Topps World on Wheels: Scarab

Scarab trading card

Pull the shoebox out from under your bed and let’s get back to trading some of our Topps World on Wheels cards. This time it’s Lance Reventlow’s baby, the Scarab.

From the card’s reverse: Only three of the powerful American Scarab racers were built in Southern California, but they won many races. Their Chevrolet Corvette engines were modified for racing conditions. Scarab bodies were made of aluminum, shaped by hand. The special frames and brakes were also completely hand-made.

HP: 390 | Top Speed: 165 MPH | Price: $17,000

$17,000! I’ll gladly give you twice that for one!

More Topps World on Wheels here.

Topps World on Wheels: Maserati

Maserati Trading Card

Keep your rookie cards and let’s dig back into the Topps World on Wheels trading cards sets. This time, Maserati.

From the card’s reverse:

“Maserati is one of the great names in racing cars. Some of the most famous drivers in racing history have used the Maserati to win prizes… Wilbur Hatch having twice driven one to victory in the Indianapolis Races. In Italy, the Maserati Company is known more for production of spark plugs and batteries than for racing cars.”

Fascinating to me that they played up the Indy 500 connection and were so dismissive of Masers in Europe.

More Topps World on Wheels in the archives.

Topps World on Wheels: Healey Silverstone

Healey Silverstone trading card

Let’s see how shrewd we can be with our trades. Pull out your shoebox of Topps World on Wheels cards and let’s get down to business.

From the card’s reverse: “The Healey is an extremely light, very rugged car… build for competition. It is designed to stand racing abuse, and provide with moderate power a performance that cannot be equalled in its class. In seven seconds, this car can reach fifty miles per hour from a standing start!”

That zero-to-fifty time might not sound impressive today, but I guarantee you look better doing it in this Healey Silverstone than you would in any of the contemporary production sports cars that can achieve 60 in half this time.

More Topps World on Wheels in the archives.

Topps World on Wheels: Twin Tanker

Twin Tanker Trading Card

Spread out those trading cards on the bedroom floor and let’s make some trades!

From the card’s reverse: The Twin Tanker is probably the first of its type to be built in the United States, and is patterned after an Italian design. The tanks, about three and one-half feet apart, are connected by a cross-piece through which all the controls run. The engine is in the right tank, and the controls in the left. Steel tubing and plates reinforce the interior of the tanks to make them strong and safe.

Strong and safe… riiiiiight.

More from the Topps World on Wheels trading card series in the archives.

Mystery Moretti Card

Mystery Moretti trading card
Yesterday’s Siata card from the Topps World on Wheels series reminded me of this trading card that our pal Cliff picked up on eBay a while back. The card was shipped to him from Canada, but he has no other information about the card or whether it’s part of a larger set. The dual French-English text on the card’s back might suggest that it is indeed Canadian in origin… but then the imperial measurements in the card’s text throw me (I just realized that this card would obviously pre-date Canada’s conversion to metric in the 70’s). Does anyone know anything more about this card or the set it’s part of?

Pretty badass little car too. The Moretti is definitely one of those barchettas that it’s difficult to visually scale without something in the image for reference. In this illustration the Moretti looks like a decidedly Italian sport tourer, sharing much in common with Ferraris of the era. Take a look at one with a driver, though, and you realize what a tiny little machine it truly is. I love it.

Mystery Moretti card backFrom the card’s reverse: This little sports car is made in Italy, and it is a lightweight model sports car weighing only 1120 lbs. It is made by Fabrica Automobili in Turin, Italy. The new model delivers 75 bhp and has a top speed of 111 mph. It gives an amazing 39 miles to the gallon.

Topps World on Wheels: Cooper-Bristol

Cooper-Bristol Trading Card

More from the Topps World on Wheels bubblegum card collection. This time, Cooper-Bristol.

From the card’s reverse: This is the most successful British racing car built since the end of World War II. It is called the “Cooper-Bristol” because a Bristol-made engine is put into the Cooper-made chassis. The six cylinder overhead valve engines give them lap speeds of 100 mph range. These cars took part in almost every major competition in their class, and always have a very good account of themselves.

More Topps World on Wheels here.

Topps World on Wheels: Cisitalia

From 1953—1955 Topps issued a series of bubblegum cards featuring beautifully illustrated motor vehicles of all shapes and sizes: from military tanks, to construction equipment, to scooters, and—yes—sports and racing cars. Over the next few weeks, I’ll feature some favorites from among their sportier cards. When available, I’ll include the text from the back-side of the card; inaccuracies and all. I love the artifacts of mid-century printing techniques: all the halftones and misaligned screens and ink overflows in these cards are exquisite.

This time: a 1947 Cisitalia 202 Spider Nuvolari. Again, text below is from the reverse of the card.

Horsepower: 55
Cylinders: 4
Length: 147.4″
Width: 55.6″

The Cisitalia runabout is an Italian sports car with an ideal design for road racing or fast touring. Many new design ideas were started by this company, including finned rear fenders, and side exhaust ports like the Buick. Good weight distribution, and low center of gravity allow the car to turn at high speeds.

More on Topps’ World on Wheels at the Topps Archives.