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

PRESS RELEASE: Kyle Petty Charity Ride announces 21st anniversary route, March 3rd

NBC Sports NASCAR analyst and former NASCAR driver Kyle Petty will lead 200 motorcyclists along the 2,500 mile-route, stretching from Santa Cruz, Calif. to Branson, Mo., to raise funds and awareness for Victory Junction -- a camp created to enrich the...Read more

Bernstein personal collection auction to benefit Darrell Gwynn Foundation ..., March 2nd

The auction will feature pieces of NHRA, NASCAR and Indycar memorabilia and collectibles, donated by Kenny Bernstein, six-time NHRA world champion and the first drag racer to break the 300-mph barrier. The impressive collection spans four decades of ...Read more

AUTO RACING: Huge motorsports show on tape in New Jersey
The Times Herald, February 26th

Quaker Steak & Lube, or The Lube to loyalists, the award-winning casual dining concept known for its Best Wings USA and over 25 signature sauces, has signed on as the lead sponsor for the 8th Annual Dirt Track Heroes Car Show to take place at the ...Read more

City needs to do more for Wendell Scott's legacy, February 22nd

Danville officials recently spent $4,870 to attend the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony for stock car racing pioneer Wendell Scott. The city government spent another $4,950 for an advertisement in the Hall of Fame program...Read more

Phoenix International Raceway honored three times by NASCAR
KPHO Phoenix, February 20th

Some of the highlights of PIR's 50th Anniversary campaign included the special commemorative logo; a world-record 50-plane flyover prior to The Profit on CNBC 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on March 2, 2014; special events featuring The Phoenix...Read more

Antique buff Joey Logano fulfills racing promise
USA TODAY, February 20th

Precocious as a race car driver, advancing through grass-roots series to become the youngest winner in two of NASCAR's top three divisions and a Sprint Cup title contender last season in his second year at Penske, the Connecticut native married his...Read more

Dennis' Diary: RIR's Bickmeier visits NASCAR's roots on way to Daytona 500, February 18th

We went to “Racing's North Turn,” where there is a restaurant with plenty of memorabilia, old race cars and monuments commemorating those original days of NASCAR on the beach before there was a Daytona International Speedway. I heard a lot of, “Wow, ...Read more

Car crashes into NASCAR fan's house, collectibles destroyed, December 12th

The bad news? Pieces of the NASCAR fan's memorabilia collection weren't as lucky. According to the Worcester Telegram, Brouillette was "upset that some of his Tony Stewart racecar collectibles, which were carefully placed in cases, had been tossed...Read more