US Stamps

October cartoon contest winner puts the car’s top down

Nov 9, 2021, 3 PM
The winner of the nonphilatelic part of the October cartoon caption contest featuring the 37¢ 1953 Chevrolet Corvette stamp from the Sporty Cars of the 1950s set issued Aug. 20, 2005, is Bob Bialo of Cary, Ill. The next U.S. Stamp Notes cartoon caption contest will be announced in the Nov. 8 issue of Linn’s.

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

The challenge for the October cartoon caption contest was for respondents to put themselves in the driver’s seat of the 1953 Chevrolet Corvette on the 37¢ stamp issued Aug. 20, 2005, in the Sporty Cars of the 1950s issue (Scott 3933).

Many Linn’s readers speculated on the value of a 1953 Chevy Corvette compared to various philatelic gems, especially the 1918 24¢ Jenny Invert (Scott C3a).

Turns out it’s not that far off. When the Corvette was first sold in 1954, its price was around $3,500, approximately $33,000 in today’s money. But its value today quadruples that figure at a minimum. According to the website of Car and Driver magazine, a 1953 Corvette now brings $125,000 to $190,000.

Jerry Login of New York represents this group of entries with “It was worth trading my upside down Jenny for this beautiful Corvette as the Corvette will continue to go up in value, and the C3a may have topped out.”

Also popular as a theme was the idea of using the Corvette to deliver the mail. A clever line on this theme comes from Linda Gilmore of Chelmsford, Mass.: “The Pony Express had nothing on me. I can deliver the mail faster with all these horses!”

The increased price of gasoline stuck in the minds of many Linn’s readers.

For example, Deborah Rubin of Silver Spring, Md., sent this entry, “With this gas guzzler, we’ll never see the whole of the USA in our Chevrolet!”

The winner of the nonphilatelic line in the contest, Bob Bialo of Cary, Ill., used a COVID-19 pandemic theme.

On the philatelic side, the prize was won by Spike Savage of Presque Isle, Maine, with an entry that brings the scene into the current era and laments the price increases of nearly 70 years. Savage had the driver saying: “What’s happening? I can’t find the 18¢ per gallon gasoline station, and the Post Office wouldn’t let me mail my letters for 3¢.”

Both winners will receive a 13-week subscription to Linn’s (a new subscription or an extension). Here are the best of the other runners-up.

“Do I have to be a professional athlete to drive a sports car?” from George Schaetzle of Sheboygan, Wis.

“The sunset is even more spectacular with the air in my hair,” sent by William Gaugler of Coatesville, Pa.

“Fortunately, if I have any car trouble, the AAA stamp was issued just a few years ago,” sent by Bill Etter of Irvine, Calif.

“This is the narrowest road I’ve ever seen!” by Dave Schwartz of Commack, N.Y.

“What a novelty — a stamp with a grill on the front instead of on the back!” from Steve Kotler of San Francisco, Calif.

“This is my morale booster shot!” by Ted Feldstein of Doylestown, Pa.

Thanks and a tip of the hat to all who entered. The next contest will be announced in the Nov. 8 issue of Linn’s.

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