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    

1962 Ford Fairlane 500 2 Dr. Sedan Pro Built 1964 Ford Galaxie 500 Xl Dr. Ht. Pro Built 1/25 Scale Detachable Gooseneck Lowboy Trailer Model KitHuge Vintage Model Car Junkyard Lot Nice Part Pieces Engines Wheels Amt RevellMpc Dukes Of Hazzard Cooters Tow Truck 1/25 Scale. 1981.Vintage Pocher K76 Bugatti 50t Working Differential Unstarted Parts Are MintVintage Plastic Model Parts Built Junkyard Dragsters Funny Cars Customs Rods LotMpc 1756 1974 Dodge Challenger "dick Landy Pro Stocker" 1/25th ScaleVintage 1957 Ford Country Squire Station Wagon Built Model -- 1/25 ScaleAurora 57 Ford Demolition Demon 1/32 Kit Original Box Instructions Decals 1965 Monogram 1976 Jaguar Xke Model Kit-1/8 ScaleVintage Jo-han Model Car Kit; 1960 Dodge Phoenix, In A Dart Box, Fully BuiltAmt Model Car Parts Vintage 1/25 ScalePocher 1931 Alfa Romeo Monza 8c 2300 1/8 Scale Model Kit All Parts Still Sealed1956 Lincoln Premiere Convertible Vintage Model Kit Ideal Rare W/ Box!Tamiya Ferrari 312 T4 Formula One 1/12 Big Scale Model Kit No. 12025 Brand New!Vintage Amt Jr. Trophy Series Model Car Kit; 1960 Chevy Nomad Wagon, Fully BuiltTamiya Ferrari 312t Formula One 1/12 Big Scale Model Kit No. 12019 Brand New!1970-71 Project Parts Lot Maverick, Firebird, Chevelle, Dodge ? , Bodies, PlusResin 1964 Oldsmobile 2-door HardtopAmt Mack Cruise Liner Original 1970's 1/25Mad Max Aoshima Interceptor 1/24 Model Kit Metal Charger Limited Edition Amt 1964 Corvair Monza Spyder Coupe Model Car Mountain Kit Craftsman JunkyardMpc 1/16 Scale Dukes Of Hazzard General Lee Charger Plastic Model Car Kit 752Amt Bj And The Bear Kenworth Aerodyne 1/25 Scale Plastic Model Truck Kit UnbuiltAmt 1967 Mercury Cougar Builder Annual KitVintage 1958 Ford Fairlane Partially Built Model -- 1/25 ScaleVintage 1956 Lincoln Premiere Coupe Ideal 1/25 Scale Rare! W/ Box! Hardtop Vintage Unused 1/12 Scale Revell Vincent Black Shadow Motorcycle Model KitResin Daycab Cabover Brockway Junkyard W/metal Accessories. 1/25th Scale. Rare Mpc Dukes Of Hazzard Snap Model Cooters Cruiser . Sealed!!Vintage Cox Chaparral Toy Model Kit,never Bulit, Old 60's In Box, Looks CompletePocher Torino 1/8th Scale Spider Touring Gran Sport ModelTamiya Mclaren M23 Formula One 1/12 Big Scale Model Kit No. 12017 Brand New!Amt Ford Lnt-8000 Semi Tractor Original 1970's 1/25Amt The Dukes Of Hazzard General Lee 1969 Dodge Charger 1/25 Amt 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle Ss396 Hardtop Builder Kit For Parts Or RestorationAmt Mack R685st Semi Tractor Original 1970's 1/25Jo-han 1/25 1960 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Plastic Model, Assembled1/24 25 Built Plastic Model Kit 1969 Pontiac Bonneville 1966 Chrysler 300 Hardtop Customizing Model Kit - Jo-han - See DescriptionVintage 60s Amt George Barris Customizing Model Car Kit,sonny And Cher His & Her1966 Cadillac Coupe De Ville 1/25 Scale Model Kit Jo Han HardtopRevell Big T 1:8 Scale Model KitBuilt 1950 Shoe Box Ford Pro-stock Drag Car 1/24 ScaleBuilt Model Car 1978 Vintage Plymouth Volare Starlight Blue Nice PieceThunderbird Mustang Aurora Vintage Model Kits 1:32 Scale 1962 1964Vintage Mpc Model Car Kit 1/25 1966 Pontiac Bonneville Hardtop 9-200 Complete?Rare Mpc Dukes Of Hazzard Snap Model Boss Hogg's Van. Sealed!!Vintage 1950's-1960's Amt Toy Plastic Model Kits-edsel,sting Ray,t-bird,etc.-oldRevival Alfa Romeo P3 Muletta 1932 - 35 1:20 Metal Model Kit # 75102/b White NibRare Vintage Amt Hero Model Car Kit #914-170 1/25 Scale, Dated 19661961 Amt 1/25 Mercury Comet Built Kit1/24 25 Built Plastic Model Kit 1968 Ford FalconAmt Ford Dump Truck Lnt-8000 1/25 Scale Model Kit For PartsJo-han Maverick Funny Car Or Stock Car 1/25 Scale KitRevell 1/8 The Big Deuce 32' Ford Rat Rod Highboy Monogram #85-2616 Huge Car KitAmt/ertl White Freightliner Plastic Model Kit 38340 (opened)Vintage Unused Protar Honda Motorcycle Model KitAmt 1/25 1960 Chevrolet El Camino Plastic Model, Assembled