Monday, January 03, 2011

Old No. 32, The Marmon "Wasp"

A new first-class stamp will issued later this year for the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500.

"Featuring an image by artist John Mattos, the stamp depicts Ray Harroun driving No. 32, the Marmon 'Wasp', the customized yellow-and-black car in which Harroun won the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911," writes reporter Rodney Richey in Indiana's Herald Bulletin.

The article goes on to say, "Ray Harroun was a mechanic who drove the Marmon 'Wasp,' which he designed, to victory in the first race. That car featured another feature he invented: the rearview mirror."

As a result, Harroun was the first driver to race without someone else with him to watch for cars from behind according to a writeup on the Marmon Group website.

A part-time racer, Harroun worked for the Marmon Motor Car Company, an early 20th century producer of passenger cars. Built from stock Marmon engine components, the "Wasp" was built with a smoothly-cowled cockpit and a long pointed tail to reduce air drag unlike most race cars of the period.

The Marmon “Wasp” was also featured on a 17.5-cent stamp in the Transportation series in 1987.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM