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    

Dandy Dick Landy's 1966 Dodge Dart Awb Funny Car-cool Built Model-1:25 Scale!!!!1/25 Johan Jo-han 1969 Ambassador Sst Amc Rebel American Promo 69Old Amt 1/25th 1960s Race Car Hauler + 3 Old Modified Stock Car Models / Built2 Vintage 1960's 1964 1965 Ford Falcon,1967,1968,1968 Galaxie Built Car ModelsVintage Built Mpc Arnie Beswick "boss Bird" Funny Car Dragster (sja)Junkyard Mpc Revell 1:25 Built Chevrolet Kit Lot 30s 80s + 2 Unbuilt Kits1965 Monogram Corvette 1/8 Scale Model Kit,never Built,windshield Is CrackedVintage Mpc 1967 Bonneville Pontiac Hardtop Model KitMack Rubber Duck Convoy & Mack R685 St Amt / Ertl 1:25 2 Kits 1 Price Mpc Amt1/25 Scale 1972 Dodge Challenger Built Model Car Painted Cheap!Johan Amt Ertl Monogram Revell Chevrolet Chevy Ford Gmc Pickup Truck Lot Of 5Jo-han 66 Marlin Hardtop C-3666Vintage Amt 1:25 Corvair Monza Coupe 4751 100 Craftsman Series Model Kit Vintage Rare 1/25 Ertl International Transtar Ii Eagle Open Box Complete ? PartsVintage Mpc Model Kit - 1972 Pontiac Grand Prix - Built UpJo-han Mercury Comet Boss 429 Pro Stocker 1/25 Scale1954 Hudson Hornet Club Coupe Pro Built Car Model Kits 1968 Cadillac Ambulance 1/25 RareMpc '75 Pontiac Ventura Sprint Parts Lot Junkyard 1:25 Scale Vintage Jo Han 1963 Chrysler 300 Hardtop Model Kit 2463:149 1:25 In Original BoxJohan Amt Monogram Police Chevrolet Chevy Ford Panel Van Fire Truck Lot Of 31/43 Mini Racing Prestige 1976 Chevrolet Monza Imsa Gt Kit Le Mans Dekon KeyserBuilt Chevrolet Blazer Pickup Truck Model Kit Mpc Monogram 1/24 1/25 Th ? Amt1958 Edsel Roundup Pro Built 58 Ford Wagon Junkyard With Uncertain T Monogram Parts- Model Car Parts Jo-han Sox & Martin Superbird Super Stocker 1/25 ScaleVintage Model Car & Truck Junk Yard Parts Lot Estate Attic FindMpc 1975 Pontiac Firebird Formula 400 3n1 #1-7515 75 Annual 1/25 Amt F/s KitAll American Models 1970 Chrysler 300 1/25 Scale Resin Model Car Trans-kit Vintage 1:8 Scale Monogram Big T, Giant Model Car Kit, Open Box As IsVintage Built Zzr Custom Show Car George Barris (sja)Amt Kenworth/challenge Transit Mixer Model Scale 1/25 #t559Revell 1/12 Ferrari F2002 F1 Formula 07493Vintage 1960's! Frog/amt Chaparral 1:24 Scale Model Kit, Rare! Slot Racing Amt 1958 Buick ConvertibleJohan Amt Monogram Police Chevrolet Chevy Dodge Ford Panel Van Fire Truck 31974 Sienna Orange Amx Hornet 1/25 Jo-han Model Promo3 Rare Old Vintage Antique Car Toy Parts Junkyard 1/25 Model Kits Corvette? Vintage Amt 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu Ss Model Kit Hardtop Craftsman SeriesJ0-han Boss Man 1968 Convertible Cadillac Deville 1/25 Scale Model Kit CompleteVintage 1967 Amt Lincoln Continental 4 Door Hardtop Built Screw Model 1:25Vintage 1960s Plastic Street Rod Models Junkyard Lot For Parts.Rare Amt Kenworth Challenge Transit Cement Mixer 1/25 Scale Model KitTamiya 1/12 Martini Porsche 935 Turbo Kit Mint Not 934 ProtarRevell1/25 Peterbilt Tractor& Auto Trailer Prestige Auto Movers Rare 1983 IssueTestors 1/12 Lamborghini Countach Lp 500s Lp500 Made By Doyusha & Otaki EntexVintage 1969 Chevrolet Pickup Camper Model/kit Very Rare!Tamiya Vintage 1987 1/12 Midnight Pumpkin New In Box Super rareJo-han American Motors Javelin Amx Kit #gc-1600 N.o.s. Factory Shrink Wrapped!!!Vintage Mpc Plymouth Volare #1-7711 In Original Box2 Ferrari Testarossa Spiders 1/8 Scale Die-cast Model By Testors/pocherVintage: The Visible V8 Transparent Operating Engine By Renwal In 1/4th ScaleVintage Model Car Kits Built Lot Junk Yard Monogram & Others, 12 Cars & TrucksTamiya 1:12 Scale Porsche Turbo Rsr Type 934 Rare Model Kit Super RareCorvette Model Kit 1/8 Scale By MonogramVintage Amt '64 Oldsmobile F-85 Cutlass Convertible (3 In 1) Model Kit (opened)Johan Amt Ertl Cadillac Hearse Limo Vintage Model Car Jo-han 1967 Ambassador Built Kit Model Parts C-1667 American Motors Convertible1970's Amt Haulaway Semi Truck Trailer Auto Transport Original Issue Model Kit Amt 1966 Chevrolet Impala Hardtop