Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hot Rod Water Transfer Window Decals

Like a stick of gum in a pack of baseball cards, new speed parts all come with a brand logo sticker for the most part.  We stick it on our toolbox or designated wall, or we'll save in the drawer.  They are all made or paper and vinyl, they are bright and big to get other people's attention.  Parts makers want to make sure non-part owners see the logo even more then you.  Hey, you already bought the part, right?

And some of those stickers today are huge! Some as big as Oreo Cookie boxes --so big it covers over other stickers on your rolling tool cart.  Maybe it's on purpose.

But there was a time, many moons ago, before even the ubiquitous 'bumper sticker' was invented.  Back when one would order speed parts by mailing in a postcard and paying for it C.O.D.  Way back, when a Mustang was just a horse and there were no aluminum wheels. 'Stickers' were decals, and they were applied with water and patience.

Decals required minutes to apply, rather then a few seconds like a sticker.  They were smaller, because if they were too big they would tear when trying to get it off the paper due to their inherent delicateness.

They were also see-through.  And when applied to car windows, it was like colorful stained glass for passengers and a distraction for drivers.

Just like me, many of you have had practice with water transfer decals in our youth.  All scale model kits from the 1950s on, come with a small sheet of water transferred decals.  Aah, memories are flooding in...

Today, these vintage decals are like rare sports trading cards.  The ones that have survived decades at the back of a drawer, or unforgiving hand of a Virgo mom.  Will make their way to collectors and enthusiasts, who cherish them like the small gems that they are.  Representing a time you could recognize an engine by the sound it made, and when ice cream was only a nickel.