Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Two Bottles of Booze

So I'm over at my wife Monique's mother's house and two things catch my eye..."Two Bottles of Booze". They were well placed along with some other car memorabilia on a shelf. Her mom was into car stuff as a young girl...she was a member of the 50's "Hot Rod" car club the "Bean Bandits" that were into drag racing and racing at the salt flats. Many years later her last hot rod was a Buick Grand National. But, thats another story.

What I saw were Jim Beam bottles that her mom had collected when she owned a liquor store.

Jim Beam is synonymous with whiskey decanters. They started making decanters in the early 1950s. It must have seemed like a good way for them to market their product. I often wonder if, back then, they had any idea that this marketing ploy would turn into the hobby and business that it has over the last forty plus years. The first bottle Beam produced was a wood top bowling pin in 1952.

The auto related decanters like other auto related items have become very collectible.

The Mint 400 Decanter 1970.

The Mint 400 was a annual desert off road race for both motorcycles, buggies, cars and trucks sponsored by Del Webb's Mint Hotel and Casino. The Mint sponsored this event from 1968 until the sale of the hotel in 1988. For the first few years Jim Beam produced special decanters for the race. It was billed as the richest off-road race. A sign of the Mint's importance was the fact that "Speed King", Mickey Thompson, founder of SCORE and promoter of the Baja 1000 was the first entrant every year. In 1970 the event was won by Vic Wilson a British racing driver. He also had participated in two F1 Grand Prix races.
The Indy 500 Decanter 1970

Jim Beam also produced a 1970 Indianapolis 500 decanter. Al Unser, following in his brother's Bobby's footsteps, dominated the 1970 race. He lead 190 of the 200 laps. This matched Jim Clark's total in 1965, and the most since 1953, when Bill Vukovich lead all but 5 laps. Other drivers running were Mark Donohue, Dan Gurney, Mario Andretti, Jack Brabham and Peter Revson. The first 500 was run in 1911 with Ray Harroun winning.

These bottles now are included with my automobilia stuff.


  1. I have a Dan Gurney racing Olsonite Eagle #48 from 1975 Whiskey decantor. Can you direct me to someone who might be interested in purchasing it? It was my fathers. He always went to the Indy 500 until his health failed.