Thursday, May 21, 2009

1985-87 - Indiana goes wandering, comes back disappointed

Motorists were interested to see what Indiana would do to follow up the success of their 1982-84 "Hoosier State" plates.

They would be disappointed.

Even today, some 25 years since their introduction, if you mention the "Wander Indiana" plate in good company, people will still tell you, in sometimes salty language, that this issue was, to quote my late grandfather, Max Bruggenschmidt, "the ugliest damn plate I ever saw in my life."

More successful was the state's television advertising campaign of the era, which featured a driverless, red 1950 Studebaker Champion convertible, known as "The Wanderer." It ended up being displayed in the Studebaker National Museum for a time after its retirement, but I don't know where the car is today.

But I've got a heckuva lot of these "damn plates" I'd like to part with ... maybe.

Where mine came from:
1985: Johnson County
1986: Boone County (issued to my grandfather, F.C. Newkirk, and used on a white 1985 Ford LTD Country Squire wagon)
1987: Kosciusko County

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