My pal Matt Eddmenson of Imogene+Willie scored this amazing STP racing T-shirt in Gulf Shores, Alabama, where he accompanied his friend Mike Wolfe (aka the American Picker) to pick up a trio of vintage BSA motorcycles last winter. The bikes were originally owned by legendary Bonneville salt flat racer Dick Strickland, as was the shirt, which Mike and Matt pulled out of a dilapidated van marooned in a junkyard. Strickland was a world-record holder at the Bonneville Nationals and broke the land speed record in his class in the early ‘70s, so it’s no telling where this shirt has been. For the record, STP stands for Scientifically Treated Petroleum, a company that was founded in Missouri in 1953. For a long time, STP was the sponsor of stock car drivers Richard Petty and Indy racecar driver Mario Andretti, John's uncle.
The front and back of the T-shirt both have the STP acronym in the company’s trademark red oval with the words Bonneville Nationals on the top and bottom, respectively. Years of wear are wonderfully evident; the short-sleeved shirt is covered in spots, smudges, smears and tiny tears, none of which should give you any worry in terms of wearability. In the eyes of a collector or racing fan, those flaws only make it more valuable.
Available here - while it lasts.
Check out Matt & the lovely Carrie Eddmenson in the latest issue of Refueled magazine.