Stamping Steel: Five additions to the U.S. Postal Service’s “Muscle Cars” collection
A tip of the cap to the U.S. Postal Service — which, let’s face it, doesn’t receive much applause these days — for continuing to promote the history of the automobile. With the recent release of “Muscle Cars,” the third five-stamp collection in its “America on the Move” series, our “snail mail” will at least look fast.
The five iconic cars chosen make sense, and the artwork of Carl T. Herrman is spectacular. However, in addition to the 1966 Pontiac GTO, 1967 Shelby GT-500, 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS and 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda, we’d like to propose five cars worthy of a second “Muscle Cars” series (in chronological order):
- 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 Lightweight: Available on the “R” code 427/425, the Lightweight may not have started the muscle car trend – the ’64 GTO is generally considered the game changer – but it was hard to ignore the low-production beast. Considering every pound is precious, steel and iron were replaced with fiberglass and aluminum.
- 1966 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 W30: Not only did Hurst shifters become standard in the 4-4-2, 1966 was the first year for the W30 performance package.
- 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28: The Camaro Z28 offered a 302 CID V-8, and while it was rated at 290 hp, testing proved it was closer to 400 hp. In addition, 4-wheel disc brakes were available for the first time.
- 1970 Buick Grand Sport GSX: As an option to the GS 455, the GSX was Buick’s response to the Pontiac GTO Judge and Oldsmobile 4-4-2 W30. Buick proved that you can have performance and luxury with this 350 hp, 510 lb-ft offering.
- 1971 AMC Javelin AMX with “Go Package”: Advertised as the closest thing to a Trans Am champion that you can buy, the Javelin AMX was available with a 401 cubic- inch, 335 hp engine, “Twin-Grip” limited slip differential and power disc brakes.
The actual “Muscle Cars” series was released on Feb. 22 in Daytona, Fla., two days before the 55th running of the Daytona 500. Previously released stamps in the “America on the Move” series were “’50s Sporty Cars (2005),” which featured a ’53 Chevrolet Corvette, ’54 Kaiser Darrin, ’52 Nash-Healey, ’53 Studebaker Starliner and a ’55 Ford Thunderbird; and “’50s Fins and Chrome (2008),” which included a ’57 Chrysler 300C, ’57 Lincoln Premiere, ’57 Pontiac Safari, ’57 Studebaker Golden Hawk and ’59 Cadillac Eldorado.
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