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 1972 Ford Ltd Brougham Hardtop Coupe Pro Built Promo ResinVintage Aurora 1/16 Pinto Funny Car Plastic Model Kit Rare Aurora Aston Martin James Bond 007 Super Spy Car Long Box Model Kit 585-249Ertl International Paystar Logger 1/25Vintage Kit Jo-han 1966 Plymouth Hard Top 1/25th Model #c-1266-149 RareVintage Jo-han Model 1964 Dodge Chrysler PolaraMonogram 1:8 Jaguar Xke 1976 Yellow Kit Amt 1964 Pontiac Bonneville 3 In 1 Model Kit & InstructionsPocher 1/8 Porsche 911Vintage Amt 1961 Ford Pickup Truck Model Kit - Parts Lot + Box!1960s Vintage Monogram Slot Car Mga Racer Motorized Model Kit Complete In BoxMpc 1:25 Scale 1971 Dodge Demon Kit - Assembled Vintage Amt 1964 Pontiac Bonneville Hardtop Model Kit - Parts Lot + Great Box!Vintage Amt 1964 Chevelle El Camino Model Kit - Parts Lot + Great Box!Vintage Kit Jo-han 1961 Plymouth Fury Hardtop 1/25th Model #2361-139 Rare!!Amt Junkyard 1:25 Built Kit Lot Autocar Dc9964 Dump Truck + Trailer+ Dolly 70sVintage Kit Jo-han 1967 Plymouth Hard Top 1/25th Model #c-1967-200 Rare!! Vintage Amt 1963 Ford F-100 Pickup Truck Model Kit - Parts Lot + Great Box!Vintage Amt 1963 Chevy Ii Station Wagon Customizing Kit - Parts Lot + Nice Box!Scale Model For Sale- Ray Cunningham's 55 Chevy Gasser From The 60'sAmt Russ Davis Longnose Ford Mustang Funny Car Custom Model Kit & InstructionsMpc 1:25 Scale Kit 1975 Datsun Pickup Truck Peterbilt,1/32 Cutom Built CaboverVintage Kit Jo-han 1964 Plymouth Fury Hardtop 1/25th Model #c-164-149 Rare!! Peterbilt,1/32 Scale Custom Built1956 Super Rare Mercury Meridein Factory Built Promo Mpc 1970 Pontiac Grand Prix - Restoration Project, Mostly Complete, Check It OutVisible V8 Engine By Renwal Blueprint Models In Original Box 1960Vintage 1/8 Scale Jaguar Xk-e Coupe Partially Built Boxed Low Start Bid Nr Xmas!Vintage Amt 1959 Buick Convertible 3 In 1 Customizing Plastic Model Kit #139Mpc Dodge Drag Krazy Van Truck Panel V8 1977 1/25 Made In Usa NewAmt 1961 Pontiac Hardtop 3 In 1 Model Kit Junkyard PartsThe Visible V8 Engine Model 1960 Renwal Blueprint Models *new In Box*1-12 Tamiya Lola T70 Mk 111'34 Ford / Stock & Street Rod * Aurora Model Kit * 1963Vintage Amt 1962 Chevy Apache Pickup Truck Model Kit - Parts Lot + Great Box!Amt 1/25 Built Autocar Tractor TruckVintage Revell Swamp Monster Chevy Pickup Plastic 1/16 Scale Model Kit Smt 1961 Chevy Corvair Convertible Partialy Built Kit With BoxVery Rare 1/43 Bbr #50f Ferrari 250gt Europa Boano 1957 NVintage Amt 1961 Buick Invicta Model Kit - Parts Lot + Great Box!New Revell Reissue Big 1/8 Scale The Big T KitMpc #43 Richard Petty '71 Plymouth Adult Built Plastic Model Car Kit #1701Amt 1:25 Scale Kit 1967 Chevy Fleetside Pickup Truck Sealed 1/24 Tecnomodel Kit Ferrari 575 Gtc-evo 2 Test Fiorano 2005 Carbon Vintage Amt 1961 Ford Hardtop Model Kit - Parts Lot + Great Box!Monogram 1/8 Scale 'golden "t" Street Rod' Complete Open BoxMassive Vintage 1960's 1970's Car Pickup Truck Junkyard Model Parts Lot 216Amt 1:25 Scale Kit Joie Chitwood Thrill Show 1974 Camaro Vintage Amt 1962 Ford Sunliner Model Kit - Parts Lot + 62 Galaxie BoxVintage Chrysler 300 Jo-han Boxed 1968 Hard Top Model KitAuto Transporter Revell #7424 1/25 ScaleVintage Kit Jo-han 1967 Cadillac De Ville 1/25th Model #c-1267-150 Rare! L@@k!!Rmr Resins 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air 4 Door Wagon Resin Model Car Conversion KitAmt Restorers Junkyard 1:25 Built Kit Lot Of 3 Gmc Astro 95 Chevy Titan 90 CoesAmt 1963 Chevy Pick Up Customizing Kit With Triumph MotorcycleTamiya Martini Porsche 935 Turbo 1:12 Scale (sealed)Old Monogram Kenworth Aerodyne Conventional From 1982 - Big 1/16 ScaleBuilt 1972 Pontiac Ventura Sprint