Sunday, August 25, 2019

World on Wheels

Slight conundrum: At the moment I've got more than 5,000 cards on my trade list at Trading Card Database, but less than 1,000 on my want list. 

As you can imagine, this can throw a kink into trade making. Sometimes I do find a great match where both parties can exchange cards on their trade list for cards on their want list. But just as often I'll have a stack of cards that a fellow collector needs, while that collector will have nothing on my scant want list to send in return.

When this kink does appear, I can sometimes straighten it out by searching that collector's trade lists, just to see if any available cards catch my eye.

The following cards are perfect examples from a recent trade. They weren't on my want list (I didn't even know the set existed), but after spotting them on the fellow collector's trade list I had to grab them. 

Here's one to start:

1953-55 Topps World on Wheels Chrysler New Yorker, #91

Just look at that masterpiece. The color scheme, fonts, and artwork could almost be straight from the sales catalog you'd have seen at a dealership in 1953. Don't you want to flip to the next page so you can start looking at the various options for paint color, tires, engine, and interior? I know I do.

Here's another:

1953-55 Topps World on Wheels Kaiser Deluxe, #140

I mean, come on. If you had a family in 1953 and needed a four-door sedan, why wouldn't you have given that thing a test drive?

Here are a couple of oldies that came with the trade:

1953-55 Topps World on Wheels Hudson Touring Car, #72
1953-55 Topps World on Wheels Stanley Steamer, #41

Just like the baseball cards of the time, these World on Wheels cards are slightly oversized (2-5/8" x 3-3/4") and they're printed on thicker card stock.

I also received a couple of racers:

1953-55 Topps World on Wheels Connaught Sports Car, #3

1953-55 Topps World on Wheels Cummins Diesel, #2

I'd imagine driving at even 60 miles per hour in either of these vehicles would have been a thrill. (Also, I wonder if that's a Mobil Pegasus on the front-left panel of the Cummins Diesel. Anyone know?)

Here are two examples of the card backs. I like the tire illustration behind the card numbers, and the informational cartoons on the right.

Getting back to the factory-standard vehicles of the time, here's a swanky Buick Roadmaster (hardtop!) and a stylish, two-toned Volkswagen Beetle convertible.

1953-55 Topps World on Wheels Buick Roadmaster, #99
1953-55 Topps World on Wheels Volkswagen Convertible, #130

And finally, this thing:

1953-55 Topps World on Wheels Sakhnoffsky Dream Car, #114

Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky was quite the brilliant illustrator and designer, and worked with Bentley, Buick, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, Packard, and more. This particular dream car reminds me a little bit of the original George Barris Batmobile, only in olive green instead of black.

In any case, overall I'd say these nine cards were an excellent addition to the trade.

Did I need them? No. In fact, they're the first cards featuring vehicles that I've ever owned. But if I hadn't taken a look through that particular member's cards in order to help create a balanced trade, I still wouldn't know anything about them. It's just an added benefit to making trades with fellow collectors.

Anyone else have similar experiences? Share in the comment section, and thank you for reading!


  1. One of my favorite sets ever. Yes, that is Mobil's Pegasus. It was called Mobilgas then, and was a big supporter of open wheel racing.

  2. I haven't traded on TCDB before, but I would often trade for things outside of my wantlist when I traded on forums 8 to 10 years ago. By the way... this set is gorgeous!

  3. I haven't traded on the TCDB either, but if someone had a bunch of vintage non-sports cards for trade, I'd be down with getting some in return, even if they weren't on my wantlist. BTW, you did really well here, no matter what you gave up in trade.

    1. Thanks Jon! TCDB is a great resource. Aside from trading, you can find a tremendous amount of information on cards of all kinds, including checklists and images. Lots of friendly, helpful members as well.

  4. I'm a classic car junkie. Knowing about these cards make me want 'em. Never satisfied with what I have... Exc trade!

    1. Based on the other comments here, I'd say you're in pretty good company.