Local Giant Supermarket Revises Philly Sports History

This morning I stopped by the brand new Giant supermarket located at Grant Ave. and Roosevelt Blvd. in Northeast Philadelphia. The store is clean, gorgeous and well-stocked. On the perimeter of the store (where space allows, like near the customer service desk and cafe) they have historical photos of Philly mounted on the wall. being a Philadelphia history buff, I took special notice of these signs, but one in particular caught my eye. It was an aerial shot of the sports stadiums in South Philly. Once you see one of the photos, you can pretty much tell right away what era the photo was taken. This particular shot had the Vet, The Spectrum and JFK Stadium still standing, which means the photo was taken anywhere between 1970 and 1992.

Except the photo caption mounted on the frame said, "Tri-Stadium Sports Complex, 1966". I've never heard anyone refer to that area as the "Tri-stadium Sports Complex", but that's not the most glaring thing wrong about it. The Spectrum wasn't in operation until the Fall of 1967, and Veteran's Stadium wasn't open until April, 1971.

My guess is the photo reproductions were produced by an out-of-town firm and no one took a close look, or even worse, they were made by a clueless local and approved by an equally clueless manager. Still, it's a nice photo capturing a lost era of Philly sports history. From the 70's.

Plymouth Shutdown 1969 Slot Car Set

Yesterday this little beauty landed in my inbox courtesy of my old buddy John Skidmore. It's the front panel of a 1969 slot racing set called Shutdown! Plymouth Super Stock Racing Set. It was sold by Republic and manufactured by the Tool and Manufacturing Co. in LA.(An all-American product!) These sets were only sold at dealerships, so they're a pretty rare find. Plymouth Shutdown 1969 Slot Car Set

What's not to love about this box illustration? Given that it was made in '68, we see the psychedelic poster style influence and big typography that was common in the day. It's even got the Road Runner character in one of the cars. Plymouth licensed the Road Runner character in the late 60's to early 70's for their advertising and for the emblems and styling of the classic Road Runner car.

I love this box cover, and since I was a big slot racing fan in my youth, I wanted to learn more about the set. The first thing I found was this video that shows the unboxing of a vintage set. I'm blown away by the level of detail this set has. Since the set was featuring Plymouth branding, the cars themselves were perfect in every detail. What really got me was the level of design in the supporting print materials. Unfortunately, we don't get to see the set run, but I can understand why – this set has all the original packaging, including the poly envelopes and car decals, full intact.

Plymouth Shutdown Unboxed Plymouth Shutdown Car Detail

I couldn't find any of these for sale on eBay, but I'm told these can go as high as $400 (a mint set was up for bid at $725, but we're not sure if it sold at that price).  I did uncover an ad for the set that appeared in Life magazine on November 8, 1968. Just $14.95!

Plymouth Shutdown Life Magazine Ad 1968