Model cars have long been a popular hobby for both kids and adults. NASCAR model cars, in particular, have attracted a devoted following since NASCAR’s founding in 1948.

As with model cars in general, collectors have two primary options for NASCAR models—diecast cars or model kits. Diecast cars are preassembled, factory-produced miniatures made out of metal, most prized in mint condition in their original boxes.

Kits, on the other hand, contain molded plastic pieces that must be carefully assembled and decorated with decals over many hours. Collectors value unassembled kits in their original sealed boxes, but they also enjoy sharing the models they have built, whether the model is “out of the box” (exactly as the kit intended) or modified. Some even build NASCAR models out of non-NASCAR kits using separate decals and other extra parts.

The first NASCAR model kits were produced right after World War II, back when race cars were fairly similar to their street relatives. In 1982, Monogram released the first modern NASCAR car kits, which launched the product into even wider popularity. Ertl followed in 1984 with kits and radio-controlled diecast models, and companies like Revell, Action, Team Caliber, Aluminum Model Toys (AMT), Tamiya, and, later, Hot Wheels also joined the market.

Unlike other types of model car collecting, in which the maker and year of the car itself are paramount, NASCAR model car collectors are most loyal to the drivers, like Jimmie Johnson and Brett Bodine. As model car collector and builder Les Smirle says, “People don’t build Chevrolet NASCARs, they build Dale Earnhardt NASCARs…. With NASCAR, the loyalty to the driver is far stronger than the loyalty to individual brands of cars.” Thus, the value of any NASCAR model is tied to the popularity of its driver.

In recent years, the landscape of NASCAR model cars has changed due to the licensing costs that NASCAR imposes on model-car manufacturers. Naturally these costs have risen with NASCAR’s popularity, which has made model kits more expensive to produce relative to diecast cars. This has caused a shift on the part of manufacturers away from kits and toward diecast models. For example, Revell—one of the main manufacturers of NASCAR model kits—recently discontinued its line of NASCAR models because of prohibitive licensing fees, though it still sells NASCAR slot cars.

Today, collectors tend to favor drivers from the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, but some younger collectors have also taken a liking to models derived from the movie franchise “The Fast and the Furious.” The most common scale for NASCAR models is 1/24, but many other sizes are also popular.

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Recent News: Nascar Model Cars

Source: Google News

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World opens August 20 in Bristol, Tennessee
WalleyeFIRST, July 22nd

A panoramic mural viewing of the Bristol Motor Speedway, along with photos of Bass Pro Shops NASCAR history, is above the restroom entry. Because many racing fans are passionate about the outdoors, Bass Pro Shops has a long relationship with NASCAR...Read more

Bowyer Fundraiser Tops $350000
Emporia Gazette, July 21st

Plenty of NASCAR items were also available. A Kansas Speedway package that ... The silent auction, which included more than 40 items, consisted of more signed memorabilia, ticket bundles and other assorted packages. The Chris Weaver Band closed out ...Read more

Zippo collectors gather in Bradford to swap lighters, stories
Bradford Era, July 19th

“I collect just about everything Zippo but I guess I like the camo, NASCAR and sterling silver the best.” He said he usually leaves the most valuable ones at home when coming to events like these, as he comes to sell and take part in the camaraderie...Read more

Times Herald-Record, July 18th

James loved NASCAR, politics and history and watched Prospectors on the Discovery Channel and collected Texaco memorabilia. He is survived by his wife, Nancy A. (Miller) Yannone, son and daughter-in-law, James Jr. and Andrea Yannone of New ...Read more

Top 10: Proposed additions to Dale Jr.'s boneyard
Yahoo Sports, July 17th

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a pretty cool dude for about 3,788 different reasons -- after all, the two-time Daytona 500 champion alphabetizes his record collection, has a Western town on his property, collects vintage racing magazines and owns a modern honky...Read more

CARB Hall of Fame has a new home
Kansas City Star, July 16th

In addition to racing memorabilia, the Kansas City Automotive Museum features more than 30 cars and motorcycles in its 12,000 square-foot display area and also highlights significant Kansas City automotive history. For more information, go to the Hall...Read more

Vendors ready to serve NASCAR fans this weekend, July 9th

Ernie Peidsey III from Allard Ice shows the ice capacity of his truck. It can hold up to 600 bags of ice, which he will sell for $3.50 each at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway during race week. (KATHLEEN BAGLIO HUMPHREYS/Union Leader Correspondent)...Read more

Dale Jr. rules NASCAR merchandise, but Dillon's on the rise
Daytona Beach News-Journal, July 6th

Dillon had already won two NASCAR Nationwide Series championships, so he'd built a sizable fan following before he arrived at the Sprint Cup Series. Q: What influences sales in the online market? Davidson: A driver's on-track performance has a...Read more