Plastic model-car kits are a relatively recent product, dating only to the end of World War II. The heyday of the kits in the United States was probably the 1960s, when the burgeoning car culture of the previous decade exploded. Suddenly, every car-crazy kid who wanted to could build a model of a ’57 Chevy Bel-Air or ’66 Ford Mustang, even if they couldn’t talk their moms and dads into buying the real thing.

Most people looking to collect a vintage model-car kit made by AMT, Revell, Monogram, Tamiya, or Pocher are looking for an unassembled kit still in the box. While some of these people will never even open the kit if it's still in its sealed wrapper, just as many are looking to actually build it. In general, fewer people collect assembled model cars since the real fun for car lovers is the assembly itself.

The typical model-car kit contains several sheets of plastic parts known as trees, which are injected molded. Each individual part used in the model is attached to the tree by one or more sprues, which need to be carefully cut off and discarded by the model maker. Kits also include instructions and decals, which can be applied to the model to add logos, racing stripes, or flames. Most modelers also paint their creations, some using small jars of Testor or other brands of paint, others going to great lengths by airbrushing their models for added realism.

While there are as many subsets within model making as there are different types of cars, a few stand out. Some people like to collect models of NASCAR racing cars, while others go for models of show rods, those over-the-top hot rods created for car shows in the 1960s and designed by masters such as Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Mouse, George Barris, and Tom Daniel.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

DFW Elite Toy Museum

DFW Elite Toy Museum

Ron Sturgeon's excellent gallery of fancy model cars and other vehicles. Nice high resolution shots with classy mus… [read review or visit site]

The Show Room

The Show Room

This gallery at Dave's Show Rod Rally features model show rods from 1960 to 2001. Favorites include the 1958 Thunde… [read review or visit site]

VW Toys and Models

VW Toys and Models

A comprehensive site completely dedicated to miniature Volkswagen vehicles. Browse hundreds of toys by country, man… [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Unassembled Renwal The Visible Automobile Chassis 1/4 Scale Model Vintage Monogram Turbo Trans Am Large Model Kit #2605 1:8 Scale Complete In BoxVintage Model Car Lot Built Junkyard Parts1970's Dodge Dually. 1 Ton. Resin 1/25 Model Truck. Hauler Farm Rare D300Mpc Mercury Cyclone Funny Car "spyder Web " Vintage Model Kit Partially BuiltVintage Model Kit Junk Yard 1/25 1/24 Scale Promo Drag Race Parts Lot Jo-hanMonogram 1/8 Scale Jaguar Xke Xk-e Type Large Model Kit Ob Jag ProjectPocher K90 1936 Mercedes Benz 540k “rumble Seat” 1/8 Scale Model Car Kit! Huge!Vintage Flying Dutchman Funny Car Model Kit Partially Built MpcHuge Lot Of 1960's/70's Model Car Junkyard- 19+ Cars & Boxes- Revell AmtMonogram Big Early 60's 1/8 Scale Jaguar Xke Opened But Still Appears New In BoxVintage Hubley 1932 Ford Custom Roadster Hot Rod Metal Model Car Kit (built Up)1963 Ford Galaxie 500 Xl Conv Convertible Pro Built PromoJohan 1972 Oldsmobile 442 Hardtop Unbuilt KitTranstar F-4270, Caterpillar D8h Bulldozer & Lowboy Trailer 3 Pc. Built Up LotVintage 1954 Lg 20" Itc Battery Op Crystal Oldsmobile Starfire Conv. A+ Cond. NrCharlie Allen's Saddleback Dodge Dart Funny Car Mpc Original 1969 Partial1/24 1972 Chevy 3500 Wrecker Rollback Flatbed Tow Truck 2-car HaulerOld Jo-han Tornado And 1971 442, Total Lot Of 6 Old Cars1958 Buick Roadmaster & Ford Fairlane Built Amt Junkyard Parts Cars Built ScrewAmt 1965 Ford Falcon Futura Sprint New In The BoxJo-han C-2670 The Machine Hot Rebel Niob Plastic Model Vintage Hobby Car KitVintage Amt 1968 Ford Galaxie Xl 1/25 Scale Model KitAmt 1966 Ford Falcon Built 1/25Amt 1962 Ford Galaxie Turista Turismo 1/25 Rare! Johan 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado Original Issue 1/25th Unbuilt Model Kit!70's Resin Dodge Extended Cab Dually Pickup Project Aurora 1:25 Scale 1950 Mercury Woody Wagon Kit Steve Scott's Uncertain "t" Show Rod By Monogram, Rebuild/restore, Very Complete1967 Barris Amt Vintage Niob Lincoln Continental Customizing 3 In 1 Model KitNew Tamiya Caterham Super Seven Cycle Fender Special 1/12 =nib=Amt 1967 Ford Falcon Built 1/25Tamiya Martini Brabham Bt 44b Formula One 1/12 Big Scale Model Kit No. 12018Amt 1958 Ford Fairlane Hardtop Annual Builder KitThe Sheriff 1970 Funny Car Dodge Model Kit Vintage Rare MpcVintage Amt "long Nose Mustang" Drag Funny Car - No Reserve!Vintage 1972 Mpc Schwinn Pea Picker 5-speed Sting Ray Stingray Model Kit -sealedMpc 1:25 Scale 1972 Dodge Baja Brute Pickup Truck Kit Monogram 1980 Turbo Trans Am 1:8 Scale Model Kit With Box CompleteBig Lot Of 1:25th Scale Built Model Cars And PartsAmt 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Craftsman Series Built Up Nice As Drag CarOriginal Issue 1962 Oldsmobile Super 88 By Johan "attic Find" 62 OldsAmt Vintage 1961 Buick Lesabre Model 2 Door.Vintage Jo-han 1970 Plymouth Road Runner 1:25 Scale Model Kit (assembled)1/25 Rollback Flatbed Tow Truck Wrecker Assembly For Amt Ford Louisville Hauler Vintage Original Dog Catcher Model Car Kit Monogram 1971 Daniel Hot Rod BuiltMonogram Rattler Rare Issue Tom Daniels Show Rod Dave's Rally Grail Built ModelRare Tamiya Jagermeister Porsche Turbo 934 Rsr Kit 1/12 Scale From JapanAmt 1970 Ford Ltd 4 Door Ht 1/25Very Old Mercury Amt Convertible Model Retractable Continental Kit No Windshield1960 Pontiac Bonneville Conv.1/24 Scale Model Amt, Jo-han, Monogram, RevellAmt 1964 Oldsmobile F 85 Cutlass Convertible 1/25 Kit #5014 Unbuilt And CompleteKiller Amt Funny Car Drag Lot #5 - No Reserve! Wow!Vintage Amt 1968 Oldsmobile Toronado 1/25 Scale Model KitLot Of 1/25th Scale Trucks For Parts/restoration 4 Pieces1/24 Profil24 Jaguar Xjr6/xjr-6 Le Mans 1986 Kit N/ Renaissance, Studio27, HiroAmt 1960 Pontiac Bonneville Built For Restoration Or PartsErtl #8009 Great Dane Flatbed Toy Truck Trailer Blue Print Replica Model Sealed1/24 Plastic Trucks Lot Of Built And Part Trucks. Bunch Of Extra Parts. 1980's1966 Uncertain "t" Monogram Vintage 1/24 Scale Plastic Model Car Kit