It's difficult not to find quite a bit of irony in the newest offerings from the United States Postal Service. In a series of muscle car stamps, the USPS is rolling out new products and new additions while at the same time scaling back their own services. Expect these five cars painted by artist Tom Fritz to show up in your mailbox soon. Just not on Saturdays.
- 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona - One of the five famed Aero-Cars, the 1969 Charger Daytona was designed specifically to win on the NASCAR circuit. Adding more irony, in 1969 a Daytona won at Talladega, and a Ford Torino Talladega won at Daytona.
- 1966 Pontiac GTO - Known as "the goat" on the street, this piece of American made genius actually gets its name from the Italian for race certified, Gran Turismo Omologato.
- 1967 Shelby GT-500 - OK, it's not Bullit's car, it's even cooler. For those that would argue this fact please kindly complain, not by email, but by USPS Saturday delivery.
- 1970 Chevelle SS - "You can make our tough one even tougher," the brochure explained, by adding Cowl Induction to either the SS 396 or the SS 454. Step on the gas, and a scoop opened "to shoot an extra breath of cool air into the engine air intake....like second wind to a distance runner." Let's hope the USPS can go the distance. In a day of seemingly daily gun violence it would be truly unfortunate to have 546,000 recently fired career employees, whose forebearers added "going postal" to the English lexicon, throwing their bullets into the ring.
- 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda - So Ann Wilson of Heart never belted out "HemiCuda" but this is a good thing, Heart was rubbish. What's not a good thing is that the USPS would continue the thinking that has gotten them in their present mess, the 1970 Hemi 'Cuda represented the first year of the last generation........you see where I'm going with that. The 1971 convertible Hemi 'Cuda has sold for as much as $2 million in recent years. $2 million might be a fair asking price for the USPS next year.
Not unlike America Online, the USPS is clearly fighting to remain relevant in the world of Gmail and Outlook.com.
Each of these cars represents the glory years of American automotive manufacturing, something that was lost for decades, and seemingly brought back from the dead with a little forward thinking and a whole lot of taxpayer dollars. Unfortunately, the USPS will probably not go down that road, but rather resemble a 1978 Ford Pinto on blocks in a rural West Virginia hell-scape. Granted, one whose gas tank hasn't yet exploded, but does only remain a matter of time before it does.
And that final ironic finish with a flourish? These five stamps are sold as a "Forever" series meaning they will be eternally sufficient to post a first-class letter with your USPS.