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

Growing Younger: Grace Ridge resident still healthy, active at age 109
Morganton News Herald, July 27th

“I like NASCAR,” she said. “I just like to see them drive and see each driver's personality.” When she turned 105, Grace Ridge threw her a big party, and Clodfelter received many memorabilia items from her favorite NASCAR driver, Tony Stewart. “He's a...Read more

Discoveries: Mendenhall Museum of Gasoline Pumps & Petroliana
Sacramento Bee, July 26th

“You can have 4,000 signs,” he said, a quick head nod left and right to walls covered floor-to-ceiling with what collectors call petroliana, “but if you don't got a place to display 'em, you just gotta garage full of junk.” Junk? At the Mendenhall...Read more

Dominic Ursetta is a dominant driver at Colorado National Speedway
The Denver Post, July 26th

He and his family are seeking support to put together an ARCA Racing Series team and allow Dominic to continue to prove himself at every level below NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. "No tattoos, no earrings," ... His services are sometimes required in the...Read more

The Good Oil: Holden at Indy
New Zealand Herald, July 25th

A big Aussie will be the centre of attention at the most American of motorsports when a Chevrolet SS leads the pack as the pace car for the Nascar Sprint Cup race this weekend at Indianapolis. The SS (or Holden Commodore as we know it in this part of...Read more

Sports dispatches July 24
The News Journal, July 23rd

The Blue team will be composed of players from Promotion Plus Buccos, Duffie's Lions, the Delaware Angels and Walt's Collectibles and will be managed by Matt Trate of the Buccos. The Gold team will feature players from the Delaware Blue Coats, Home ...Read more

Love of NASCAR sparks collection
News-Sun, July 23rd

Would you like to own some of the many cars that have raced in NASCAR events, even if a scale model of one piloted by your favorite driver? Well then you would like to see the collection Vic and Jan Larson of Lake Placid have gathered. For the better...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

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