- Indianapolis 500 Yearbooks -
Floyd Clymer * 1946-1968
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Floyd Clymer began publishing a yearbook about the Indy 500 in 1946 with what is commonly known as the "Race History" book that covered the beginnings of the track in 1909 up through 1941.
It consistes mostly of reprinted articles and photos from such magazines as "Horseless Age", "Motor Age and "The Automobile" plus sections from various years of the race day program itself. Because the Race History book was published for several years, it is fairly common and at 320 pages it's a great source of information. Soft and hard bound editions were made.
The books for 1946,47 and 48 are called Supplements and all three are page numbered in sequence to follow from the end of the Race History. There are three cover versions to the 1946 Supplement: no cover, yellow cover and the tougher blue cover. They all contain the same contents except the yellow cover was published after the 1947 race as there is an ad on the inside back cover for the 1947 Supplement.
1946 and 47 supplements are softbound ONLY - Hardbound editions for individual years were available from 1948 through 1966. NO hardbounds were made for 1946,47,67 and 68.
Clymer also produced a "Speedway Driver History" soft bound book in 1948 which is a complete listing of all drivers that competed in the Indy 500 through 1947.
In 1949, Clymer replaces the "Supplement" with the "Yearbook" and it remained so through 1968. The key dates for collecting soft bound Clymer yearbooks are: 1952,58,60 and 1967. There are several stories as to why these four years are tough. For 1952, one is that winning car owner J.C. Agajanian took many of them back to California to give out to friends, family etc.. Another was that it was a short publication run as was the case with 1960. For 1958, we've heard it was either a flood or a fire that water damaged many of them. According to past NI500CC President Randy Christensen, he did not receive his 1967 yearbook until April of 1968. They normally came out around mid-September so it was a full 7 months behind, therefore a short publication run. 1956 and 1961 are moving up the tough list followed by: 53,50,51,54,55 & 63 - followed by 1947,64,65 & 66 and finally 1948,49,57,59,62 & 68. Softbound issues had medium grade covers to them up until 1963 when they went to a bit heavier grade slick type cover. 1952 & 53, especially '52's, are known to have spine crack problems. Note the crack around the "D" of "FLOYD" in the picture below. 1963 has a similar problem due to it being the thickest yearbook besides the Race History.
Soft bound editions had a picture of the winner or the start on the cover.
1949 through 1954 Soft Bound Yearbooks
1955 through 1960 Softbound Yearbooks
1961 through 1966 Softbound Yearbooks
1967 and 1968 Softbound Yearbooks
Race History hard bound editions are titled on the front cover "Indianapolis 500 Mile Race History" and the 1948 through 1966 hardbound editions are titled "Floyd Clymer's (year) Indianapolis 500-Mile Race History". Hard bound editions are the soft bound glued in between hard covers and the majority of harbound editions are maroon in color with the exception of some Race History editions and the 1949 edition. Hardbounds generally hold up well, but beware of the yearbook inside coming loose or detached from the hard bound covers. The Race History book does come with a dust jacket which is identical to the softbound cover and it's a tough one to find. In 1959, the title was added to the spine of the book which is the same coloration as the printing on the cover. The printing on the front changed to gold in 1962 and the spine refelcted that change as well. Hard bound Clymers are tough to find in general with the 1952,54,55,56,58,60 & 63 being the toughest to get. Then 1949,50,51,53 and 61. Next are the remaining books of 1948,57,59,62,64,65 and 66.
The Hardbound Race History Yearbooks with and with out dust jackets.
1948 and 1949 Harbound Yearbooks.
1959 Harbound Yearbook and spine
1966 Harbound Yearbook and spine