- Indianapolis 500 Pit Badges -

1938-Present, Reproductions

&

Back Up Cards

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Metal pit badges have been around at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for over 60 years with 1938 the first year of issue. *From 1932 through 1946, cardboard or pasteboard credentials were issued, but after a months worth of abuse they tended to get worn out so, the metal pit badge was born. There are cardborad Race Day Official credentials from 1938 through 1946 such as "DRIVER" and *these were used in much the same way a Back Up Card (BUC) is used today ie. a driver would wear his badge for the month of May and on race day, along with the badge, the cardboard credential marked "DRIVER". At least that's the idea anyway as you don't see many drivers wearing cardboard credentials in a pit stop photo. Makers of Pit Badges from 1938 to present are: St. Louis Button Co., G.J. Mayer Co., Bastian Brothers, Herf Jones and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation. All badges from 1938 through 2001 have a makers name or marks on the badge EXCEPT: 1946, 61, 74, 75, 80, 81 & 82. Beginning in 1947, "Bronze" and "Silver" badges appear. *Early bronze badges were indeed bronze, but silver badges were only a silver colored pot metal. Sometime in the late 50's or 60's, bronze badges were no longer truely bronze but a bronze colored pot metal. The 1947 badge is the ONLY year to date where the year appears on the back. BUC's have been issued from 1947 through the present day.
There are examples of "proofs" or "salesmans samples" which generally have "0000" as a number or have no number. They will be shown where available.
Pit badges have been reproduced over the years and there are examples of some under "reproduction pit badges" below.

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- Click the Badge for an article on that era -
1938-1946 1947-1949 1950-1959 1960-1969 1970-1979
1980-1989 1990-Present Back Up Cards Reproduction Pit Badges

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* This information is to the best of our knowledge. If anyone has more information, please contact: NI500CC@NI500CC.COM or dar500@indy.rr.com