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Bill Crittenden (CarsAndRacingStuff.com)
December 27, 2005
Your card collection can be an interesting source of pictures depicting times gone past. Not only do cars change, which is obvious, but cards show cars with some interesting sponsorship considering the changes of the pst decades.
Remember when tobacco sponsorship was removed from racing? Smokin' Joe and Winston cars (both driven by Jimmy Spencer) will never run around a NASCAR track in competition again.
During the internet age of the mid to late 90's, Dave Marcis to drove a car spondored by former internet up-and-comer Prodigy, and Wally Dallenbach's car used to have Hayes Modem on it.
Other companies, not just technology companies, have either gone under or are no longer capable of affording a NASCAR sponsorship. Kenny Wallace used to drive a Red Dog beer car. Still other companies merge or change names and logos. GM Goodwrench changed to GM Goodwrench Service Plus while Dale Earnhardt was driving with their sponsorship. John Andretti's K-Mart/Little Caesar's car is an unlikelyhood these days, as both companies are no longer owned by the same person.
Some images, though, show more than just cars and corporate sponsorship. Notice the haircuts from the late 80's and early 90's. Although, I should mention that no sport's old haircuts are as funny as the mullet fever that seemed to sweep hockey in the early 90's and is immortalized in numerous hockey cards. There also seem to be a lot less mustaches on NASCAR drivers these days.
One Rusty Wallace card from 1996 (Upper Deck Road to the Cup, RC4) shows him talking on a cell phone almost half the size of his head. A lot of drivers used to wear big amber sunglasses, while the current styles seem to be sleek, with lenses in reflective colors usually matching the car color of the driver wearing them. Matt Kenseth is a good example with his yellow sunglasses.
The more obvious changes are in the technology involved in making the cards themselves, as photography, computer graphics, printing, and die cutting techniques improve year after year.
So next time things are slow, pick up a stack of really old cards and reminisce-or just have a laugh at the funny looking drivers of the past.
©2005 Bill Crittenden
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