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

Jeff Gordon: The driver who brought NASCAR mainstream
Nascar, November 25th

Before long there were endorsements, seemingly more Gordon memorabilia lining the shelves than shelves themselves and, oh yeah, four titles in his first nine seasons, solidifying a Hall of Fame resume before he even hit age 30. And Gordon's influence...Read more

A man among toys: Local auto parts store owner makes a new investment of sorts
Burlington Times News, November 22nd

It's not all toys. Among the collectibles are 10,000 Hallmark Christmas ornaments. There are also lots of Christopher Radko blown-glass Christmas-tree ornaments as well as ornaments with NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon and — inexplicably — Darth Vader...Read more

Remembering a NASCAR man, Floyd's Curtis Turner
Southwest Virginia Today, November 21st

Friends and family of legendary Floyd racing star Curtis Turner, called “the Babe Ruth of stock car racing” by Sports Illustrated, met at the Floyd EcoVillage Saturday to watch a documentary on the life of the Floyd native and NASCAR driver, view...Read more

The Latest from NASCAR: Season finale being delayed by rain
Bristol Herald Courier (press release) (blog), November 21st

Explore the pure joy of auctions including full of fine items, jewelry, art, fiurniture, guns and collectibles. We specialize in Real Estate, Antiques, Gold & Silver, Jewelry, furniture, Tin Toys, Coins, Advertising Gas & Oil Memorabilia, etc. "We do...Read more

Linda Robertson: NASCAR fans here to cheer, drink beer, watch favorites ride ...
Miami Herald (blog), November 20th

She's a Kyle Busch fan; he was a Harvick fan until what he calls the “dishonorable” incident on the last lap at Talladega, which prompted Chad to disown Harvick, burn all his Harvick memorabilia in their backyard fire pit and switch allegiances to Junior...Read more

'I hate Jeff Gordon'
Yahoo Sports, November 19th

The fan who hated him immediately backed down, said it was all in good fun and mostly was just excited two star drivers were hanging out, posing for pictures, signing memorabilia and so on. To know Gordon is to like him, after all – even Dale Sr. said...Read more

NASCAR collectibles store arrive on Williamson Road
Roanoke Times (blog), November 15th

Dwight Hanna had a hobby of collecting NASCAR memorabilia for decades. He formed Caution Flag Inc. in 1991 as an online business where he bought and sold NASCAR model cars and collectibles. At the beginning of November, Hanna decided to cease ...Read more

An Afternoon Inside the NASCAR Hall of Fame
Zing! Blog by Quicken Loans (blog), November 11th

Since 2010, when the NASCAR Hall of Fame opened its doors in Charlotte, it has enticed fans of the sport from around the world to view classic race cars, celebrate drivers and get an inside look at the mechanics behind the wheel. In a recent visit to...Read more