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    

1968 Dodge Dart Gt 2 Dr Ht Slant 6 Pro Built MoparVintage Monogram Turbo Trans Am Large Model Kit #2605 1:8 Scale Complete In Box1970's Dodge Dually. 1 Ton. Resin 1/25 Model Truck. Hauler Farm Rare D300Scarce! 1970`s Aurora 1/16 "magician" Pinto Funny Car Full Version Mint Model!Built 1/25 Moebius International Lone StarVintage Model Car Junkyard Parts Lot~23 Cars~dragsters~muscle Cars~Rare Amt 1965 Ford Fairlane Annual Vintage Built Model Car Kit; 1967 Chevrolet Pickup Truck, White Inside And OutUnassembled Renwal The Visible Automobile Chassis 1/4 Scale Model Amt 1967 Ford Falcon Built 1/25Vintage Model Kit Junk Yard 1/25 1/24 Scale Promo Drag Race Parts Lot Jo-hanAmt 1966 Ford Falcon Built 1/25Amt 1972 Gmc Stepside Stock Or CustomNew Tamiya Caterham Super Seven Cycle Fender Special 1/12 =nib=1958 Buick Roadmaster & Ford Fairlane Built Amt Junkyard Parts Cars Built Screw1965 Aurora Ajet 1/32 American Classic Raceway Track Set W/mustang & Pontiac GtoBuilt 1/16 Monogram Peterbilt 359 Conventional With Fruhauf Flatbed And Load4 Amt 1962 Pontiac Tempest Models Built Glue Bombs - 4 ModelsJo-han Heavenly Hearse 1/25 Scale Unbuilt KitVintage Model Car Lot Built Junkyard PartsVintage Amt 1968 Ford Galaxie Xl 1/25 Scale Model Kit1968 Pontiac Bonneville 1/25 Scale Model Kit-builtJo-han 1970 Amc Rebel Hurst Machine, Street Strip1965 Lincoln Continental Promo Amt Mpc JohanMpc Mercury Cyclone Funny Car "spyder Web " Vintage Model Kit Partially Built1/24 1972 Chevy 3500 Wrecker Rollback Flatbed Tow Truck 2-car HaulerAmt 1965 Ford Falcon Futura Sprint New In The BoxMpc Models 1974 Release 1/25 Gapp & Roush's Pinto Pro Stock Drag Racer KitAmt 1970 Ford Ltd 4 Door Ht 1/251970 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu Ss 454 Pro BuiltBuilt 55 Ford Tow Truck Weaver Manley Wrecker Garage Diorama Junkyard JunkerAmt 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu Craftsman Builder Kit.Tamiya 1/12, Team Lotus Jps Mk Ⅲ, From Japan Rare Kit "ondawara" Model 1958 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible Smp, Amt, Built1965 Amt,mpc Dodge Ram Charger 1/25 Scale Model Kit-builtCharlie Allen's Saddleback Dodge Dart Funny Car Mpc Original 1969 PartialPocher 1/8 K94 Mercedes 540k Model KitJo-han C-2670 The Machine Hot Rebel Niob Plastic Model Vintage Hobby Car KitVintage Model Car Junk Yard Lot Of 8Steve Scott's Uncertain "t" Show Rod By Monogram, Rebuild/restore, Very Complete Mpc 3000-300 Stp Granatelli's Indy Turbine Car No. 40 1/20 Plastic Model KitThe Sheriff 1970 Funny Car Dodge Model Kit Vintage Rare Mpc1958 Amt Model Kit - Pontiac Hardtop - For Restoration1959 Amt Model Kit - Pontiac Convertible - For RestorationMpc 1/25th 1968 Dodge Coronet R/t Convetible Built Kit W/boxOld Cox Blue Ford Gt / Gt-40 1/24 Scale Slot Car W/ Sidewinde Motor In ObOld Amt 1964 Chrysler Imperial Convertible Model-builtAmt? 1972 Ford Gran Torino Plastic Dealer Promo Model Car-a Beauty1/25 Dodge Daytona Pro Stock Builtup1964 Amt 8734 Chevelle El Camino Original 3 In 1 Kit In Box - Missing Some PartsMpc 1:25 Scale 1978 Ford Pinto Squire Wagon Kit Vintage 1954 Lg 20" Itc Battery Op Crystal Oldsmobile Starfire Conv. A+ Cond. NrOriginal Ertl 1/25th Sc International Transtar Ii Eagle Semi - Unbuilt KitAmt/ertl 21638p Model Kit 1972 Chevy Blazer New Sealed!Amt Mpc Johan 1957 Ford Station Wagon Parts Or RestoreAmt '63 Ford Fairlane Hardtop 1/25 Scale 1963 Annual..stock OnlyRevell Amazing Moon Mixer Original Version1958 Pontiac Convertible Built Model Car AmtVintage Built Model Car Kit; 1964 Chrysler Imperial Convertible, WhiteAmt Autocar Truck And Lowboy Trailer Models