagerty.com/media/automobilia/in-1961-car-loving-canadian-kids-put-jellos-slogan-to-the-...

Love 'em.

Tinkerah
Engineer

I have to question that the red and blue filter 3D glasses "don't work". They absolutely will work if the image was created correctly and the correct filter is over each eye.
Jeff
Hagerty Employee

@Tinkerah I tried using the glasses on a handful of cards and gave up because I didn't get the same 3D effect that I've experienced with similar stuff (and I did try them both ways just in case I had the colors mixed up).