1947 Indianapolis 500 souvenier

Back to the antique toys that I have been looking through.  This is a shot of an aluminum, Wilbur Shaw Indianapolis 500 souvenir toy made by Little Bill Toy Company of Chicago.  My image shows the vintage speedster set against a background of an Indy 500 ticket from the final year in which the car won the race.

Wilbur Shaw aluminum toy race cars were sold by souvenir stands at the Indianapolis Speedway. The cast aluminum cars, which began production in 1947, are reproductions of Shaw’s 1939 & 1940 Indianapolis 500 winning Maserati. The cars measure 8 1/2″ long by 3 1/2″ wide.

Wilbur Shaw won the Indianapolis 500 race three times, in 1937, 1939 and 1940. Shaw was the second person to win the 500 three times, and the first to win it twice in a row. During World War II, Shaw worked at Firestone which at the time, was working to develop synthetic rubber wilbur-shaw1automobile tires. In  November, 1944 the company sent him to test their new tires at the Indianpolis Speedway but when he arrived, he discovered the track had been neglected and was in terrible shape.  Shaw set about searching for a financial savior for the track and ended up purchasing the Indy Speedway in 1945 with the backing of a Terre Haute, Indiana businessman – Anton ‘Tony’ Hulman, who was owner of a successful baking goods company.  Hulman and Shaw worked to re-build the Indy 500 into the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” with Shaw as President of the speedway from the mid-1940’s until 1954 when he died in a plane crash.


The car that Wilbur Shaw won the 1939 & 40 Indy 500 with

By Doctorindy – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

1947 Wilbur Shaw Indianapolis Motor Speedway toy car
Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 –  2.5 sec – ISO 200


Author: stgrundy

Photography is my way to capture and share the amazing beauty of God’s handiwork in the people and places that I experience every day. I focus mainly on nature and travel subjects but also do alot of event work for my church and the occasional wedding or portrait session. My residence is Roswell, Georgia – a northern suburb of Atlanta. I try to get around the Southeast as often as possible and would love to explore other parts of the USA and the rest of the world. Member of: Roswell Photographic Society Contributing artist: Getty Images

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s