In 1953 and 1954, the Topps Chewing Gum Company sold a line of cards called "Wheels" based on historical automobiles, and military and industrial vehicles. While not as well-known, or as valuable, as the baseball cards Topps released those years, the cards have found a dedicated group of collectors. Now known as the "World on Wheels" set, the cards feature colorful artwork and a design similar to the 1953 Topps baseball set. Topps published a second series in 1954 and 1955 to complete the 180 card set.
Wheels Release Information
The 160 cards that made up the first series of the "Wheels" set were originally released in 1953 and sold in 5-cent and 1-cent wax packs with a stick of bubble gum. The cards continued to be printed and sold through 1954. The second series of cards, numbered 161 through 180, were released in smaller quantities.
Rarity and Collectibility
Both automobile and card collectors chase after the colorful "Wheels" set. Cards are readily available on the secondary market, despite being released more than 50 years ago. Completing a set can be difficult, though, especially one in good condition. You can find cards in the first series online, at card shows and auctions for as little as $1 each. Cards in the second series are harder to find and command higher prices.
Series One (1953-1954)
The 160 cards in Series 1 of the "Wheels" set features several historical vehicles, such as the Pierce 1903 Motorette, card No. 20; and the Ford 1903 Runabout, card No. 28. Also featured on the cards are city service vehicles such as the "Hose Truck" fire engine, card No. 31; and military vehicles, including the M24 light tank, card No. 42, nicknamed the "General Chaffee".
Cards in the first series feature the maker's name in big, bold letters on the front of the card, with additional text describing the vehicle in smaller print. The backs of the cards are printed in red ink.
Series Two (1954-1955)
Most of the cards in Series 2 of the "Wheels" set feature contemporary American vehicles from that era, including the 1954 Packard, card No. 163. The 1954 Ford Thunderbird, card No. 169, and the Buick Skylark, card No. 170, also have cards, as do the 1955 Chrysler 300, card No. 176, and the Ford Crown Victoria, card No. 180.
Like Series 1, cards No. 161 through 170 in Series 2 feature backs printed with red ink. Cards 171 through 180, however, feature backs printed in blue ink.
|This is a subscription card from Edito-Service / Atlas Editions, which meant the cards were never available as a retail set, the only way to acquire them was through subscription with Atlas between 1978 and 1981. Edito-service would send several new packets of cards each month and you would remit payment to continue your subscription. The back of the card has a story and stats about the subject shown on the front and the card is in English.|
This is a subscription card from Edito-Service / Atlas Editions, which meant the cards were never available as a retail set, the only way to acquire them was through subscription with Atlas between 1991 and 1995 AND THIS CARD IS FROM THE FRENCH SET, ONLY SOLD IN FRANCE AND FRENCH-SPEAKING CANADA. Edito-Service would send several new packets of cards each month and you would remit payment to continue your subscription. This card was printed in the CEE (Imprime en CEE) and the facts, story and stats on the back are all in FRENCH.
Each card back has several
hundred words about the car on the front as well as vital specs and
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Atlas Editions Classic car cards were released between 1991 and 1994 through mail subscription only and have been out-of-print since 1994. The Cards measure 5 7/8 x 5 7/8 inches (15 x 15 cm) and they are printed on glossy card stock in full color. The cards have several different copyright versions, including Edito-Service SA and G.M.H. Cards of Knowledge but all are from the same Atlas Editions set and all are printed in the USA and they are in ENGLISH.
There are 88 Decks with 20 cards in each deck for a total of 1,760 cards but there are also 75 Variant cards for a total of 1,835 different cards (the variants are cards that replaced other cards in certain decks and for the most part variants are much scarcer than the base cards). Cards are numbered D3 051 ddd-ccc (ddd= DECK NUMBER 001 to 088 and ccc= card number 001 to 020 in each deck)
Card Size: 5 7/8 x 5 7/8 inches
# of Decks: 88
# of Cards per Deck: 20
Known Variant Cards: 75
Total number of cards: 1,835
1978 Auto Rally cards is the most comprehensive of all automobilia card sets, covering cars, trucks, motorcycles, drivers, builders and invertors, events and important dates and places, military vehilcles, the future of vehicles and so much more.
The cards measure 4.75 x 4.75 inches (12 x 12 cm) and they are printed on glossy card stock in full color. The cards are marked 1978, Edito-Service S.A. Geneva, Printed in Italy and the cards are in English. The back of each card has a detailed history or story about the vehicle, person or event pictured on the front.
These subscription cards were delivered to buyers in "decks" sent every week or few weeks. The buyer could then remit payment which would continue the subscription. These cards were never sold as a complete set or at retail, the only way to accumulate some of all of these cards was to subscribe in 1978. There are 64 decks (or packets) of cards with 24 cards in each packet for a total of 1,536 cards. The cards are all numbered on the back with a 5-digit pre-code which was the set code from Edito-Service, followed by the deck number and the card number:
13-067-dd-cc (13-067 = the Auto Rally set pre-code, dd= Deck number and cc= Card number).
This is the only Columbia vehicle in the 110 card set, which was issued in 1991 by the Lime Rock Company, Inc.