Stuck on Corvettes: Corvette Postal Stamps

New Chevy Corvette stamps are now available from the post office for Corvette enthusiasts

Diana Erbio Mar 17, 2006 0 Comment(s)

Want to get your hands on a white '53 Corvette with a red interior andblack convertible top? With a sticker price of 37 cents you won't beable to pass up this deal!

The '53 Corvette joined the '53 Nash Healey and Studebaker Starliner,'54 Kaiser Darrin, and '55 Ford Thunderbird on a series of five UnitedStates postage stamps issued by the United States Postal Service onAugust 20, 2005. Announced at the '04 Concours D'Elegance at PebbleBeach, the stamps' first day of issue took place in Detroit at the '05Michigan State Fair. Afterwards the stamps were made available at postoffices across the nation.

These stamps celebrating the sleek aerodynamic forms of '50s sports carswere illustrated by renowned automobile artist Art Fitzpatrick ofCarlsbad, California, who once custom built cars for Clark Gable, ErrolFlynn, and Al Jolson while working for noted car designers John Tjaarda(Briggs Body), Werner Gubitz (Packard), and Dutch Darrin.

The '53 Corvette featured on the stamp belongs to Noland Adams, Corvetteenthusiast, inductee of the National Corvette Museum's Hall of Fame, andauthor of numerous articles and books, which include The CompleteCorvette Restoration Guide (Volume I, 1953 to 1962; Volume II,1963-1967), and Corvette American Legend: The Beginning.

During the development stage of the stamp series, Adams accepted asecret mission from the graphics company contracted by United StatesPostal Service to serve as technical consultant to ensure the Corvettedrawing was accurate. He could tell no one except his wife about thestamp until the artwork was approved by the U.S. Postal Service.

The preliminary drawings Adams began to review were based on photos ofhis own '53 Corvette that he had purchased in 1955, and traded for a '47Chevrolet two-door sedan in 1961 to accommodate his growing family butlater tracked down in 1969. The '53 corvette had been taken apart forrestoration, so Adams trailered it home in pieces and began a slowrestoration. with his eye for detail, Adams improved upon the drawingsfor the postage stamp. To get the headlights just right, Adams tookadditional photos of his Corvette in the parking lot of his localhardware store where he found a paint sample that matched the white ofhis car. He had noticed the exterior color was off--the real Polo Whitewas creamy white, not white like a refrigerator. After sending off thephotos, paint sample, and a few more confidential mailings from thegraphics company, the mission was completed and a stamp was born.

Stamp of Approval for your Vette

You may not be so lucky as to get your Corvette on a postage stamp likeNoland Adams, but you can get pretty close with custom mailing labelsyou create. Go to www.pictureitpostage.com and download a digital image of your pride and joy. Follow theinstructions to make your own mailing label, which is valid postage andcan be used on your mailings

A sheet of twenty 39-cent mailing labels is $17.95.

A sheet of twenty 63-cent mailing labels (two-ounce postage) is $23.95.

(Figure 5 shows a Funstamp label with my husband's '96 Corvette andAmerican flag stamp.)

Other stamps have been issued featuring Corvettes. In 2003, the 50thanniversary of the Corvette was celebrated with stamps issued by St.Vincent, Antigua, New Zealand, and other postal services. some of thesestamps can be framed and displayed.

Many other cars have been the subject of stamps. In 1995, the PostalService issued a five-stamp series of antique automobiles. One of thesestamps features America's first gasoline-powered vehicle--the 1893Duryea. Other early vehicles powered by steam and electric are portrayedon this series.

To find and purchase other cars on stamps visit www.carstamps.org.

Tips to Start a Cars on Stamps Topical Collection

The first step is accumulating stamps. Post offices (foreign anddomestic), stamp shops, the internet, specialized stamp publications,stamp shows, and your own mailbox are great sources to gather stampsfrom. Do not forget friends and relatives. Tell them about your searchfor cars on stamps, and they will surely join the hunt.

For most collectors the search is often as much fun as the find. Atopical collection can include more than stamps with a common theme.Postmarks, postal covers, first-day covers, and post cards featuringcars are other welcomed additions.

Stamp collecting is a hobby in which you set the rules. Your collectioncan be anything that you want it to be, but there are a few basics tofollow so that your stamps will not be damaged and can be enjoyed formany years to come.

You can collect mint or used stamps--or both. Mint means the stamp hasnot gone through the mail, and the gum on the back of the stamp isintact. Used means the stamp has gone through the mail.

There are many different postal markings and cancellations. Somecollectors choose to collect these markings, and they save the entireenvelope with the stamp on it (on-cover).

Stamps can be collected on-cover or off-cover. See "Soaking Stamps OffEnvelopes" to learn how to remove stamps from their envelopes if youwant to collect used stamps off-cover.

You can collect stamps from a specific country or from many differentcountries. You can also collect stamps topically. That is where carscome in. With a topical collection, you pick a theme and collect stampspicturing your theme. Other popular topical themes are flags, ships, ortrains to name a few.

There is no right or wrong way to collect stamps. However, you do notwant to ruin the stamps, so never use tape or glue to mount stamps. Usestamp hinges or special stamp mounts that can be purchased at stampshops or online.

Use stamp tongs (special smooth-edged tweezers purchased at stampshops), not your fingers to handle stamps. The oils from your fingerscan damage stamps.

Stamp albums are among the many items that can be purchased at a stampshop. Check the Yellow Pages under Stamps for Collectors for local stampshops. If there are none in your area subscribe to a stamp publicationsuch as Scotts Stamp Monthly, Linn's Stamp News, or AmericanPhilatelist, which contains information on where to buy stamps andsupplies by mail or online. )

Some albums have printed pictures of the stamps. There is usually someinformation about the stamp printed underneath the picture. When you getthat stamp, you simply mount it over the picture.

You can also buy albums with blank pages. With blank pages, you decidewhere and how you want your stamps to be organized. This is usually thepreferred method for topical collections, which are often more variedthan collections based on a specific country.

A Few Basic Stamp Collecting Terms

Cachet-pictorial image on cover

First Day Cover-a stamped cover postmarked with the stamp's first dateof issue

Mint-stamp that has not been through the postal system

Used-stamp that has been through the postal system

Philately-the collection and study of postage stamps and other postalmaterials

Postmark-marking of the date and location

Stamp Publications and Web Sites

American Philatelist Society
(814) 237-3803,
www.stamps.org (monthly magazine American Philatelist with membership)

American Topical Association
www.americantopicalassn.org

Linn's Stamp News
(937) 498-0801
www.linns.com

Scott Stamp Monthly
(800) 572-6885

United States Postal Service
www.usps.com

www.zillionsofstamps.com
Purchase and view a variety of stamps on any topic imaginable.

Soaking Stamps Off Envelopes

Sometimes a stamp may have a greater value on-cover, so it is wise toleave the stamp on the envelope or postcard until you can research itsvalue. if you do decide to remove the stamp from its envelope, sniparound the stamp with scissors--carefully--because you don't want to cutinto the stamp.

Next, put the cut square in a bowl of lukewarm water. In a few minutesthe stamp will separate from the envelope paper; the new self-adhesivestamps may take a little longer to separate. Be patient, if you pull thestamp off the paper too soon, you may damage it.

Next, put the stamp face down on a white paper towel. Then, placeanother white paper towel over the stamp. Place a heavy book, such as atelephone book, on top of the paper towel. This will keep the stamp fromcurling up as it dries. In a few days the stamp will be ready to mountin an album.

Note: When soaking a stamp off of a colored envelope, soak it separatelyso that the dye from the envelope won't color any of the other stampsthat are soaking.

Author Diana Erbio, a freelance writer and stamp collector, enjoyswriting about linking stamp collecting to other interests.

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50th anniversary of the Corvette stamp issued by NIUE, an island of NewZealand

50th anniversary of the Corvette stamp issued by the island of St.Vincent and The Grenadines

U. S. Postal Service Antique Auto Stamps

Funstamp label with '96 Corvette and American flag stamp

U. S. Postal Service '54 Kaiser Darrin stamp

U. S. Postal Service Nash Healey stamp

U. S. Postal Service '53 Studebaker Starliner stamp

U. S. Postal Service '55 Ford Thunderbird

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