The year is 1993. You're watching Bill Clinton's inauguration, listening to Bad Boys by Inner Circle on the Radio (best theme song for a television show ever), and opening packs of 1993 Harley Davidson Series 3 from Collect-A-Card.
What's that you say? You didn't open packs of 1993 Harley Davidson in 1993? Well then hold on to your butts (from Jurassic Park, the top movie of 1993, try to keep up here!), because I'll show you what you missed in this here pack rip:
Here's your basic, shiny front. 10 cards, and you could win the bike on the front of the pack. Cool! How could I do that? It says (See Back), so I will!
Ah, lots to read on the back. Mainly 3 different areas:
1) The top right corner regards the Harley contest. You just mail a SASE to Collect-A-Card headquarters in South Carolina and they send you back an entry form, which I assume you then send back. Sounds complicated. Even more complicated - people from Washington and Vermont could omit return postage. What the hell? So if I was from Massachusetts I had to slap a stamp on my SASE, but people from Vermont didn't have to? Does this make sense to anyone?
2) The top left corner mentions the gold cards from this set, which are apparently super rare (only 1,000 total, which seed 1 in every 4,320 packs!) and super complicated. You'd get a coupon in your pack that you could then send in (presumably to the same address as #1) to get your card. The card sounds cool though - it contained 1 gram of 999.9 pure 24 karat Gold. They actually look beautiful, but the cheapest I found on Ebay was $99. Here's a peek at it anyway.
Side note: Everything about these cards is actually kind of expensive. It's a random non sport set, but check out some of the Ebay prices for boxes and completed sets. Thankfully there are cheaper boxes available on Beckett, just $8.99 a piece plus shipping.
3) So I didn't win the Harley or a Gold card, but there's hope at the bottom of the back of the wrapper. It tells me what I'm getting - cards of randomly chosen vehicles from 1903-1993, depicted in "exciting color and black & white photos." They are also "UV coated," and are finished using a "4-color process plus metallic ink." It then goes on to explain what they'll say, that there's subsets...yada yada yada. My question is, do the cards look awesome? So let's find out!
#273 - 1993 Holiday Rambler, Navigator - Right off the bat I want to say...WHAT? I get that Harley makes campers, but when you open a pack of Harley cards, you want to see motorcycles, amirite? And instead I get...this? Really?
Ah well, it is what is is. The finish is sort of nice like they say too - unfortunately it chips really easy, so even though these cards have been handled like twice they already are all chipped up everywhere. Shows more on the back:
Ooo...that is a nice interior. The backs tell you all about the card and give you vital stats, like the kind of engine the thing has, or its price (this baby cost $193,000 in 1993 dollars, so dayum high rollers). I found one today that costs $60,000, so they're still worth quite a bit I guess.
#283 Scott Parker - Awwww yeah, it's a bike...and a rider? I guess this guy was wicked good at bike racing, as he was the only guy to win 4 consecutive Grand National Championships per the back of the card. Wikipedia actually mentions him as "the greatest dirt track racer of all time," which sounds awfully biased, but probably means this is a good card to pull. So...nice.
#293 Warner W. Riley - Riley set 16 speed records between 1967 and 1976, including a speed of 212 mph. He later built engines that set higher speeds. I bet you I could name his favorite Keanu Reeves movie!
(It's The Lake House. Sandra Bullock is so damn good in that movie)
#202 1911 Model 7A Single - Now here's where the pack gets cool, by showing off some old bikes. This baby sold for $300 in 1911, which would be a touch under $7 grand today. It could also achieve a top speed of 40 MPH, which would be a touch under 35347593245 MPH today (roughly).
#212 "Harley Hogs" - With their Harley Dog...heh heh heh. Seriously though, this is a cool card too. The guy three from the right is actually holding a coyote, another one of their mascots. And the back depicts a guy holding a pig, which is where the "hogs" moniker derived from.
#222 1933 At The Beach - The Depression hit everyone hard, including Harley, who went from 28,000 bikes produced in 1920 to 3,703 in 1933. Despite that, Harley survived. This shot may or may not be from 1933, but I do like the posing of the girls on one and the guys on the other. Crazy liberal minded 1933 photo op!
#232 1956 FLF Foot-Shift - In 1956, 70% of all FL models were foot-shift, whatever "FL" means. 5,786 were made, which is oddly specific, but cool to know. You never know when that might come up during trivia night at the bar.
#242 1984 FXRS Low Glide - Very cool looking bike. This is kind of more what I expected when I opened the package, and there were 2,810 of these babies produced.
#252 1993 FXRS-SP Sport Edition - This one makes me chuckle a bit, since it's from the year the pack was made (like the RV at the top). But it looks like a nice enough bike - not as hardcore as the 1984 bike, but nice. Same engine on both of the bikes though, a 80 Cylinder V-twin.
#262 1993 FLHS Electra Glide Sport - First of all, did you notice the number pattern? 73, 83, 93, 02, 12, 22, 32, 42, 52, 62. Nicely done correlation.
As for the bike itself, which is the last card of the pack, it looks really "cute" given the weird lighting, as did the one before it. This is listed as a basic touring bike, meaning I've probably seen this guy all over highways (especially in New Hampshire, ESPECIALLY near Weirs Beach during bike week), and it looks cool online. But the lighting and shot makes it look sort of like a moped or other form of scooter...which is surely not what Harley was going for in their advertising!