2014 49¢ Hot Rods
The First Day of Issue ceremony for this pair of stamps took place at National Street Rod Association’s “Street Rod Nationals East Plus.” The stamps picture different views of a 1932 Ford Deuce roadster.
In many respects, hot rods and the people who pioneered them were the beginning of rebellious youth culture. Soldiers returning from World War II, feeling no fear after the horrors they had witnessed, took fast, inexpensive cars and made them even faster. Then they raced the hot rods through deserts, abandoned airstrips, and crowded Los Angeles streets. It was dangerous and illegal – and absolutely thrilling.
Drag racing also became a cultural phenomenon. Leather jackets, blue jeans, and white T-shirts made up the hot rodder’s uniform. Tattoos made statements, which often defied parents and the establishment.
In time, modifying a car to increase performance was not enough to satisfy the hot rod fanatics. Customizing a roadster became as much about how the car looked as how it raced, and the artisans who created them became famous. Swirling flames, pinstripes, and metal-flake paint jobs helped create moving works of art that attracted attention and converted skeptics into fans.
More recently, a new type of hot rod has appeared. “Rat rods” are a throwback to the original modified cars. Stripped down, grimey, and unpainted, these vehicles often feature vintage engines. A new culture that embraces the ‘40s and ‘50s has grown around them, offering a nostalgic glimpse back in history.
The Hot Rods stamps were digitally created by John Mattos. His art appeared on a U.S. stamp for the first time in 2006 (#3995 – Winter Olympics). Mattos, a graphic artist, is known for his art deco style.
49¢ Hot Rods, issued to satisfy the first-class mail rate
Issue Date: June 6, 2014
City: York, PA, at the National Street Rod Association’s “Street Rod Nationals East Plus.”
Printed By: CCL Label Inc.
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 11 ¾ X 11 ¼