Thursday, May 21, 2009

1979

Some 67 years after the first Indianapolis 500, Indiana finally paid homage to its title as the home of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" with the 1979 plate.

It is believed, although not confirmed, that this plate was issued in memory of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's late owner, Anton "Tony" Hulman, Jr., who died on October 27, 1977; interestingly, the same day that your humble correspondent was born. Lending some credence to this belief is the fact that sample plates of this issue did away with the usual 00A0000 numbering format, using instead 00H0000.

Speedway officials liked the design so well that it was used, with minor changes, on Pace Cars and other vehicles affiliated with the 500 through 1999.

Perhaps the one criticism I can offer is that the race cars were to many eyes difficult to see, and after a year on the road, they had pretty well faded into oblivion.

This plate was never issued in Lawrence County. It's a mint example.

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