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Monday Morning Brief | ‘Gentlemen, start your engines’

May 29, 2017 08:00 AM

Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman takes a nostalgic look back at the Indianapolis 500, the spectacular race devoted fans call the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” and highlights recent stamps from the United States, Canada, and Monaco devoted to speedy cars and those who drive them.

Full Video Transcript:

Good morning and welcome to the Monday Morning Brief for May 29, 2017.

“Gentlemen, start your engines.” Automobile racing teams and fans anxiously await Memorial Day weekend each year, revving up for what this year marks the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

In 2011, the United States Postal Service issued a forever stamp marking the 100th anniversary of the inaugural Indianapolis 500 race, which took place in 1911. The stamp features a digital illustration of Ray Harroun, the winner of the first Indy 500 race, driving his Marmon Wasp race car.

But wait a minute! The 100th anniversary of the Indy 50 was in 2011, but 2017 marks the 101st running? What’s up with that? The stamp commemorated the 100th anniversary of the first Indy 500, but the race in 2011 was not the 100th race. The 100th race of the Indy 500 didn’t take place until 2016, because the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” was suspended during both world wars. No U.S. stamp was issued for the 100th race.

On May 16, almost a month before the Canadian Grand Prix takes place June 9-11, Canada Post issued five stamps marking the 50th anniversary of the event. The new nondenominated “P” stamps, the Canadian equivalent to the U.S. forever stamps, honor drivers who have dominated the Canadian Grand Prix in each of its five decades: Jackie Stewart of Scotland, Gilles Villeneuve of Canada, Ayrton Senna from Brazil, Michael Schumacher of Germany, and England’s Lewis Hamilton. Sadly, Villeneuve and Senna were both killed in fatal racing accidents.

Monaco celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Formula One Grand Prix de Monaco this year with a miniature sheet of four stamps issued April 10. The Grand Prix de Monaco is one of the most prestigious motorsport events in the world.

2018 Scott Catalogues

On another note, the 2018 catalog season continues for the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue. Vols. 1A and 1B were published in early April and Vols. 2A and 2B were made available in early May.

Vols. 3A, including the G countries of the world, and 3B, including countries of the world H through I, will be available beginning the week of June 5.

For Linn’s Stamp News and the Scott catalogs, I’m Donna Houseman.