The race to the post office has become a different matter as of late. The elimination of Saturday mail delivery in the United States signifies a change in culture where messages, we were years ago content to arrive in several days, can be shared in minutes. Though some people will be their best not to accept unwanted progress, it is reasonable to eventually accept and even celebrate what we have gained from that past. During the same time the United States Postal Service adjusts to the new norm, a time many American automobile fans had cherished is honoured as part of a commemorative stamp series in 2013. In five stamps depicting different vehicles, an era of uncompromised performance and carefree motoring is brought back to life.
A five-image set issued by the USPS (United States Postal Service), the America on the Move: Muscle Cars Forever draws inspiration from an era that began nearly 50 years ago and lasted for roughly 10 years. Introduced to the public at Daytona International Speedway on February 22nd, the Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe was joined by the two members of NASCAR’s famous Petty family. Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Richard Petty and son Kyle Petty unveiled the look of the special edition stamps.
A snapshot of the muscle car era, the America on the Move: Muscle Cars Forever stamps represent iconic vehicles when excess horsepower from V8 engines was king. The America on the Move: Muscle Cars Forever set consists of a 1966 Pontiac GTO, 1967 Ford Shelby GT-500, 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda and a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS convertible. Overall an excellent choice of American muscle, the non-inclusion of the Chevrolet Camaro could be the most glaring omission but the Chevelle SS is a highly suitable choice. The AMC Javelin could have also made for an interesting addition. Tom Fritz of Newbury Park, CA created the images for this latest USPS stamp set with direction from Carl T. Herman.
The timing for the America on the Move: Muscle Cars Forever stamp set also corresponds closely with the symbolic start of the muscle car era. Though many could argue the Hemi-equipped Chrysler 300 was said to have climbed plateaus of muscle performance first, many traditionalists credit the first true muscle car came with the 1964 model year Pontiac GTO. Starting as a performance equipment package to the Pontiac Tempest, the GTO and its 389 cubic-inch V8 engine producing 325 horsepower ushered in the last great era of unhindered power from gasoline. A 1966 model of the first generation Pontiac GTO is one of the five vehicles featured in the Muscle Car stamp issue.
Significantly less expensive than the price and upkeep of an actual muscle car, the five-stamp set is available as a $2.30 block, sheet or in several collector presentations including first day covers. At a higher price for more serious enjoyers of car art, framed images of each of the America on the Move: Muscle Cars Forever stamp images can be purchased for $49.95. For $92.00, an uncut press sheet of 200 stamps can be ordered from the USPS.
The Muscle Car set of postal stamps is the third compilation of automotive images to be issued by the USPS under the American on the Move series. The ‘50s Sport Cars series was issued in 2005 was the first followed by the 2008 issuance of the ‘50s Fins and Chrome. In 2011, the USPS also commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 with a stamp depicting the 1911 race winning Marmon Wasp.
First circulated for sale on February 22nd, the America on the Move: Muscle Cars Forever stamp edition will run for a limited time in the United States.
Information and photo source: United States Postal Service