Popping down to the Ulaanbaatar post office

Italian Paolo d’Alessio, an occasional MotorSport contributor, is a man of many talents: cutaway artist, technical journalist, racing car livery designer, architect… and stamp collector! Here Paolo writes about one of the most remarkable parts of his collection: Ferrari stamps from Mongolia. Representing Ferrari’s inimitable style perfectly is the ‘display collection’ issued by the Mongolian Post Office. For those unfamiliar with this technical term, a ‘display collection’ consists of one or more postage stamps stuck neatly on a larger cardboard background. In this case, a series of Ferrari Formula

One car images and an exploded drawing of the 158F1 form the backdrop to six stamps, all depicting historic Ferrari grand prix cars.

They are the 1975 312T, the 1961 156F1, the 1964 156F1, the 1979 312T4, the 1974 312B3 (supposedly!) and the famous 1981 126C, with which Gilles Villeneuve won in Monaco and Spain. Like the display collection, the six Mongol Post stamps have a yellow background and a colour drawing of each car together with its exploded diagram. The visual effect is stunning, revealing just how much work has gone into the creation of these stamps. It takes just under a week to make an exploded drawing of each car, and two or three days to complete a colour drawing. So a bit of simple maths reveals that this ‘display collection’ of Mongolian stamps represents between 55 and 60 days of hard labour. Not bad for what at the end of the day are a set of stamps. Speaking of which, anybody who happens to have one of the prized first editions should hang onto it. A slight printing error means that the 312T4 of Jody Scheckter is illustrated twice (instead of Clay Regazzoni’s 312B3). This seemingly innocuous mistake is bound to make values shoot up even higher…