California Hot Rods Get Postal Service Stamp of Approval

Los Angeles CA, Aug 28 2014 - The two iconic hot rods that modeled for the Postal Service’s recently issued Limited Edition Hot Rods Forever stamps took center stage this week at the Petersen Automotive Museum. There, the car owners and one of the car builders joined the Postmaster General in revealing the backstories on these cruisers and how the stamps came to be.


“These Hot Rods stamps personify the beginning of America’s fascination with customizing fast cars,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in presenting the stamps. “And they’re just as popular today as they were decades ago. Just like the cars they celebrate, these stamps are timeless in that they’re good for mailing First Class letters anytime in the future.”

Postmaster General And Rod Owners Provide Backstories Behind Hot Rods Forever Stamps

Joining Donahoe in dedicating the stamps were Bruce Meyer, owner of the red ’32 Highboy McGee Roadster featured on the stamps and Co-Vice Chair of  The Petersen, where the car is displayed; and Mark Graham and Vern Tardel, owner and builder, respectively, of the black ’32 Frank Rodgers Deuce Roadster featured on the stamps; and Barry Meguiar, Host of “Car Crazy.”

“We chose these hot rods after stamp artist John Mattos conducted extensive research,” explained Donahoe. “He found the McGee roadster, which is often referred to as the ‘Holy Grail of Hot Rods,’ featured on a 1948 cover of Hot Rod Magazine.  John also received recommendations to feature any car built by Vern Tardel.”

Donahoe noted that Graham, of Sioux Falls, SD, purchased Tardel’s roadster second-hand on eBay.

“With an estimated 12 million hot rodders in America today, I applaud the Postal Service for recognizing that Hot Rods will forever be a symbol of our American culture,” said Meguiar, who emceed the event.

Graham said he has been enamored with Tardel’s work for many years and always wanted to own a Tardel, '32 Ford Highboy Roadster. About four years ago he found the Frank Rodgers Roadster on eBay. Graham bought it sight-unseen with just 600 miles on the odometer and had it shipped to Tardell’s Santa Rosa, CA, garage to be fine-tuned before being delivered to South Dakota.

“It’s been my dream to own this car since the 1960s,” said Graham, “And now, to have this iconic car on a stamp is truly a hot rodders dream.”

“I've been building hot rods since the sixties,” said Tardel. “I am truly honored to see the USPS issue a stamp with one of my cars, celebrating this great American tradition.”

Meyer, an avid car collector, considers himself the guardian of the McGee, which he purchased in 1993. A purist, he had the car restored to its original 1947 condition by So-Cal Speed Shop.Postmaster General And Rod Owners Provide Backstories Behind Hot Rods Forever Stamps

“The Postal Service honoring Hot Rods and Hot Rodding is a giant step in the long overdue recognition and appreciation of this pure American art form,” said Meyer. “Hot Rods are like jazz and baseball when it comes to American achievements, and the McGee Roadster is the Holy Grail of early hot rodding. Kudos to the Postal Service!”
Available in booklets of 20 stamps, customers may purchase the stamps at, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) or at Post Offices nationwide and on eBay at

Designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, DC, the two stamps were digitally created by artist John Mattos of San Francisco.

Customers may view many of this year’s other stamps on Facebook, Twitter@USPSstamps, Pinterest, Instagram or, the Postal Service’s online site for information on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.

Follow us on and like us at For more information about the Postal Service, visit usps.comand

Source: The Petersen Automotive Museum

Photo Below by Randy Berg: 1932 Ford Highboy McGee Roadster at Petersen Automotive Museum

1932 Highboy McGee Roadster

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