- Indianapolis 500 Pit Badges -

1947 - 1949

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Beginning in 1947, the Bastian Brothers Co. of Rochester NY. began making Pit Badges for the Speedway. Their name or marks are locatd on the backs of all the badges they produced from 1947 through 1985 EXCEPT 1961, 74, 75 and 80 through 82.

The 1947 badge depicts the #2 Novi driven by Ralph Hepburn to 1 and 4 lap qualifying records in 1946. 1947 is the ONLY year where the date appears on the back. The clasp is a much heavier and sturdier type than the "safety pin" type of 1938 through 1946. It measures 2" x a little under 1" from helmet to the bottom of the number. It is estimated there were *1250 to 1500 silver badges produced and probably *6500 to 7500 bronze.

The 1948 badge measures a little over 2" x 1" and depicts the famous "Wing and Wheel" which has been used by the Speedway since 1909. Note that the silver badge has an indentation to the back where as the bronze does not.


*In 1947 and 1948, badge numbers 1 through 50 were Gold Plated by either Tony Hulman and/or Wilbur Shaw and would've been issued to high up officials or employees, close friends, etc. of the Speedway. The 1948 does not have the indentation on the back indicating it is a bronze badge which has been plated.

As a party favor for the 1948 Victory Banquet, the mold for the 1947 badge was used to make a silver key chain. A hole was drilled in the rear tire for the chain, the pin & clasp, number and date have been removed.

The 1949 badge is the old wooden Pagoda (1925-1956) and measures a little over 1 1/2" x a little under 1 1/2".

Badges from 1947 through 1949 are very hard to find with the 1947 silver being the toughest to find of this group. BUC's from this era are also very hard to find.

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1938-1946 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