Inspired By Cyber Monday:  More 1961 Topps Sports Cars

Late on Cyber Monday, I capped off my COMC shopping spree by inching closer to a complete set of 1961 Topps Sports Cars, an all-time favorite non-sports set of mine… And from reactions I’ve gotten when I’ve shared these in the past, many of you enjoy these cards as well.

Of course, those cards I just bought haven’t even been packed up and shipped out yet… But it made me realize that it’s been quite a while since I shared any of those cards here.  So, without any further ado, here are several 1961 Sports Cars which I got earlier this year.

My Maserati does one-eighty-five
I lost my license, now I don’t drive
– Joe Walsh, “Life’s Been Good”
1961-topps-sports-cars-maserati-200-si
This Maserati put out 190 horsepower, according to the specs on the back.  My Mazda has nearly that much… but I’m guessing the weight-to-horsepower ratio of the Maserati is a lot more impressive.

The back of this next card mentions this Mercedes winning a world championship in 1955. Unmentioned is the fact that a 300 SLR was involved in one of the most horrific accidents in motorsports history… Something I knew nothing about until I researched this post.
1961-topps-sports-cars-mercedes-benz-300slr
I won’t get into the details – you can find information easily enough by searching on “1955 Le Mans disaster” – but an accident during the 24 Hours Of Le Mans resulted in the death of the driver and over 80 spectators, plus 120 injuries. Mercedes dropped out of direct involvement with racing for over 30 years. Switzerland banned auto racing, something that still stands today.

The specs listed for this Moretti coupe state that it had 45 horsepower and a top speed of 65 MPH… I guess maybe it was one of those situations like they say where it’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than to drive a fast car slow.
1961-topps-sports-cars-moretti
The card back also refers to the car being “quite small” and “expensive for its size”. For me, “Moretti” makes me think of a character from the now-cancelled TV show “Perception”; Rachael Leigh Cook played an FBI agent named Kate Moretti.  At 5’2″, she could also be considered quite small, but I don’t know whether she’s expensive for her size.

In a prior post featuring these cards, someone asked if there were any American cars featured.  The answer is “Yes, but not many”.  Here’s one of them, the Corvette “Stingray” concept.
1961-topps-sports-cars-chevrolet-corvette-stingray

…although the card itself doesn’t reference it as a concept, just that “1961 model road Corvettes look a bit like this car”.

As for the small number of American cars in this set, I would guess that a large reason was that Topps wanted to keep things exotic.  Even the two Corvettes included were the above concept and a racing version.  I also don’t think there were a lot of American cars of the day which would qualify as sports cars.  The Ford Thunderbird could have been one.  Other than that, I’m not sure.  Keep in mind that in 1961 was a few years before Mustangs, Camaros and GTO’s were introduced.

 

More Cards Featuring Automobiles, Thanksgiving Edition

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Today I want to feature some cards that have absolutely nothing to do with Thanksgiving.

I’ll start off the festivities with a 1961 Topps Sports Cars card of the Simca Plein Ciel; Simca was a French automobile.
1961 Topps Sports Cars Simca Plein Ciel
1961 Topps Sports Cars Simca back

This one is a 1976 Topps “Autos Of 1977” card of a Mercury Monarch Ghia. My first car was a 1976 Ford Granada, which was largely the same car, just with different grille, taillights and fewer options.
1976 Topps Autos Of 1977 Monarch Ghia
Looking back over 40 years, one can’t help but look at a lot of cars from the 1970’s and say “DAMN! Those things were boxy”.

I got this card on COMC back in the Spring, and before I even saw the back I said “Isn’t that John Lennon’s car???” (BTW, this is from the 1992 Pro Set “Guinness Book Of Records” set)
1992 Pro Set Guinness Biggest Deal For Old Wheels
I didn’t scan the back, but it describes how Lennon’s 1965 Rolls-Royce Phantom V was sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $2,229,000, which had been the record for the highest price paid for a used car before 1990.

And we wrap up with another 1961 Topps Sports Cars card…
1961 Topps Sports Cars Peerless GT
1961 Topps Sports Cars Peerless GT back
I find the cartoon on the back, about how jack rabbit starts burn lots of gas, to be interesting. I didn’t realize that anybody cared all that much about burning lots of gas in 1961. Wasn’t gas like 2 cents a gallon then? :-)

As of right now, I have shared all of my 1961 Sports Cars cards… But I do plan on looking for more at an upcoming show, as well as during the COMC Black Friday promotion.

Oh! Did I happen to mention the COMC Black Friday promotion just now? How fortuitous!

I will be *am* taking part in the COMC Black Friday promotion (it’s live NOW), and I have 200 new cards in my inventory as well. Among the highlights are rookie cards for John Elway, Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg… a chrome reprint of the 1989 Topps Traded Ken Griffey rookie (from my 2015 Topps Factory Set)… Plus lots more!

More information about my promotion tomorrow…

Happy Turkey Day!

More Topps Cards Featuring Automobiles, World Series Edition

This post is only a “World Series Edition” because watching postseason baseball has left me seriously sleep-deprived… In search of a largely wordless post, I decided to share a couple of the much-loved 1961 Topps Sports Cars set, along with two cards from the under-the-radar 1976 Topps “Autos Of 1977” set.

Vroom vroom, beep beep and other car noises.

1961 Topps Sports Cars Lotus Seven
You couldn’t have a set about sports car of the day without including the Lotus Seven. I just wish they’d shown the front of the car…
1961 Topps Sports Cars Lotus Seven back

1961 Topps Sports Cars Gregoire
1961 Topps Sports Cars Gregoire back

1976 Topps Autos Of 1977 Beetle Convertible
The misspelled “Volkswagon” in this set is like sand in my shorts.
1976 Topps Autos Of 1977 Beetle Back

I got this last card because a friend of mine had a Skyhawk.  It got him where he needed to go, that’s about the best thing he would say about his Skyhawk.

1976 Topps Autos Of 1977 Skyhawk

1961 Topps Sports Cars… Just Because

I’ve been trying to maintain an at-least-every-other-day posting schedule, but today I’m feeling productive in a “real life” sort of way, and it’s not wise to let this sort of motivation go to waste…

With that in mind, I’m going to share a few cards from the 1961 Topps Sports Cars set, my new favorite non-sports set.  I honestly don’t have much to say about this set other than I’m really enjoying these cards and that this is one of the few vintage sets that I can realistically chase on my current budget… in other words, this won’t be the last you see of these cards.

Ferrari 250 California
1961 Topps Sports Cars Ferrari 250 California
1961 Topps Sports Cars Ferrari 250 California back

Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider
1961 Topps Sports Cars Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider
1961 Topps Sports Cars Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider back

Mercedes-Benz 300SL
1961 Topps Sports Cars Mercedes-Benz 300SL
1961 Topps Sports Cars Mercedes-Benz 300SL back

Denzel
1961 Topps Sports Cars Denzel
1961 Topps Sports Cars Denzel back