Vintage Travel Decals from Lost Highway Art – Thanks Craig Fitzgerald!

One of our fave Retro Roadmap Reporters from Vermont Craig Fitzgerald (in real life, Editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car and a RetroRoadmap fan) was swell enough to pass along info about Lost Highway Art– a company that specializes in vintage travel decals. My adrenaline went through the roof when I saw this, as I too am a collector of these fabulous graphics (as assembled below, along with a great book about ’em – Coast to Coast- The Best of Travel Decal Art).

My Vintage Travel Decals Not only did our pal from VT send us the link but he also did the best thing ever by writing about them AND including some pictures as seen below. Thanks so much for the mid-week vintage find, CF, a special Retro Roadmap thank you will be winging it’s way toward you soon!

Vintage Travel Art on the Cheap
By Craig Fitzgerald
In the post-war, golden age of travel, most folks couldn’t afford an airline ticket and instead traveled by car, with a 13-foot Serro Scotty hitched to the bumper of their ’62 Biscayne. When they stopped in a rest area for a Moxie and a hot dog, they’d buy a decal depicting the state they were passing through.

These vintage travel decals are the specialty of Dick Schneider of Bedford Hills, New York, who runs the Lost Highway Art Company. Schneider has been collecting these water transfer decals for years, and has amassed a collection of over 10,000 from all over the country. Schneider sells thousands of decals through his mail order business and at various swap meets in the Northeast. Most of the decals are in the $5 range.

The company’s website offers more than 350 decals from every state in America, all in their original packaging. Thanks to their reasonable price, you can use them as they were intended. Some of Lost Highway Art Company’s customers purchase two identical decals so that they can apply one to the window of their vintage car, and preserve one in a photo album.

Some decals feature a single cartoon image representing the particular city or state. One decal from Las Vegas features the iconic cowboy from Fremont Street, with a hand-rolled coffin nail in his teeth, a thumb jauntily stuck in the air, and a booming “Howdy, Podner!”

My favorites, though, are the ones that depict cartoon versions of entire states, with not-so-subtle — sometimes downright embarrasing — reminders of what that state is famous for. As you can see from the accompanying art, Vermont has a perplexing problem with polar bears. And as you may well know, Massachusetts is populated entirely by fun-loving pilgrims. Betty adds – I swear I have one for Connecticut that says it’s the Insurance State – makes my hometown Puritans quite the party animals by contrast!)

Lost Highway Art is located in New York. Their mailing address is P.O. Box 164, Bedford Hills, New York, 10507-0164. Schneider can be contacted by telephone at 914-234-9029. Lost Highway Art’s website is

Thanks Craig, and here’s a ‘nother little something from my collection that I found on a neighbor’s trash heap. Not sure what I’m gonna do with it yet, but it was too cool to leave it there!

Someone's Trash, My Treasure

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  • Amy
    June 2, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Those are awesome decals! We have two of those Sylvan Seal Milk cases at home too, by the way. 🙂

  • Mod Betty / Retro Roadmap
    June 2, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Oh how cool! Do you know anything about them? All I know is that it was too cool to be sent to the trash heap. And don’t those decals make you want to go on a retro roadtrip or vintage vacation?

  • Lizzie
    June 2, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    What fun these are!! I have a few, but nothing like that site.

    • Mod Betty / Retro Roadmap
      June 2, 2010 at 8:39 pm

      FuzzieLizzie, aren’t they just the cheeriest? I love looking at the site, and thinking of the places people used to go on vacation.

    • Dick Hentschel
      November 14, 2010 at 11:30 pm

      Hi Betty;
      My daughter just sent me this info on decals and your comment.
      I’ve been collecting these for quite a while and have dealt with Dick schneider several times. A nice guy and very fair,
      Just trying to touch base with others who enjoy these silly things.
      Have many extras and love to trade. If interested drop me an email some time.
      Have a great day! Dick

      • Mod Betty /
        November 15, 2010 at 7:42 am

        Hello Dick – glad your daughter sent you our way and hope you enjoy what you see! I have a small collection of decals myself!

      • Bill Stone
        July 27, 2011 at 9:25 pm

        I have been collecting travel decals for many years and I think I have the finest collection of pinup decals known ( although I am always hoping to find other collectors who might have a better collection). Still need a good many to complete a couple of series. Would love to hear from anyone who has Miss America Series decals. Nice site !!!

        • Mod Betty
          July 28, 2011 at 8:24 am

          Bill- thanks for visiting Retro Roadmap and congrats on such a fine collection. Speaking of pinup decals, I saw some tee shirts with that type of image on them when I was down in Rehoboth Beach Delaware earlier this summer, I’ll snap a photo for posterity the next time I’m down there. Best of luck with the Miss America series!

  • Greg
    June 2, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    I’ve purchased decals from Lost Highway Art before and have applied them to my ’63 Beetle. Your collection looks great!

    • Mod Betty / Retro Roadmap
      June 2, 2010 at 8:38 pm

      Oh very cool! What sticker is on your car?

      I’m so indecisive I would not know where to put mine, so there they are in a scrapbook. Actually the “magnetic” scrapbook pages with stickers are actually a collection I found in a binder at a Salvation Army thrift in Mass ages ago. I knew I had to have it!
      Now if I could only get a vintage car…maybe I’d put a vintage decal on it then! “Oh Retro Roadhusband…my birthday is coming up….!” 😉

  • wendyvee
    June 2, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    “Fun-Loving Pilgrims” . . . I’m stealing that if I ever form an indie-rock band 🙂

  • Greg
    June 3, 2010 at 6:49 am

    I’ve got one of Connecticut, one of New Hampshire, and one (much older one) of Yellowstone Park. The Connecticut and NH ones faded slightly so they look like they’ve been on there far longer than they actually have (I put them on about 15 years ago).

  • Gunnar
    June 3, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Oh how I love travel decals like these. I bought a bunch of the Baxter-Lane ones I found at a shop near Yellowstone a few years ago and put some on my non-vintage Subaru station wagon. It’s surprising how many people notice and like them on my car. I understand Baxter-Lane decals are not considered in the same league as Impko and Lindgren Turner, but any port in a storm, I always say.

    And I wish my neighbors threw out cool junk like yours…

    • Mod Betty / Retro Roadmap
      June 3, 2010 at 5:09 pm

      I am partial to the water transfer decals, and actually made myself a little “impko” button years ago (srsly, I remember the leather jacket it was on, and that was a LONG time ago!) but at this point I’ll take any vintage vacation souvenir I can get. We’re all in this together!

  • TOny
    June 11, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    this site has hundreds upon hundreds of old vintage travel decals… These are exact repros, digitally restored back to original condition, and available either as peel and stick stickers,or inside the glass “decals” like the old waterslides used to work..

    • Mod Betty / Retro Roadmap
      June 13, 2010 at 9:21 pm

      Tony- thanks for the link to your site! I’m already scouring the images, I could use another Retro Roadmap worthy tee shirt design!

  • Sjef
    November 15, 2010 at 3:29 am

    I kindly invite you to have a look at my website which shows my personal collection of decals from all over the world. Also have a site for my pinup decal collection :
    Sjef in the Netherlands

  • Mike A.
    October 15, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    I have several of these ORIGINAL decals on my 1963 Ford Falcon Station Wagon. I traded my wrecked pick up truck for the car. The car had been sitting dead in a woman’s yard for years. The travel decals on the car as soon after she was bought. Hard to believe they have lasted for over 40= years on the car without being wiped off. I got the Falcon Station Wagon running again, and have been driving her around for a couple of years now. I hear people all the time say, “When I was young, I used to travel around the country in that car.” I then ask them if they notice the ORIGINAL travel decals. As soon as they do, their eyes light up. They always say they remember them and used to put them on their cars too.

    • Mod Betty
      October 15, 2012 at 8:28 pm

      Mike – how cool! I’ve never seen a Falcon station wagon in person, but both my mother and my dad’s mom had early 60s Falcons so they’re totally like a family car to me. I’d love to see a photo of your car and the decals!

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